How to hook a crappie minnow

The minnow is one of the most popular baits used today and all types of anglers fish with them. This little baitfish attracts many fish species and the crappie is no exception. Crappies love minnows and will usually strike at them even when they’re being picky. A live minnow wiggling around in the water makes a great meal for crappies but they’re not too fond of dead minnows, which is why the way you hook them is so important.
One of the great things about crappie minnows is that they are very resilient and can survive in all types of situations. They can grow and multiply in conditions that would cause other types of baitfish to die out completely. They don’t need a lot of food to survive and they can live in tight places when necessary. This combined with the fact that they are one of the crappies favorite baitfish makes them a very important part of the food chain and one of the most sought out of all live bait.
Hooking a Crappie Minnow
When hooked correctly, crappie minnows can move around naturally and this will attract more bites. There are three main ways to hook a crappie minnow. When the bait is hooked correctly, it will stay on the hook better and you won’t lose as many minnows when casting your line. It will also keep the crappie from stealing the bait away as often so you can actually hook more fish and increase the number of catches you reel in.
Sometimes it can be difficult getting them hooked because they wiggle around so much but here is a little secret that can help you out in that department. Hold the crappie minnow out of the water about 5 seconds before you try to hook it and it won’t move around as much. However, timing is very important. If you hold them out too long, they won’t survive. If you time it right, they will take off as soon as they hit the water.
3 ways to hook a crappie minnow:
1. Place the hook through the tail by placing the head of the minnow in the palm of your hand and running the hook through the fleshy part at the base of the tail.
2. Put the hook in the back of the minnow by placing it right in front of the dorsal fin but keep it low enough to avoid damaging the spine.
3. Place the hook in the lip by holding the minnow with your index finger and thumb while keeping the tail facing inward towards the palm of your hand. Insert the hook behind the lower lip and push it upward behind the upper lip.
The hook should be small enough to be completely hidden by the crappie minnow so choose one about the a third of the size of the minnow you’re using. Crappies can see very well so if the hook is sticking out, they will see it and will not take the bait.
Another thing that you need to be aware of is your scent. If the bait smells like you, they won’t take it. You can dip your hands in the live well or in the water where you’re fishing right before hooking the minnow to mask your scent or you can wear gloves.
Tips for Fishing with Crappie Minnows
The key to fishing with crappie minnows is hooking them in such a way that they can still move around naturally. This is what attracts the crappie to the bait. When using this baitfish, you’ll want to keep them as healthy as you can. Therefore, you need a live-well or a good cooler to keep them in until you are ready to use them.
If buying your crappie minnows, it would be a good idea to wait and pick them up on your way to go fishing and make sure the ones you buy are swimming around actively. You can also catch your own minnows when you get to the fishing area and this will ensure they’re fresh. Once you hook the minnow, cast it out as few times as possible. Each time you reel in and cast the bait back out, it reduces the life span of the crappie minnow. It will move slower and be less efficient the third time you cast it than it was the first time.
The technique you use will determine the best method to use when hooking the crappie minnow. The bait will be more secure when hooked in the lip so use this method when casting or trolling and you won’t lose as much bait. Hook it in the back when bobber fishing and it will move around like it’s wounded and this will draw in the crappies. If you plan to free-line for crappies, hook the bait through the tail and they’ll move around more naturally but they won’t be as secure.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow crappie fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on crappie fishing since 2004.

4 Responses to “How to hook a crappie minnow”

  1. [...] How to hook a crappie minnow The minnow is one of the most popular baits used today and all types of anglers fish with them. This little baitfish attracts many fish species and the crappie is no exception. Crappies love minnows and will usually strike at them even when they’re being picky. A live minnow wiggling around in the water makes [...] [...]

  2. [...] How to hook a crappie minnow The minnow is one of the most popular baits used today and all types of anglers fish with them. This little baitfish attracts many fish species and the crappie is no exception. Crappies love minnows and will usually strike at them even when they’re being picky. A live minnow wiggling around in the water makes [...] Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  3. [...] How to hook a crappie minnow The minnow is one of the most popular baits used today and all types of anglers fish with them. This little baitfish attracts many fish species and the crappie is no exception. Crappies love minnows and will usually strike at them even when they’re being picky. A live minnow wiggling around in the water makes [...] Like this:Like Loading… [...]

  4. [...] How to hook a crappie minnow The minnow is one of the most popular baits used today and all types of anglers fish with them. This little baitfish attracts many fish species and the crappie is no exception. Crappies love minnows and will usually strike at them even when they’re being picky. A live minnow wiggling around in the water makes [...] [...]

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