5 Reasons to use Octopus Hooks While Salt Water Fishing

Ever heard of octopus hooks? Nope- they’re not for catching octopuses. An octopus hook is a nifty fishing hook that is perfect for many fishing needs from freshwater, saltwater, and ice fishing. Read on to learn more.

What are octopus hooks?

An Octopus fishing hook set in saltwater.

The octopus hook is a short shank hook, similar to a circle hook. Instead of the eye pointing up, like it would on a circle hook however, the eye on the octopus bends backwards. (This may be why they call it an octopus hook- as the eye of the hook bends backwards similarly to the head of an octopus leaning backwards.) The point is angled a little bit as well so that it is aligned with the eye of the hook.

Octopus hooks have a short shank and a circular bend (though not as dramatic as a circle hook.) They’re angled eyes make the line parallel to the hook’s shank, and strengthens the hook set.

The knot can also be tied directly to the eye of the Octopus hook and (because the point is pointed to the eye) it will pull in the same direction as the hook and give you a good hook set.

They can be used in fly fishing, sticking under a bobber, drifting and more.

5 reasons you should use octopus hooks

Octopus hooks are one of the most popular hooks and widely used by lots of anglers. Here are five reasons why you should start using them.

1. Perfect for live bait

Two men catch a fish live.

One of the best reasons to use octopus hooks is they’re use for live bait. Octopus hooks were designed to be a smaller, almost invisible hook, with still a wide enough gap that it could catch larger fish. It is perfect for spinners, live or cut bait, or small plastic bait. (It is not very typical to use lures with octopus hooks.)

Octopus hooks are especially perfect for using leeches or minnows for bait.

2. Octopus Hooks are sharp, durable, and long lasting

A black and sharp Octopus fishing hook

It’s important to have a good hook while fishing, one that is strong and can handle the abuse. The octopus hook is a good way to go. It is a high quality hook that is both strong and durable. They are typically made from good forged high carbon steel that will last for years. Many anglers choose octopus hooks because of their strength and corrosion resistance.

3. Minimal hook weight and size

  A person holding a small piece of fish bait and a tiny Octopus fishing hook.

The design of the octopus hook makes it smaller in weight and size than other hooks, and depending on the brand, thinner as well. This minimal design doesn’t take away from the maximal results in catching big fish. The smaller hook makes it easier to go unnoticed and let the bait have a more natural appearance and presentation, while the gap insures that even large fish can be caught.

4. Perfect for trout, catfish, and bass

  A man holds his catch of bass fish and a fishing rod.

Octopus hooks work wonders for catching trout, catfish, and bass. Because of it’s smaller size and minimal design even the most picky fish will be caught in no time. Other fish the octopus hook is great for are walleye, perch, pan-fish, and more- freshwater or saltwater.

5. Great for the Snell Knot

  Octopus fishing hook tied with a snell knot

The octopus hook works really well with the Snell knot. It was designed that way especially so that rigging and the natural presentation of the bait would look well and go perfectly. The Snell knot combined with the Octopus hook can hold even your biggest catch.

How to use the octopus hook

To use the Octopus hook first, tie a Snell knot either in the eye or right underneath the eye on the shank.

In the article, 9 Strongest Fishing Knots Every Fisherman Should Know, we went over how to tie many knots, including the Snell knot.

But, for a quick review, To tie the Snell Knot, insert one end of the leader into the eye of the hook, towards the hook barb.  Insert the other end into the eye and away from the hook, forming a loop.  Hold the hook and leader with your thumb and pointer finger with one hand and with your other hand, wrap the loop around the shank of the hook 6 or 7 times, being careful to hold each wrap in place.

Take the part of the leader that you inserted into the eye, and away from the hook, and pull slowly and steadily. Slide the knot against the eye when it is almost tight, and finish pulling it to fully tighten the knot.

There are a few different ways to hook your bait. If you’re using live bait and you hook it down by the anal fins it will swim down deeper, whereas if you are slow trolling or if you would like your bait to stay closer to the surface, place the hook through the nostrils.

Octopus Hooks v.s Circle hooks

An Octopus hook and a circle hook

Octopus hooks are often compared and contrasted to circle hooks, because the two are fairly similar. Both hooks are more circular in shape (though the circle hook is more exaggerated in that department,) and almost the only difference between them is the bent eye on the octopus hook.

Each and every hook have their time and place and some will work better than others depending on what fish you are trying to catch, or where you are fishing. Circle hooks are designed to hook the fish in the corner of the mouth and allow for an easier release, and less of a chance in swallowing the hook. They don’t require a hook set (which can be good- unless you are used to yanking up your pole for the set.) Some drawbacks to circle hooks however are ineffectiveness with fast surface fish, and more difficultly with set up for larger bait.

Octopus hooks don’t give as easy a release as circle hooks do and the do need a hook set.

Actually there are some “octopus circle hooks,” which have the bent eye and the rounded shank and bend, but their points instead of pointing parallel with the eye point towards the shank, which gives all the benefits of the octopus hook and provides ease in release as well. It may be a good balance.

If you are looking to up your game in the live bait side of things, an octopus hook is the way to go. Go grab some to try out and have fun.

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