Surf Fishing in Southern California - SC Surf Fishing

Hooking Sandcrabs

"How do you hook a sand crab?" is a common question asked in surf fishing forums. There are many ways of hooking sand crabs, and each will be explored in the following article.

Quite a few people have been asking how to hook their sandcrabs so I took my lunch break to take some pics. The hook used in the pics is red because you can see it better. I use black hooks when actually fishing. The red paint on red hooks flake off, exposing the flash of a bronze hook, which I feel puts the corbs off. No bueno. If your target is perch or croaker, the flash does not bother them or stop their bite.

I used this method for much of last year and caught quite a few beenies this way. However, I missed a lot of hookups and started experimenting with new ways of hooking the crabs. I started leaving the hook exposed just a bit (1/8") and found some success but still missed a lot of hookups. It seems to hook better if you let the fish run till the line gets tight before you set the hook.

I started hooking this way during the BS perch spawn last March. It worked surprisingly well for the big spawning perch. Got a couple of beenies this way but not enough to stay with it.

This one's a little tricky to do but I got a couple of beenies in May using this method. The advantage on this one is that the the hook point is hidden in the roe area and the hook is flush with the back of the crab. The fish shouldn't feel the hook at all. When the beenie crushes the bait, the hook is in its mouth and the fish is on. The line comes straight out the tail and the bait looks natural in its presentation and movement.

This way seems to work well with smaller crabs. Not a lot of finesse in this method but it seems to have a good hookup percentage when the fish want the smaller baits.

This one is what I use mostly nowadays. I haven't come across a better producer so until I do, this is the one I'm using. I use a #8 or #6 hook here, depending on the size of the crab. The exposed hook will set into the fish's mouth on the first bite whether the bite is aggressive or tentative.

Anyone else have their favorite ways of hooking their baits? Post your methods here. Pics will work better than a word description.

Article written by:
Jeff Tesoro (aka Charlie)

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