Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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Pro Tip of the Week: Hook selection key with shiners

Brad Laabs

By Brad Laabs

Years of guiding experience: 33

Favorite lakes: Otter Tail, Big Detroit and Sallie

We still have a week or so of the shiner bite for walleyes up here in the Detroit Lakes area.

There are a couple of different ways to hook a shiner that increases the hookup percentage. With long-shank jig hooks, I recommend going through the mouth and popping it out the crop between the two gills. Then rotate the minnow around and push the hook through the bottom of the belly and right up through the back. The mouth of the shiner is pushed up against the head of the jig. They stay alive with this method, and if a fish bites that minnow even in the middle, you still got them hooked.

As the shiner bite starts to dwindle, I go through the mouth, out the gills, and rotate the hook and push it through one side. That will allow the minnow to flutter a little bit more.

With shorter shanked hooks, I go through the mouth and through the brain. They stay on well and your hookup percentage will stay up.

Gone are the days of lip hooking minnows!

Laabs is a multi-species guide in the Detroit Lakes area. He can be reached at or 218-849-6108.

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