When it comes to offshore lures, the debate between using treble vs single hooks can be a contentious one.
After decades as a fishing guide and trial and error myself, I’ve come up with a few rules of thumb that I thought I might share with you.
Rules of thumb for treble vs single hooks
Hook size vs Hook strength.
What many people don’t realise, is that hooks not only come in different sizes, but different strengths!
Trolling lures with three sets of trebles
When chasing big fish, hook size really does matter!
Big barra have a bony mouth and smaller hooks can bounce off, whereas larger hooks penetrate around the lip.
Larger offshore fish species like large-mouth Nannygai and GT’s are the same.
In my trial and error of treble vs single hooks, I discovered that larger fish are rarely taken on the middle treble.
So I usually remove the middle treble and upgrade the size and strength of the two remaining hooks.
This allows the lure to still swim with a beautiful action, and increase my likelihood of landing trophy fish.
When chasing smaller fish, especially those that hang in the open like flathead, there is no need to upgrade your trebles.
However if your quarry is a mean fighter like a mangrove jack, it is worth while upgrading the strength.
Switching out trebles for singles
This is more for fishing the reef flats where bigger fish are likely to duck for cover.
When they do, having a good set of single hooks allows you to put that extra weight on them.
I’ve been having some fun of late catching reef fish on barra lures.
And changing out the trebles on my own Scaleblazer lures with 3/0 singles for that purpose.
When it comes to releasing fish, single hooks win hands down.
It is much easier to remove singles than trebles.
Especially if the fish is suffering from barotrauma – you want it back down to the bottom as quickly as possible.
When releasing fish we find bent nose pliers are an almost indispensable tool for any tackle box to more easily remove hooks from fish.
Safety: treble vs single hooks
The simple fact is that single hooks are easier to remove than trebles.
For both fish and humans!
If you enjoy a bit of gruesome content, check out a previous blog where we asked our community for fish hook stories.
Well i hope that helps your decision making when it comes to treble vs single hooks for offshore fishing.