Different hook typesDifferent hook sizes (not to scale)

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Hooks, Sinkers

A fishing hook is a hook used to catch fish. It may be barbed or barbless. It is usually attached to a fishing line. In general the hook is concealed within the bait or trailed closely behind or within the lure. more...

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Ancient fishing hooks were most often fashioned from bone or wood. Steel hooks, which generally have an advantage in the ability to pierce a fish's mouth, later became prevailent.

Modern fishing hooks are usually barbed and are finished in bronze or nickel plating or are galvanised, and thus are bronze, silver or matte grey in colour. Hooks, of course, exist in a range of graded, numbered sizes for different fish (see diagram). Several different hook shape classes also exist allowing for the differing dimensions of a fish's mouth, and for the preferences of an angler (see diagram). New hook technologies now allow hooks to be finished in a variety of colours including red, black, green, gold and pink, with red and black finishes in particular becoming very popular.

(There is at least one known species of fish which will bite a bare hook if it is coloured, Sockeye salmon. Taking this a step further are Piranhas, Gar Pikes (needle fish) and Mackerel; these will bite any bare hook if it is moving, probably being attracted by the flashing of the hook's metal resembling little prey fish, thus functioning in a manner similar to that of the spoon lure.)

Often it is desirable for a fish, having been caught, to be released. If it proves impossible to remove a barbed hook in this situation, it is advised that the line is cut close to the hook, or if possible the hook itself close to the barb, and the fish released. The metal hook is thought to gradually corrode away in the seawater.

Fishing with a hook, line and rod is called angling. Long-line fishing is a commercial fishing technique that uses hundreds or even thousands of baited hooks hanging from a single line.

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