Fishing is more of an art than anything else. If you’re a keen angler, we’re sure you already know this. In fact, fishing is not always about the gear that you use or the waters in which you fish.
Most of the time, it’s all about your own skills and know-how. It’s more about the techniques that you have mastered over time. The more skills and better techniques you learn, the better the angler you will be
One critical and invaluable skill that each and every angler must have is to understand the different types of tackles, baits, and techniques that can be used to target different species of fish.
So, in today’s article, we are going to guide you through the different ways to hook a minnow. While it may sound simple, you run the risk of losing your minnow if your technique isn’t quite right.
Therefore, it ruins your chances of achieving the best catch ever!
How to hook a minnow for crappie
There are a few methods you can use to hook a minnow for crappie. Here are our top three:
- Hook a minnow through its tail – Take the minnow and push the hook through the thicker center section of its tail. This allows the minnow to swim around, cause some sort of commotion, and draw more attention to it.
The only drawback here is that the crappie will hit the head first. Just wait a few seconds before jerking the rod. If the hook setting is too early, you could tear the minnow in half.
- Hook through the minnow’s top back – Using a similar method to the one above, push the hook through the middle top back beneath the dorsal fin. This will see the minnow shake on both sides and trigger bites due to the increased commotion.
- Hook through both of the minnow’s lips – Start with the hook directly below its chin and pierce through both of its lips and through the head. This will seal the lips shut. The fish will attack the head first which is right where the hook is.
Exactly what you want! Unfortunately, the minnow will die faster with this method due to its inability to intake water and breathe.
How to hook a minnow on a jig
When hooking a minnow onto a jig, you should use a technique that some anglers know as “river-hooking” or “Canadian-style hooking.” This works well in open waters or hard-water fishing scenarios with live, frozen shiners.
Follow this method:
- Run the hook of your jig into the minnow’s mouth.
- Slide the hook out one side of its gill plate. Then, turn your jig back to an upright position with enough of an angle to turn the point of the hook upward into the bottom of the minnow.
- Next, force the shaft as well as the hook up through the center of the minnow’s backbone. This will expose the point of the hook so it will embed into the mouth of the fish.
How to put a frozen minnow on a hook?
It can be a little tricky to hook a frozen minnow due to its solid-state. However, there are a few tips and tricks to take advantage of. Here are a few:
- Put your hook through the eyes of the minnow and then through its back. Do not pull the eye of the hook through the minnow’s eye completely. This is a great method to fish rotten minnows too.
- Use salt. Covering minnows in salt will keep them a lot firmer as they defrost. For these minnows, you should hook through their bodies where a silver line is located. The bones in this part of the minnow seem to help the hook stay on better.
- If you are dead sticking a minnow that doesn’t have much movement, you should take your hook point and put it through its gills or eyes. Then, turn the hook 180 degrees and then put it back through its body so the hook sits horizontally. Ideally, the hook will then be pointing ¾ of the way down the minnow.
- If you’re lindy rigging with some movement, you can hook right through the tail’s spine. The flesh here is much tougher and it allows you to slide the minnow on with some reverse direction. They tend to stay on very well with this method.
How to put a fake minnow on a hook?
When using artificial bait, there are some methods to use for the best fishing results. Here are a few:
- Hold the fake minnow upside down and carefully insert the threader into the head. Push the threader through the body. But do not go all the way into the tail as it will restrict its movement. Continue to feed the threader until the hook of it is accessible.
- Attach the loop of a pre-tied leader to the threader hook.
- Pull the threader through the artificial minnow until the hook’s shank is inside the body of it and the leader has been pulled through its head.
- Now, attach the leader to a swivel so you can quickly change lures. For deep water fishing, insert a small tube weight inside the bait. You can also attach a split shot weight of 12” to 16” from the fake minnow onto the fishing line.
How to hook a minnow onto a jig for ice fishing?
Although artificial lures are the go-to choice of many anglers, nothing beats the real deal. When ice fishing, hook sizing is critical so ensure you have the correct sized hooks for this particular form of angling.
Here are some tactics for hooking your minnow to your jig for ice fishing:
- Dorsal hook – This is the easiest way to catch fish below the ice with live minnows. Hook the minnow through its back so it can still naturally swim. Use single or treble hooks that are sized to match your minnows. This will ensure their movement is not restricted.
Hook the minnow just behind its dorsal fin and through the upper portion of its skin. Do not hook too deep in its back or you will hook the spine. Position the hook so its point is closest to the head. With the hook pointing forward, this will increase the chance of positive hook-ups.
- Tail hook – Insert the hook just in front of the minnow’s tail but be sure to avoid the spine. Try using a heavier weight that can cement the minnow close to the bottom. As the minnow pulls upward against the hook, it will become an easy target.
- Lip hook – Insert the hook through the minnow’s bottom and top lip with the hook point on top. You can extend their lives by only hooking the upper lip.
What size hook is best for crappie fishing with minnows?
The best fishing hooks for crappie fishing with minnows should be long enough, sharp, and lightweight. The most desirable sizes tend to range between 2, 4, and 6 but you can get all of these characteristics in just one hook.
If none of your hooks get a catch, consider opening the hook or sizing it slightly. Red-colored hooks are thought to be the most effective when enticing fish rather than silver or gold types. Use these hooks and your catch rate should improve.