Fish are attracted to hooks-and-lines by natural or artificial bair placed on a hook, which captures the fish when it bites the bait. One or multiple lines may be used to catch pelagic, demersal, or benthic species. Different line and hook types are used depending on the target species.

Set longlines are used near the ocean bottom and consist of regularly spaced shorter lines, or snoods, attached to a long main line. Drifting longlines have a main line kept near the surface by floats, with baited hooks attached to long snoods. Trolling lines are towed behind a vessel at the surface or depth, and use baited hooks or lures. Vertical lines are attached to a sinker and have one or multiple hooks. Poles and lines, consisting of a baited hook or lure attached to a pole, are the gear type most frequently used by recreational fishermen. Handlines, such as those used for squid jigging, are vertically weighted lines attached to bait or lures; fish are hauled up into the boat when caught.

For more detailed information, please visit the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department hooks and lines web page.