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If you plan of going fishing for crappie, you are in for a real treat. These fish may not be huge, but they sure are tasty. One defining feature of the crappie fish is its relatively large mouth compared to the rest of its body, and this means that you need the right hook.
So, what size hook for crappie is best? Well, generally speaking, for crappie fishing, you want to use #2 and #4 hooks, or maybe #1 hooks depending on the size of the bait. Let’s talk about the best hooks and hook sizes for crappie fishing.
What Is The Best Size Hook For Crappie?
Seeing as crappie have big mouths, having the right hook for the job is very important. Keep in mind that with fish hooks, the higher the number the smaller the hook, so a #1 hook is much larger than a #4, and so on and so forth.
Now, for crappie, you do want a relatively large hook, usually a #4 size or even a #2 size hook. That said, if you are using large bait, such as a big minnow, to make life easier you may want to even go for a #1 size hook.
You may use a #6 or even a #7 hook for fish like bluegill, but because these hooks are relatively small, they are not ideal for crappie fishing, as they are likely to tear out.
What is important here is that whatever hook you use for crappies, it should feature a wide gap combined with a long and thin shank, thus making them easy to bait and easy to remove, not to mention that the larger hooks are not likely to tear out once a fish is hooked.
What Hooks To Use For Crappie?
Ok, so now that we have covered the best hook sizes for crappie, as well as some important facts about the shape of the hook.
Let’s take a closer look at some specific hook types, four of them to be exact, that you might want to try using for crappie fishing.
Yes, the type of hook you use is just as important as the size.
The number one type of hook that you should try using for crappie fishing is the Aberdeen hook. This is the most popular and common type of fish hook used for crappie, and in fact it works really well for all sorts of panfish species.
These are fairly unique hooks that feature very long and thin shanks combined with a wide sweeping bend that ends up creating a very large gap. These hooks tend to be made out of light-wire.
The benefits of the Aberdeen hook are manyfold, with one of the biggest ones being that the long shank allows for easy removal from a fish.
Another benefit is that they have a relatively small gauge and are therefore easy to set up with live bait.
Moreover, these hooks are quite flexible, which prevents snags that can break your line, and they do also have a relatively wide gap for easy hook setting.
The next type of hook that you may want to try for crappie fishing is the sickle hook.
This type of hook is similar to the Aberdeen hook, but it features an unusual bend that makes it much stronger than the Aberdeen, but it’s still just as thin.
If you don’t like how flexible and pliable Aberdeen hooks are, then the sickle hook might be better for you.
A sickle hook is not pliable, yet is still great for baiting with live minnows, plus it also has a long and thin shank combined with a large gap for easy hook setting.
If you want to avoid gut-hooking a crappie, then a circle hook might be best for you.
Gut hooking occurs when a fish swallows a hook instead of having it hooked in its mouth, which results in a lot of pain and more often than not, a dead crappie.
If you want to easily hook the lip of a crappie without much effort or trouble, a circle hook is ideal.
The reason for this is because of their really circular shape that also features an up-turned eye, resulting in a hook that does not behave like a standard hook.
If you detect a bit with a circle hook, just start reeling. The shape of the hook will usually always allow it to move right into a fish’s lip for easy setting.
In other words, you don’t actually need a solid hook set before you start reeling.
The circle hook will slide and turn right into the mouth of the crappie. The downside to the circle hook is that it is very tough, robust, and inflexible.
If you snag it on something, you will probably end up breaking your line.
The other type of hook that you should try using for crappie fishing is the tru-turn hook.
This type of hook features a shank with a small offset, which causes the point to rotate right into those fish lips, thus allowing for really easy hook setting.
If you are having trouble turning bites and nibbles into catches, this type of hook might be best for you.
What Is The Best Rig To Use For Crappie?
Now that you know what the best sizes and types of hooks for crappie fishing are, let’s take a look at the best overall rig setups for the job.
One of the best rigs to use for crappie fishing is the drop shot rig.
This setup involves the vertical presentation of bait, with a sinker at the bottom to pull the line down, with one or more hooks tied to line anywhere from a few inches to a few feet above the sinker.
Although, this setup can be much more intense and refined. To help prevent line twist, try to keep it relatively simple, and moreover, a swivel won’t hurt either. Also, to avoid snags, dipsy or bank style sinkers are best.
Slip Float Rig
One of the most popular crappie fishing rigs is the slip float, and one big reason for it is that it can be used to catch many different types of fish, particularly in moving waters.
Just get a good float with a jig hook and a live minnow as bait. What’s good here is that the float and hook are close together, which makes distance casting easier and more accurate.
What’s also nice is that you can adjust the distance between the hook and float as needed, thus allowing you to fish in waters of nearly any depth.
After you cast, due to the slip float, the hook and bait will move away from the float, thus allowing you to fish in deeper waters.
A Brush Jig Rig
Crappies tend to spend a lot of time hiding under various obstacles like rocks, plants, and tree stumps, which can be problematic in terms of getting your hook caught.
A good way to go for this is with a weedless jig. What is good about weedless jigs is that they are really easy to get bait onto, they don’t snag easily, and they provide reliable hooksets.
This is best used with a live minnow as bait.
A Floating Bottom Walker Rig
If you are trolling or just drifting around looking for crappie deep down on rocky bottoms, the floating bottom walker rig works really well.
This is a really cool option because it features a small sinker to keep everything at the bottom of the water, while there is a secondary line, the one that holds the hook, that has a small float on it.
This allows the whole rig to sink to the bottom while allowing the hook and bait to be suspended several feet above the riverbed or lakebed, perfect for deep-water crappie fishing.
A Basic Bobber Rig
If you are fishing in relatively shallow and clear water on a nice day, one of the best options to go with is also one of the simplest, a basic bobber setup.
Just get a bobber, tie on your hook, and bait it with a minnow. You can adjust the distance between the bobber and your bait to accommodate for water depth.
There are tons of bobbers and floats to choose from, yet another bonus.
As you can see, fishing for crappie doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right kind and size of hook, combined with the right rig or setup for the type of fishing at hand, catching crappie is made very easy. Remember, crappie love live minnows!