The holidays are here and it’s great to see so many people out and about wetting a line in our lovely fresh water impoundments, rivers and streams. The one thing I get asked a lot working in a tackle store from first time fishos and seasoned anglers is what size hook and style should I use for Golden Perch and Murray Cod?
It’s a great question because a large portion of anglers still now use the wrong size hooks for targeting these fish, which can result in poor hook up rates, gut hooking and in the worst case scenario the death of the fish. Now if you don’t believe me all you have to do is walk the windward side of my local fishing hole Lake Albert and you will often see small dead Murray Cod and Golden Perch belly up due to the effects of people struggling to take out a small hook taken too far down and killing the poor fish.
And 90% of this can be prevented if you use the right gear.
Murray Cod Hook Size
It’s simple, Murray Cod have a big gob! Even a small fish of 40cm will scoff down a large grub or a big yabby. So if you’re tying on a 2/0 or below then you are in real need of an upgrade.
For me if you intend to use a bait holder style hook (not my preferred hook) and you want to target Murray Cod then I use nothing under a 4/0. If you want to use really large baits obviously upgrade your hook to suit. My grandfather would use large 10/0 on really big yabbies and for good reason. If you want to target HUGE Cod on bait than you use big gear that will take the punishment of a big Cod and not straighten.
For me if I choose to bait fish and I do often with my kids then the only way I go is ‘circle hooks’ or ‘wide gap hooks’. For a couple of reasons:
- They nearly always have a solid hook up in the corner of the jaw.
- You don’t have to rush to your rod to set the hook. The design of the hook makes it so that once the fish runs with the bait the fish hooks itself.
- And if you have little ones and this is the best part, due to the angle of the hook point it’s very hard for kids to hook themselves or the parent behind them as they are casting.
When it comes to hook size for Cod I like to use around a 5/0 to 10/0. Even on 10/0s I have hooked and landed cod under 40cm, so don’t worry about missing out on the smaller stuff to fill in time between bites when your waiting for the big fella.
Golden Perch Hook Size
When targeting Golden Perch I choose to use ‘wide gap’ hooks in sizes 1 to 2/0
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Or Circle hooks in 1/0 to 3/0.
I no longer use bait holder in these smaller sizes although affective as they are it increases the chances of gut hooking in both Golden Perch and Murray Cod.
In closing in my opinion the benefits of changing to ‘circle’ or ‘wide gap’ hooks from traditional J style or Bait Holder is an easy choice that benefits both the angler and the fish and also improves your catch rate so why wouldn’t you tie one on? So get out there and try them out.
Good Luck and Fish on!