Outdoor Articles

The Traditional Way To Use Gang Hooks

by Pursue The Outdoors on November 30th, 1999 in General Fishing

Years ago my fishing mentor introduced me to the simple gang hook, and my fishing life changed. Although I use gang hooks in many fishing situations, I figured I’d discuss the traditional way in which they were used. Traditional, of course being the way my fishing mentor used them. He used gang hooks primarily for trout, in flowing water, such as that in a river or stream, so that’s what I will describe.

This is really as simple as it gets. Take the line coming from the end of your rod and tie a small barrel swivel onto it. Now tie your gang hook onto the other end of the barrel swivel. That’s it! You’re rigged up. Now all you need are some small split shot sinkers. Now you place the split shot on your line with the barrel swivel as a stopper, if you will.

The goal here is to add enough split shot to get your offering to bounce off the bottom as it flows downstream. My mentor used to say, “If you’re not getting snagged, you’re not fishing in the right place”. This can get frustrating in the beginning, as getting snagged can be common until you get the number of split shot right. But don’t be disheartened, because this is an incredibly effective way to catch fish. The two major factors to take into account when using gang hooks the traditional way are as follows:

The Wind – In most cases, the more wind, the more weight you will need.


The Flow – This is obvious as well. The heavier the flow the more weight that will be needed.

That’s how the gang hook is traditionally used. This setup is as simple as it gets. Hooks and weights and the bait of your choice (my mentor preferred worms), just the way nature intended fishing to be. It really couldn’t be simpler or more effective for that matter. With practice you will begin to love both the gang hook and the traditional technique that I’ve explained in this article. My mentor used this exact technique to catch numerous trophy trout, and I’ve used the technique to do the same. Now you can as well, so enjoy.

Just remember, as simple as the traditional technique is, it takes practice. Like most things in life, you’ll get better the more you do it. Since you’re bouncing bottom as your offering flows downstream, it’s difficult to distinguish between the bottom and a bite in the beginning, but have no fear, you will get it. And once you do, you’ll catch more fish than you ever have before. Just remember what Andre Agassi said about practice, “If you don’t practice you don’t deserve to win.” Well, winning in our case is catching a fish.

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