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Hook Sizes for Crappie

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"This is usually one of the first questions anglers who is just starting out fishing for crappie is... 'What size hook should I use?'   Well, it depends upon what you are using for bait."

     If you are fishing with minnows, you’ll want to use a #2 light wire Aberdeen hook, so as not to kill the minnow and allow it some freedom of movement. This is especially important when you are slow trolling with minnows.  The only time I down-size to a #4 or a #6 is when I'm dunking minnows into brush piles to lessen the chances of getting hung up. 


   If you are fishing a jig with a minnow, I still recommend a jig with a #2 hook.  For jigs with a waxworm or spikes, use one with a #4 or #6 hook.  For Roadrunners, I prefer a 1/8 oz. if baited with a minnow, and 1/16 with tubes, grubs, etc...


   When you are choosing which hook to use, remember that the hook size is not nearly as important as the hook gap. If you use a live bait hook such as a Cabelas #117447, you can use a smaller hook, maybe down to a size 6, because of the wider gap. The smaller hook is easier on your bait.  Also, crappie have a soft mouth that tears easy. Smaller hooks lessen the chance of loosing a fish by pulling his lips off. If you plan on releasing your fish, then the smaller hook does less damage and gives the fish a better chance to survive.


   For French type spinners such as a Mepps or a Roostertail, the OO sizes work well, but you can go up to a size 0 or 1 if the crappie in your area tend to run to the ‘ barn-door’ sizes. A 1/8 oz. Roostertail or Panther Martin is plenty small enough, but they hit them all the way up to 1/4 oz. size as well.


    A size 0 Daredevil is about right for crappie. Crankbaits should be the ultra-light size like the ones made by Heddon and Rapala. A 1/8 size Lazy Ike is deadly on crappie.


    For Fly Fishing, size 8-12 Crappie Candy and Clouser Minnow flies are about as good as it gets. Tie them on a straight-eye streamer hook.





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