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


Watching a slip bobber get pulled under by a perch, walleye or trout is a ton of fun. And again, octopus hooks from sizes 2 to 6 are the perfect choice. Since the hook and live bait are so light, I’ll place just enough splitshot on the line to barely float my slip bobber in an upright position. When attaching the weights, I like to spread them out over about a foot of line, with the bigger splitshot at the top and the tinier one at the bottom near the hook. That way, the fish won’t feel any weight as it inhales the offering.

My favourite bait for this set-up is a plump leech, and there are two ways to rig it. The first is to run the hook through the leech’s big sucker, which allows the leech to stretch out and wiggle downward toward the lake bottom. This tactic is extremely effective on neutral to inactive fish, especially after a cold front. The second method is to hook the leech wacky style in the middle of the body. That makes it flutter erratically in a rippling motion, driving active fish wild.

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