Selecting Hooks

Selecting the proper hook is almost as important as the blade itself. Before you actually decide what type of hook to use, consider the bait you will be using with each spinner. There are several types of hooks which work well and have high hooking percentages on harnesses.

Most commercial harnesses use the live bait hook. It is the most popular hook used on harness construction in the United States. It is somewhat less popular with Canadian tackle manufactures. In Canada, the long-shank Aberdeen (style 214), bait holder (style 181) and sproat (style 80 and style 84) are popular.

When you make your own you can choose between live bait, bait holder, Aberdeen, and even treble hooks. Use the style in which you have the most confidence in. The live bait hook is great for use with minnows and night crawlers. The Aberdeen hook is popular on some commercial harnesses and the bait holder is popular amongst northern walleye anglers. Use small trebles (size 12 or 10) as the rear hook on minnow harnesses. Regardless of the style you choose, the hook should be no larger than needed for the bait.

Walleye Harness Hook Selection Guide

Blade Size

Aberdeen111

Bait holder121

Livebait131

Colorado - 00,0,1

8,6, or 4

8 or 6

6

Colorado - 2,3,3/

6 or 4

6 or 4

4

Colorado - 4,5,6

4 to 2/0

4 or 2

2

Indiana - 00,0,1

8,6, or 4

8 or 6

6

Indiana - 2,3,31

6 or 4

6 or 4

4

Indiana - 4,5,6

4 to 3/0

4 or 2

2

Willow - 00,0,1

8,6, or 4

8 or 6

6

Willow - 2,3,3/

6 or 4

6 or 4

4

Willow - 4,5,6

4 to 3/0

2

2

(1) Aberdeen hooks are often used with very small bladed harnesses or on harnesses designed for use with minnows. The long shank permits the hook to go into the minnow's mouth and pass out through the gills and then back into the rear of the minnow.

The Aberdeen hook with it's straight eye design will not pull straight if the hook is snelled to the harness.

(2) Bait holder hooks are generally used when only a single hook is being used. It is more popular on casting harnesses when used with worms as bait.

Hooks like the sproat (style 80) with similar down turned eye can be used if a bait holder hook is not wanted. Eagle Claw style 80 is the same as the bait holder except the hook does not have the bait holder barbs on the shank of the hook.

  • 3) Live bait hooks are used for both worms, minnows, and leech harnesses. They can easily be snelled in pairs, two live bait hooks or even with a treble behind the first live bait hook as shown below. There are several styles of live bait hooks in use. The most popular is Eagle Claw 183 hook but VMC Vanadium 7356 and Eagle Claw L757 hooks are becoming more popular.
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Responses

  • barbara
    Is baitholder hook good for minnows?
    8 years ago

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