The one fish hook that catches almost everything

The do-it-all hook

To catch everything from walleye and pike to trout and channel cats, rig up with the versatile octopus hook


A live-bait rig such as the Lindy rig, dragged at half a mile an hour over a sand flat or up and down a ledge, works great for walleye after a cold front. I especially like using this rig on fish that get a lot of angling pressure, as well as during the early and late parts of the open-water season.

To make this rig, simply add a sliding sinker to your main line, then tie on a barrel swivel and attach a 36-inch-long monofilament leader. For walleye, I tie a fairly small number 6 to 10 octopus hook to the end of the leader with a snell knot and skewer on a lively leech, nightcrawler or minnow. You can also dress up the rig with a single acrylic bead or a soft, floating bead above the hook. This same rig also works well for trout in ponds, lakes and rivers, but with a size 12 or 14 hook and PowerBait Trout Bait. Either slowly troll the rig or cast and retrieve it.

Upsize even more to a 2/0 or 3/0 hook with cut bait, and the rig is also perfect for river-dwelling channel catfish. Just make sure the weight is heavy enough to ensure the offering stays put in the current. I’ve even used this rig with 6/0 hooks—baited with chunks of squid—when fishing for bottom-dwelling fish in the Bahamas. The only difference was that once the weight hit the bottom, I reeled up three cranks to prevent the rig from getting tangled in the coral reef.

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