Keeping Rust Off Hooks

Keep rust at bay by using a permanent marker for additional protection.

When I live-bait for blue marlin in the Gulf of Mexico, I like to use the Eagle Claw non-offset tournament circle hooks because they are chemically sharpened. The average size I use is 20/0, but I also use anywhere in the range of 13/0- to 24/0-size hooks, depending on the size of the bait. These specific hooks are susceptible to rust, especially after being in the water soaking with a live bait.

permanent marker on hook
A permanent marker will help keep rust off your hooks.Courtesy Capt. Stan Blackman

If we need to swap out a bait because one dies, I go ahead and change the hook as well. To prevent any kind of rust on them between uses, I paint the entire hook, not just the tip, with a permanent marker. I find that a broad-tip black marker works best to get the job done. The hooks aren’t cheap, so keep them painted!