Finding the best hooks for crappie fishing can be confusing – there are SO many different types! Aberdeen? Carlisle? Shanks? If these terms confuse you, don’t fret – we’ll help you understand the different types of hooks available and when to use each one.
Choosing the right hook for crappie is just as important as selecting the right rod or reel. Having the best combination of all of your gear gives you the highest chance to fill your boat full of crappie.
A big part of choosing the best hook for crappie fishing is dependent on how you plan to be fishing. Will you be jigging for crappie? Using minnows? What about using floats or corks? Having an idea of what types of baits and lures you will use will help you narrow down which type of hooks you should use.
Without further ado, let’s get into our favorite hooks for crappie!
Carlisle hooks are one of the classic crappie hooks and a great choice for certain baits. The hook features a super long shank and a round bend. The length of the hook is designed to make it more difficult for the fish to swallow leading to more hooksets in the mouth of the fish.
Carlisle hooks are perfect for live minnows or nightcrawlers. The long shank and light wire mean that it’s got enough freedom to let your minnows swim freely. It also means that you’ll do less damage to the baitfish so that they survive longer. Lastly, this type of light wire pairs perfectly with a light or ultralight setup, which is exactly what we recommend for crappie fishing.
Here are our favorite Carlisle hooks.
The Mustad 3191 Classic Carlisle Kirbed Point Hook is a wonderful hook for minnows. Mustad claims that these hooks are lighter and 20% stronger than competitors. The hooks are incredibly sharp without sacrificing any strength. Mustad’s Nor-Tempering is 30% stronger than other wires which means you catch more fish with less breakage.
The other great thing about the strength of these hooks is that not only will they handle your crappie with ease, they’ll also be able to handle white bass, smallmouth, perch, and other smaller species without any issues.
This hook comes in Size 2 – Size 14 options. For crappie, you’ll want to use a size 2 or size 4.
Similar to a Carlisle hook, Aberdeen hooks are designed to have an extra-wide gap between the shank and the point making them suitable for fishing with minnows. It also comes with a super light wire to help support the ability of minnows to survive and move naturally.
Aberdeen hooks are some of the most common crappie fishing hooks used today and are a great option. Here are a few specific Aberdeen hooks to consider.
Eagle Claw makes some of the best hooks in the business and their Aberdeen rotating hook is no exception.
This hook is perfect for crappie fishing – very light wire, extremely sharp point, and an all-around great hook for minnows. The best feature about this particular hook is that they are designed to have some give and bend in them without breaking. Crappie love to stay close to brush piles, and that bend and give allows you to fish deep into those brush piles without worrying about getting snagged.
These particular hooks come with 50 hooks in a pack and are size #6.
Circle hooks are another really popular type of hook for crappie fishing, although probably less so than the Aberdeen. They are meant to be used with live bait, and also help reduce injuries to fish by preventing gut hooking.
Another benefit of circle hooks is that they are a bit more forgiving for beginner anglers. Detecting a crappie bite isn’t always easy for a beginner. These hooks help make sure the fish doesn’t swallow the hook so you can get a clean hook set in the mouth of the fish, even if you waited longer than you should have.
Our best circle hooks for crappie are below.
This wide gap circle hook from Mustad is a great all-around option. It comes in either a black nickel or red option and in all the standard sizes.
All Mustad hooks are extremely strong and reliable so you won’t need to worry about a fish bending out your hook. This particular point is also designed at a slight angle to improve hookup ratio.
Treble hooks are typically used on hardbaits like crankbaits or poppers. They have three individual hooks on them and as a result, have a very high hookup ratio. However, the gap between each of the hooks is quite small which makes it easier to lose a fish.
If you are buying quality hardbaits, you probably won’t need to replace the treble hooks out of the box, but some lower-quality baits come with cheaply made treble hooks that I would suggest swapping out for one of the options below. When you are swapping out treble hooks, it’s important that you use the correct size for the bait. Hook sizes dramatically impact the action on a hardbait and are going to change the way it moves in the water so going like for like in size is always a good idea.
I’ve found Gamakatsu hooks to be some of the sharpest, most reliable hooks available. They are a bit more expensive than some others, but when it comes to treble hooks, I’m willing to pay up for quality. Low-quality treble hooks just lose too many fish, and these Gamakatsu’s make sure that once I hook up with a fish, I won’t lose it.
These hooks are available in Sizes 1-8 and come in packs of 25 hooks. They are made using forced high carbon steel which is what gives them their well-known strength. These hooks are also able to be resharpened if they become dull which really extends their life to almost no limit.
Frequently Asked Questions about Crappie Hooks
What size hook should I use for crappie?
We recommend a size 6 hook when fishing for crappie. You can size up or down anywhere between a size 2 and a size 8 depending on the size of the crappie you are targeting.
What size hook for minnows?
A size 4 Aberdeen hook is perfect for minnows. That hook is small and light enough to allow the minnow to swim freely and will help extend the life of your bait.
How do you get a crappie off the hook?
Hold the fish with your fingers holding down the dorsal fin (careful, they are sharp) and your thumb underneath the fish’s belly. Keep a gap between your palm and the fish to avoid removing the “slime” that helps protect the fish. Remove the hook using a hook remover or pair of fishing pliers.
Choosing a crappie hook can be confusing, but it really comes down to what type of fishing you will be doing. The Aberdeen hook is one of the most common crappie hooks for a variety of fishing styles and will serve you well. The Carlisle, circle, and treble hooks we discussed above will all have a place and time where they excel, and it’s a good idea to keep a pack or two of each on hand.
We hope we’ve helped you find a hook that works for you so that you can get out there and catch more fish. Tight lines!