If you want to be effective every time you fish for crappy, you are going to need some specialized equipment. From light jigging poles to long telescope poles, getting the right gear is essential to catching more crappie. You can check out some of our other articles on general crappie fishing equipment on this site. This article will focus on crappie hooks. It will answer a few of the most common questions, and hopefully you will be a real bona fide master of the hook by the time you are done.
THE ABERDEEN HOOK
Aberdeen hooks are among the most popular hook patterns for many anglers. They are great for almost every type of shore fishing and boat fishing, including crappie fishing.
In crappie fishing, Aberdeen hooks work really well for live minnows.
They are thin, making them perfect for hooking live minnows without killing them. This thinness also allows you to swim your minnows for a longer period of time. Your bait needs to be alive and lively to attract the crappies, because they mostly only attack live bait. Make sure to keep the minnows alive in an aerated minnow bucket.
The Aberdeen hook also has a long shank. This is very important when retrieving the hook from the crappie. It is easy to grip the shank and work the hook out of the fish. Sometimes, crappie end up swallowing the entire hook. Because the Aberdeen hook is long shanked, you can easily reach it and retrieve it with minimum damage.
WHAT SIZE SHOULD YOU USE?
Hook choice is usually based on two factors: the size or type of bait you are going to use and the weight of the fish you intend to catch. A general rule of thumb is to avoid covering the hook point with your bait, meaning you should not use a really big bait on a tiny hook.
That being said, when it comes to crappie fishing, hook sizes are usually a matter of preference. For crappie fishing, the most popular sizes are #2, #4 and #6. The largest size of these hooks is the #1 hook. Personally, I prefer the #2 or #4. I know a lot of crappie anglers who swear by the #6 Aberdeen hook. Like I said, it’s all a matter of personal preference.
If you are a complete novice, I would suggest getting all of them and testing them out. They are cheap enough that you can get several pieces at the same time. Here is a good set of Aberdeen Hooks that I recommend
When using the hooks, make sure you know how to hook the minnows if you want to be most effective. You do not want to kill them, and you want them to be able to move about.
There are three ways you can do this. First, you can hook them through the lips. Doing this allows them to wiggle about and stay lively, but only for a short while. Because they cannot draw water through their mouths into the gills, they will eventually die. I use a modified version of this method. I hook them through the upper lip only. This seems to work best for me!
The next way is to hook them through their backs at the dorsal fin. The downside of this method is that it is pretty easy to hit the backbones of the minnows, paralyzing them.
The final method is to hook them by their tails. The drawback to this method is that they can easily get ripped right off, especially if the water is a bit fast. Whatever method you decide to work with, the most important thing to remember is that the minnows need to stay lively underwater.
ROTATING OR NOT?
Aberdeen hooks come in two variations. Let’s have a look at them.
- Straight shank hooks: The first type is the straight shank. This is the “normal” type of hook, and the one that most anglers use. It is also the kind I personally use.
- Slightly bent shank hooks: The next type of hooks are slightly bent shank hooks, also known as rotating hooks. The theory behind how they work is that upon any contact, they rotate and present the hook directly to the fish. That being said, I have not seen any evidence of it working any better than a normal Aberdeen hook. Click here to purchase these rotating aberdeen hooks
I use both of these types interchangeably. Whatever I find on sale goes into my tackle box. While I don’t think that the rotating hooks work any better than the straight ones, I do not believe that they hurt either. So I buy whichever is the better deal!
ABERDEEN HOOK COLORS
“Normal” Aberdeen hooks come in a gold hue. Although I am not convinced that the hook color makes any difference in the fishing experience, I know of many anglers who strongly believe that it does. You will see them instantly switching to red hooks on slow days. That being said, I am just as superstitious as the next angler, and even with no actual evidence, I always have some red hooks handy!
Even when I do switch to red hooks on slow days, I have not noticed any actual increase in my catch, or any crazy scenario where crappie suddenly start swarming towards my line. In the end, though, it doesn’t hurt to get the red hooks too, because they cost roughly the same as the “normal” ones.
I have also seen some Aberdeen hooks in a platinum and in a black color. I have never used these myself. However, if you find that they are not significantly more expensive than the regular kind, I do not see why you should not try them out too.
Aberdeen hooks are great for those moments when you get snagged. Their thin wire makes it possible to straighten the hook really quickly, freeing it from any bush without disturbing anything.
Some of the best places to catch crappie are under brushes and wherever you see lots of cover under the water. You will get snagged every once in a while. If you are using an 8-pound test line, or a 6-pound test line sometimes, it is really easy to free yourself when it happens.
That being said, If you are fishing where the crappie are, meaning in heavy cover, you will get sagged and you will lose tackle. There is not way around that. Make sure you bring a lot of hooks with you. Bring a heavy dose of patience as well.
Before concluding this post, check out this older video I found on you tube. It is short, but has some pretty good info on hook sizes and small modifications that can be made to improve your fishing experience.
Getting the right tools for the job always goes a long way in guaranteeing your success. The right crappie hooks are an essential part of your entire fishing experience. You need to make sure you have a set of hooks that you can easily work with and ones that will actually end up easing your overall experience.
I have found that there are no better hooks for crappie fishing than Aberdeen hooks. As long as you have the right size with you, and you make sure they are thin enough so that you can easily free them when you get snagged, you will have a great time fishing for crappie using them.
Finally, here are a few more pro tips when buying your Aberdeen hooks:
- It is cheaper to buy hooks by the 100. However, there is a greater risk of corrosion, and you might end up losing the entire batch to rust. I suggest you get them in smaller packets of ten or a dozen. They are still extremely cheap in smaller packages.
- Sometimes mass-produced hooks can have open eyes, missing barbs, among other defects. Always check your hook before using it.
- Another tip on hook sizes: smaller hooks are better for smaller fish, but lousy for bigger slabs. Larger hook sizes are great for bigger fish, but you will not catch that many fish overall. This is a trade off that you have to make peace with. If you want more fish, use smaller hooks. If you want larger but fewer fish, use larger hooks.
- It is a bad idea to skimp on hooks. It is better to have an excess of them than to have too few. Buy enough so that you will be able to replace them regularly, because if you use the same set for too long, you will notice that they start to blunt. Even a day of use will have them showing signs of dulling due to repeated snags and rocks and brushes, among other things.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about hooks when it comes to crappie fishing. With this information, you can finally pick out your set of hooks like a pro. Have a look at some other articles on this site, and you will be an expert on crappie fishing in no time, with the ability to fish for crappie all year round!
Looking for more advanced crappie fishing tips?
Good fishin’ to you