How to Catch Hogfish: Learning Different Methods and Techniques

The hogfish is known as a prized fish among fishermen and anglers because of its elusiveness. With that said, the first question you might have thought of is how to catch hogfish? Known for its hog-like snout, hogfishes are typically found in the Atlantic and Gulf waters.

If luck permits, you can catch a great size hogfish during your fishing trip. Considered as prized catch, hogfish tend to be elusive and landing them can be quite challenging. 

Be that as it may, every challenge can be successfully accomplished when there is an adequate understanding of how the process works. This guide will help you learn the different techniques on how to catch hogfish.

Additionally, a few important tips will also be revealed as you go through the procedures.

What You Will Need:

How To Catch Hogfish

Of course, before going through the different methods or techniques to catch hogfish, there are a few things you need to obtain. These are the following essentials that you need to gather.

Light Tackle Technique

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    12-pound gear and 12-pound test - this will be used as your prime tools to catch hogfish using a light tackle.
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    Fluorocarbon leader - if you will be fishing on deeper parts of the reef, use a fluorocarbon leader.

Jig Heads or Knocker Rigs Technique

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    Jig heads - this will be effective when fishing in the shallow area within patch reefs, shipwrecks or grass heads
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    Knocker rigs - use this if you will be fishing on deeper areas of the reef as well as around rock piles

Chumming Technique

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    Chum mixture - a mixture of fish parts, pieces of shrimp, lobster parts, crabs, and other small shellfish.
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    Mesh bag - use this to put your chum mixture into before deploying it to the water.
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    4-pound dive weight - attach it to the mesh bag while deploying your chum mixture.

How To Catch Hogfish: The Step-by-Step Process

How To Catch Hogfish

After gathering all the essentials needed for this whole process, you can now start with your task at hand. Here are the different methods or techniques on how to catch hogfish.

Light Tackle Technique

One of the effective techniques you can use is a light tackle. Surprisingly, you can catch a hogfish with significant size even with a light tackle. With this technique, it is best to use a 12-pound gear partnered with a 12-pound test serving as your primary line.

However, depending on the depth of the water, you can also opt for fluorocarbon leaders. If in case you will go with fluorocarbon leaders, pick one that is from 15 to 10 pounds to be on the safe side.

To see how it is done, watch this short clip

Jig Heads or Knocker Rigs Technique

Another effective technique to catch hogfish is by using jig heads or knocker rigs. Jig heads can be used to catch hogfish especially on the shallow area within patch reefs, shipwrecks or grass heads.

The ideal jig head you can opt for is one with a ⅝ ounces of maximum weight to make sure that you are effectively covered. In the same way, knocker rigs are also effective tools in this case and can be also utilized if you are going to deeper areas of the reef as well as around rock piles.

With that said, you will require 4 ounces of lead with hook dimensions ranging from #2 to #2/0 for bait or circle hooks.

​Chumming Technique

Chumming is known to be a method that is highly effective and is also applied to various fishes and other animals as well. It is a way of luring animals, in this case, hogfish by throwing a “chum” usually consist of parts of other fish or crustaceans.

For this method, you can use pieces of shrimp, lobster parts, crabs, and other small shellfish. Mix them all up and put them in a container to be frozen overnight. In case you do not have a grinder, make use of a bucket or a mortar and pestle.

Use these tools to crush the mixture of shellfish and crustaceans that you have kept overnight. This mixture will give out the scent that will attract the hogfish. Once your mixture is ready, you can opt to use a mesh bag and pour a portion of the chum in.

Attach a 4-pound dive weight to it, and then proceed to release the chum to the water. Wait patiently for the chum to its job of luring in the hogfishes after which you can do your best to catch them.

Watch this video to see how a chum is made

Additional Tips On How To Catch Hogfish

How To Catch Hogfish

For a successful run when it comes to catching hogfish, here are a few tips you can consider and use to get the upper hand.

1. Hogfish, as its name suggests have pig-like noses and is usually attracted by scent. With that said, you can take advantage of this characteristic of the hogfish and make use of chumming to lure them effectively.

2. Hogfish are typically found roaming around coral patches, uncovered rocky areas, and sandy parts of shipwrecks. They stay around 80 to 100 feet deep around sandy outcrops with the largest varieties often seen on the deeper tip of the Atlantic reef.

3. They use their pig-like snouts effectively to look for food. They prefer worms, small crabs, and shrimp for their daily menu. With that in mind, it is best to include these when preparing for your chum mixture to make all the more effective when luring in a hogfish. 


Hogfish may be an elusive type of fish and catching them may be a bit challenging. Nevertheless, if you have ample knowledge of what techniques, you can use and how to properly execute them, any task, however challenging it may be can surely be accomplished with a success.

Keep in mind the tips and techniques that you have learned and be sure to use them on your next fishing adventure.

Were you able to learn and follow the different techniques on how to catch hogfish? Do you think the additional tips are helpful? Do you have any other suggestions about this topic?

I would like to know your views regarding this article. Send your reactions and suggestions by leaving a comment below. 

John Morris

Hi, I’m John Morris. I’m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, blessed with an awesome wife and 2 kids. Fishing is not my passion, it is my lifestyle. I fished before I knew how to walk! I’m obsessed with all things related to fishing, even the fishy smell. I’m always willing to extend a hand to novice anglers looking for fishing tips and tricks thus I created this blog. This blog is a collection of my experiences, knowledge, and also research from other blogs.

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