Close the ‘Loop’ on picky crappie

Loop knots allow lures to work more naturally, which is a big factor when slabs aren’t in a real feeding mood.

Despite what you may have heard, crappie don’t just swim around and eat all day-long. 

They usually feed actively a couple of times a day, and that’s when they’ll hit just about anything. But other times, you have to convince them to bite. There are lots of tricks and lure modifications to do that.

If you talk to a dozen experienced crappie anglers, there’s a good bet at least 10 will tell you the importance of one thing: your jig sitting level, horizontally, in the water, especially when jigging vertically. 

A loop knot allows a crappie lure like this tiny underspin to operate with the most possible action when it’s in front of a fish.

And a jig swinging on a loop knot has more natural movement. 

Yes, the knot matters. It is often the difference between getting a “thump” or not. Tying your lure on with a crappie loop knot makes a big difference. It isn’t easy to learn to tie and takes a few seconds, but once you get the hang of it, it’s an invaluable tool to catch more crappie. 

How to tie a classic loop knot

Put enough line through the eye of the lure’s hook, then take both lines and wrap them around two forefingers two times. Then, cinch it tight, pulling on the knot and line at the same time. Cut off the tag end, and you are ready to go. Your jig will float level and move realistically through the water with even the slightest movement.

The easiest way to learn is have someone show you in person, watch a video such as the one below or search for “crappie loop knots” on the internet. Follow the instructions, practice before you get on the water and catch more crappie. 

“There are so many types of jigs and colors of jigs and even live bait rigs that fishermen are faced with all kinds of decisions on every fishing trip,” says Steve Danna, a veteran crappie pro from Farmerville. “But there’s one decision that should be easy to make. That’s tying on your bait with a loop knot. The loop knot does make a difference. If you don’t know how to tie it, just ask another fisherman. They’ll be glad to show you.”

The knot makes a difference

Danna said he’ll sometimes see several boats filled with crappie fishermen using the same lures and fishing pretty much the same depth. Everything will be the same, but one angler will be catching a lot more than the others. There could be a lot of factors involved, but under closer inspection, the fishermen who aren’t catching fish are tying directly to the lure.

“That just doesn’t work as well as a loop knot,” he said. “Oh sure, there are times when you can get a crappie to hit a rock on a rope when they are in a feeding frenzy, but under normal circumstances and especially in a tough bite, the knot makes a difference. Remember, it isn’t the knot, it is what the knot is allowing your bait to do. That’s the game changer — the action of the lure.”

Keep in mind

Knotless fast-snaps are available that allow for lures to work like they’re tied on with a loop knot and be changed quickly.

Fishermen have success using loop knots with as small a loop as a half-inch, but the norm is about an inch. Longer loop knots also work well, but if you go much more than an inch or so, the lure can tangle on brush or even get the jig’s hook caught on the extra line. Keep an eye out for that when you are fishing loop knots.

There are also no-knot fast snaps available that you can tie on your line and then hook jigs to them. Tying on the snaps isn’t easy, but it allows you to change jigs quickly and helps them swing freely, much like the slip knot. They come in several sizes for various size lures. One popular model is the “No-Knot Fas-Snap.” You may have to look in the trout fishing section of larger sporting goods stores for these as they are also used by trout anglers.

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About Kinny Haddox 518 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.

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