When Elite pro Cliff Crochet won the Atchafalaya Bassmaster Central Open, he credited Greg Hackney with giving him a tip that helped him land more fish: a 6/0 hook – specifically a 6/0 Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Flipping Hook. Here’s what Hack had to say about that hook and why he fishes it.
Breaking down the hook
> “Strike King built that hook to flip heavy cover as a braided-line hook.
> “It has a really good keeper…to hold that plastic on. In heavy-cover fishing, when you’re punching with that big weight, if you don’t have that keeper that big weight will knock that bait off the hook…pulling against the cover when it goes in and out.
> “The heavier wire…. With low-stretch line, if a [lighter-wire] hook flexes it will have a tendency to cut its way out of a fish’s mouth. A hook that flexes sometimes [can get] caught on the edge of the mouth and might tear off before [you get the fish in the boat]. This hook will stick a lot deeper in a fish’s mouth because it won’t flex. It’s a low-stretch hook.
> “A round bend gives you an open bite. No one makes an EWG-style hook where the hook point is not in line with the eye of the hook. A J-style hook, round bend, short shank with a big bite, gives you more room for error. The big gap and the heaviness of the wire…and that sharp point…you can put all the pressure you want on the fish.
> “It’s designed for a lot of pressure for that style of fishing. Would it be the best style of hook for casting 60 yards? No. But it’s best when it’s up close and personal.
> “I use that style of hook 100% for flipping…when you’re flipping heavy cover and things happen real fast.”
The biggest hook possible
Hack’s hook is available in 4/0, 5/0 and 6/0 which “fit every flipping bait you’d need.” He likes to use the biggest hook size possible.
> “It’s a relatively short-shank hook where you can put an oversize hook in a small bait. That’s really key when you’re punching with a small bait. You need a small bait to go in and out of that heavy cover, but you need a big hook when you’re fishing for big fish.
> “Case in point: I find a lot of guys flip the same plastics I do and use my hook, but they use a 5/0 and I use a 6/0. I always go for the biggest hook possible – to make up for user error. A lot of bad things can happen with a big weight and braid up close like that.
> “If I’m fishing a Rage Bug in a mat, I use a 6/0. If I’m plinking a Rage Bug around on a 5/16-oz slip sinker, I can get by with a 5/0. But with a mat I want a 6/0. I want that hook point out in front of that weight because that weight is huge and I want more gap.
> “When you use a big weight, it’s like using a jighead on top of that hook. If you open that gap, you have more chances to catch fish.
> “I don’t do it [fish a big hook] because I like it. I do it because it works better. I don’t do things I because I like it anymore. I fish for a living.”
> Flipping gear: 7′ 10″ Quantum PT flipping stick, Quantum 200 HD reel (7.6), 50- or 65-lb (depending on fall rate) Gamma Torque braid.