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Rig Minnows for Crappies with These 3 Proven Methods

The list of best crappie baits is long, but any seasoned angler knows that a minnow is at the top of that list. Join Holly Linton of The Green Machine as she shares her top 3 favorite ways to rig minnows for crappies. Whether you’re an experienced angler or new to fishing, understanding how to properly rig minnows will increase your catch rates.

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Why Use Minnows?

Minnows are a top choice for crappie fishing due to their natural appearance, movement, and scent. Rigging a minnow for crappies attracts fish with their flicking motion and scent, making them an irresistible target. Linton explores the benefits of using minnows, emphasizing their effectiveness when the bite gets tough.

Hooking Techniques Explained

Through the Lips:

Hooking minnows through the lips is a common method, both on a bare hook and when rigged on a jig. Linton shows how to run a hook through the minnow’s bottom lip through the top. This approach allows minnows to maintain a natural, elongated position when fished with forward movement, such as on a spinner rig, split shot rig, on a jig, or slip sinker.

Through the Back:

Linton recommends rigging minnows for crappies through the back when vertical fishing such as with slip bobbers. Doing so allows the minnows to hang in a natural horizontal position, where they can actively swim around and draw fish in. When the minnow gets tired, it keeps a horizontal position for a natural-looking profile. In contrast, a lip-hooked minnow can hang vertically when at rest, which is an unatural orientation.

Using a Jig Head:

Combining the visual appeal of a colorful jig head with the look and smell of the real thing makes for arguably the most common and effective crappies presentation of all time. A jig and minnow presentation for crappies works equally well with live or dead bait. Linton demonstrates how to thread the minnow on the jig shank for a more secure hold and centrally located hook.


If crappies are proving difficult to catch, rigging a minnow can be a game-changer. Linton’s advice offers anglers versatile rigging options to adapt to varying conditions and fish preferences. By employing these techniques, you can make the most of your minnows, be they dead or alive.