A simple minnow-hooking technique for open water or hard-water fishing [Video]
When I hook my minnows onto a jig, I employ a technique that some anglers in border country call “river-hooking” or Canadian-style hooking. It works well in open-water or hard-water fishing situations and with live, frozen, or even salted shiners.
Here’s how it works:
1. Run the hook of the jig into the mouth of the minnow.
2. Slide the hook out one side of the gill plate of the minnow. Then turn the jig back upright at enough of an angle to turn the point of the hook up into the bottom of the minnow.
3. Force the shaft and hook up through the center of the backbone of the minnow, exposing the point of the hook so it will embed into the mouth of the fish during your hookset.
This technique really secures your minnow to your jig in a position that delivers natural action and bites. Frozen and salted shiners are prone to coming apart, but hooking them this way will help them hold up longer. Fish will still steal your bait occasionally, but not without you knowing it.
Some anglers worry that hooking a live minnow this way disrupts its ability to provide live action. Certainly, if it were a stationary setup, I’d hook my minnow so it can move and provide more life.
But when I’m jigging up and down, that minnow’s movement is at my discretion anyway. It’s not swimming freely, so this technique secures it to my jig and provides action that delivers strikes.
And remember, whatever strikes your jig-n-minnow – walleye, perch, pike or crappie – plan on replacing your bait quickly. Live bait is an affordable part of the whole fishing experience, so make it count!
For a more in-depth explanation, check out the video accompanying this blog, or download the step by step instructions.