How to Hook a Minnow on a Jig

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A lead-head jig tipped with a live minnow has been the go-to lure for generations of walleye, perch and crappie anglers. The lead jig quickly carries your bait to the bottom and the minnow wiggles enticingly on the hook, attracting hungry predators. Hooking a minnow is quick and easy. When done properly, the minnow should stay on the hook for a long time and short-striking fish will still get hooked.

Step 1

Grab the minnow near its gills in your nondominant hand.

Step 2

Pick up the jig with your dominant hand.

Step 3

Position the jig over the top of the minnow with the hook bend over the minnow's head and the eye of the hook pointing down toward the minnow's back.

Step 4

Insert the hook point into the minnow's mouth.

Step 5

Push the hook down the minnow's mouth until the point is at the back of the minnow's head.

Step 6

Rotate the hook upward so the hook projects out the top of the minnow's head.


  • Rigged this way, the minnow will stay in a natural, upright position. Hooking the minnow in the rear of the head, rather than in the lips, helps it stay on the hook longer.


About the Author

Joe Shead is a freelance writer specializing in outdoor writing. He has written for numerous national and regional outdoor magazines on various topics from hunting to fishing to his pet subject, shed antler hunting.

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