There are so many different types of fishing hooks out there it can be difficult to narrow down just one for crappie fishing. If you’re using minnows there are some key traits you want to have in your hooks. In a nutshell, the best hooks for crappie are sharp, light-wire, and have a long shank. The best sizes are usually #2, #4, or #6.
Keep it Sharp
Any fishing hook you use should be sharp. It needs to pierce the minnow with ease and pierce a crappie’s mouth with ease. You can drag the hook on your fingernail to check if it’s sharp. If it leaves a scratch in your nail, it’s sharp. If it doesn’t, sharpen it or toss it and find a sharper hook.
The Perfect Size
#2, #4, or #6 (biggest to smallest) are the most common hook sizes for crappie fishing. You can go outside of this range if using really small or really large minnows but chances are you’ll catch more fish if you stick in the middle.
Using light-wire (bendable) hooks is important for three reasons:
- You will kill less minnows if you use a thinner hook
- Thin hooks are harder for crappie to see
- Thin hooks will bend and free up more easily if you get snagged
Use a Long Shank
Having a long shanked hook means you’ll be able to more easily get the hook out of the fish’s mouth, especially if it’s swallowed.
Luckily, the Aberdeen style hook has all these traits combined into one great hook. Popular brands that make Aberdeen hooks include Mustad, Eagle Claw and Tru-Turn. This hook is one of the best hooks for crappie fishing and is used by many seasoned pros:
“Instead of the big gold minnow hooks most crappie anglers use, I prefer No. 6 light-wire Aberdeen cricket hooks because they allow me to fish brush with fewer hang-ups. Snagged cricket hooks also will straighten on the 8-pound line I use without disturbing my brush piles, and they allow me to use smaller minnows, which often are more effective than large minnows.” —Jerry Blake, Action Fishing Trips
“I prefer No. 6 Aberdeen cricket hooks and No. 1, 1/ 0 and 2/ 0 gold Aberdeen minnow hooks. I keep several dozen of each size, mostly thin wire models that do the least damage to fragile minnows and will bend enough to free from snags when fishing brush.” – Sutton, Keith. The Crappie Fishing Handbook: Tackles, Lures, Bait, Cooking, Tips, Tactics, and Techniques
Give it a Slight Bend
Bend open the tip of the hook about 10° to increase your success rate when setting the hook. Often times this can make all the difference when you know the crappie are biting but you can’t land them.
The Right Hook Color
If the classic silver or gold hook color is not producing the results you’d like, try switching to red. Many crappie anglers believe red hooks make the best hooks for crappie. Most popular brands will sell Aberdeen hooks in red. Mustad hooks are a solid choice:
When fishing with minnows, the best hooks for crappie are sharp, light-wire, and have a long shank. The best sizes are #2, #4, or #6. All of these characteristics can be had with the Aberdeen style hook. If you get a lot of bites but can’t hook them, try sizing up the hook or opening the hook up slightly. Lastly, give red colored hooks a try. They can be more enticing to a crappie than the standard gold and silver. Get out on the water and give these tips a try and you’ll be reeling in your limit!