These are some of the best crappie fishing lures, baits, and jigs from my past experiences. Obvious, right? You have to remember that during the dead of summer, crappie will hold very tight to shady cover like docks and timber to get relief from the sun. I feel that minnows can move around better, and entice more bites when hooked this way. At different times of the year and in certain locations, crappie will take insects of all sorts. Use colors that match what the crappie are feeding on, Use Colors that make the Bait stand out while still looking natural. Another time I find myself reaching for minnows is when the bite is tough due to high pressure. I solve the first problem by fishing early and late in the day to avoid traffic. The size of the exposed hook doesn’t seem to generally dissuade crappie from biting. These are my favorite methods, and some of the most productive ways, to fish a minnow for crappie. When the bite is slow, minnows are key. So, beware of unproven color combinations. This presentation may look strange, and would seem to be unnatural. Two such times are winter, and the dead of summer. But that doesn’t mean your only option is to use minnows all by their lonesome. Crappie are very aggressive during this time, and will hit almost anything. To vertical jig for summertime crappie, Phillips fishes a chartreuse-colored jig or a jig with a chartreuse tail. Summer – Crappie are found in deep water around the dead trees of Lake Marion and deep submerged brush piles of Moultrie. To do so, simply follow the 3 rules below. It’s important to keep minnows cool throughout the day. Lots of standing timber was left in Truman when the Army Corps of Engineers filled the lake. So, those are the colors you should most often try to replicate. You definitely don’t want your jig hanging at an unnatural angle in the water as shown below. I like to have mostly 1/16 and 1/8 ounce jig heads in an assortment of colors. I like to use a device called The Bait Pump (pictured below) to squeeze crappie nibbles into my tubes. Minnows will swim around and wrap you up. Register and I will offer you a free Crappie.com decal (plus a lot less ads too). I’m a spider rigger at heart, so that’s when I’m most often using minnow tipped jigs. Crappie fishing can be excellent on cloudy days because the reduced sunlight overhead really cools off the water which will naturally make fish like crappie more comfortable. Those guys spent a lot of time getting the specifications of that rig just perfect, so that’s what I’d try to replicate. If the minnows appear to be struggling you can just spill some of them into the second container. Don’t just downsize the jig’s profile. If the bottom jig is heavier, it will sink faster and keep the jigs away from each other during the fall. Fishing with minnows for crappie is one of the most common and successful tactics in the summer. Hook the minnow through its bottom lip and out the top lip. With 6 poles, it’s a pain to keep a crappie nibble on all those hooks at all times. With the rods in rod holders, you need the extra time to be able to get your hand on the rod and set the hook before they let go. Often times the minnow tipped jig has been my most productive bait when running 6 poles. Where I fish, I don’t typically have a choice – golden shiners are my only option. When the summertime sun raises water temperatures above the 80-degree mark, crappie seek deeper water and heavier cover. Some fish can also be caught in the clear water early and late in the day, but mid-day action is slow as the crappie suspend over deep water. Every pond has life visible above the water that can tell you where … But, when stationary fishing, I prefer to hook them in the very top of the back, behind the dorsal fin. Speaking of bobbers, my preference is a slip cork. Gold, red, bronze, they all work. A single hair jig can last you several fishing trips, or until you hang it on a stump. Crappie nibbles come in glow chartreuse, glow … . So, all those wild colors are not necessarily as crazy-looking under water. Solid body crappie jigs also skip under docks better, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s best to attach a crappie jig to your mainline using a loop knot. If you like this article, check out my article about the Best Baits For Bluegill. In my opinion, sickle-style hooks are the best option. Besides affecting the “feel” for what’s going on at the end of your line, different weights also change the fall rate of the lure. I like to stuff this cavity with Berkley Powerbait Crappie Nibbles. Jigging is especially effective in the spring when crappies tend to congregate in large schools —… So, that’s what you want to mimic when trying to catch crappie. The Bobby Garland ‘Itty Bit’ is an example of a tiny jig that will sometimes get bites when normal sized jigs will not. Place them in the shade when possible, and keep a lid on the bucket. I’ll sometimes use these when the water is extremely muddy, or when I’m quickly searching new water for spawning crappie. You just have to give it a try, to see if it’s what they want. My suggestion about using a 2-hook minnow rig is to just buy one of the pre-packaged Capps and Coleman Double Minnow Rigs, and reproduce it for yourself. Wait, what?! When you do that, the scent stays with the jig for a long time, and through many caught fish. When you are ready to fish again, take them out and they come back to life. Although this isn’t completely necessary, it does provide better action. I believe the 2 primary factors of which color you should choose are 1. use a color that matches what crappie are actively feeding on and 2. use a color combination that makes the jig stand out in the color water you are fishing, while still looking natural. I have not personally tried it, but it seems to have a great reputation. Hair jigs are more durable and last longer than plastics. If the water is more than about 5 feet deep, you may consider moving to a 2-hook minnow rig to put more fish in the boat. However, at times when the bite is more sluggish, that’s when minnows start coming into the picture for me. Thirdly, crappie are much more aggressive during the spawn, so brighter colors can work to your advantage at this time, even if they don’t necessarily look “natural”. But that doesn’t mean your only option is to use minnows all by their lonesome. Focus on timber that stands along the creek and over brush piles located on the main lake. In the spawn, when I’m fishing in less than 8 feet of water, 1/16 ounce is usually my best bet. This can deplete your supply rather quickly,  especially if you fish with 6 poles at a time like I do. This way, I’m not having to replace scent every time my jig is bumped by a fish. Using very light 4 pound mono or flourocarbon, and a thin wire hook, I’ll toss it over spawning crappie, and let it slowly sink. With all that said, I use hollow tubes more often because of the following reason. Below, in no particular order, is my list of the best crappie jig colors.. You’ll notice a few repeats, and that’s no mistake. See below for my setup. Bobby Garland Baby Shad Crappie Baits. A jig that is tipped with a minnow is usually the perfect bait for catching crappie in the spring, but in the summer you will need a little bit wider variety. To keep my bait well oxygenated, I use both battery powered aerators and my boat’s baitwell. Depending on how many minnows you buy, and the size of your container,  you may have to split your bait into 2 or 3 separate containers. The Bobby Garland Baby Shad Crappie Baits are quite popular in the tournament circle of anglers. Like bass, crappies have large mouths well-equipped for eating big meals. Play The WindThe wind is your friend in the fall because it creates a chain reaction of stirring … That doesn’t mean jigs aren’t good baits the rest of the year, because they are. A heavier bottom jig allows a 2 hook rig to fall without getting tangled, since the bottom jig will fall faster, and stay separated from the top jig. Try small crankbaits, Lindy Rigs and tube baits, along with jigs. Be the first to rate this post. If you see anglers nearby catching crappies observe the sizes. Bailey says, “My best trip was one morning at Grenada in the hot summer, when we had our limit within a couple of hours. You’re probably wondering why, then, do sporting goods stores carry every shade of the rainbow. How To Fish For Crappie In Deep Water. Summer Crappie Fishing. One notable exception is during the spawn. And, you can use a paddle tail for effective casting and retrieving. With all that said, I use hollow tubes more often because of the following reason. In that case, jigs are typically your best bet, as they are more efficient. These are very popular in the crappie fishing community, and I have used all of them successfully. This style of hooking also works for stationary fishing. Live medium minnows are the best bait. If you can’t manage live ones, fresh dead ones will suffice. You can try Lindy Rigs, tube baits, and small crank baits. Be sure to keep your minnows fresh and lively, and they will serve you well. With hair jigs you also won’t have the hassle of the jig body sliding down onto the hook after a missed strike. As with anything, there are some exceptions. Wave action creates cloudy water perfect for ambushes, and crappies emerge from channels to prey on bait feeding on windblown plankton. Minnows will often just slow you down during a hot bite. You should at least have live minnows and frozen anchovies on hand to use as bait. The lowland lake has more turbid water so crappie can be caught in both shallow and deep water in the summertime. For example, a Bobby Garland Strollr can be used if you need extra vibration for muddy water fishing. If you want … One of the best crappie baits for stained water is a jig tipped with a minnow. There are many reasons jigs are commonly found at the top of anyone’s list of best crappie baits. We are sorry that this post was not useful for you! They are the king of spring crappie fishing. Jigs are better when the bite is hot. I prefer to buy the styrofoam buckets surrounded by a metal wire cage, and then build a custom wooden lid for it. I have not personally tried it, but it seems to have a great reputation. Minnows will slow you down. Both of them work great. Slab sauce is a good alternative to crappie nibbles. Fishing for crappie from the shore or bank is actually quite easy to do during the spring and summer months. The fish still remain active though as they feed on schools of shad passing through the crappie’s hot-weather haunts. Below are the reasons I have jigs as my #1 bait. While these didn’t make my personal top 3 best crappie baits, they may perform well for you. They have loads of information available from hardcore crappie fishermen from all over. You can even fish 2 jigs on the same pole. The slip-bobber system allows you to adjust your bobber up or down to find the magic depth in which the crappie are holding. On my home waters of Lake of the Ozarks, summertime crappie fishing poses two problems: heavy recreational boat traffic and a lack of visible cover. You can also move down from the typical 1/16 ounce jig head to something lighter in order to really slow down the fall rate. The minnows should be no longer than 1 inch long, and anchovies should be cut into small pieces. Pairing up the top 2 crappie baits forms a sort of super bait. This seemingly do-nothing lure is widely used for a reason – they slay the crappie. Both 1/16 or 1/8 ounce jigs work well when tipping them with a minnow. Whether it’s crappie nibbles, slab sauce, or something else, I almost always add an attractant. Summer Crappie How to Catch Them. Like most fishing, it’s best to always have multiple options at your disposal. If it’s too windy the bobber will bounce too much in the waves and make your presentation look unnatural. To learn more crappie jig colors, check out my article about that here: Best Crappie Jig Colors, And How To Choose. If you are someone who believes crappies might be spooked by a high-vis line, then you may want to go with clear monofilament, fluorocarbon or braid with a fluorocarbon leader. You never know what crappie might prefer on a given day. The smaller your container is, the more critical proper aeration becomes. legal information – contact me – privacy policy. I certainly don’t always know which of these aspects is the key on a given day. If you haven’t used it before, it’s killer on crappie. I really like to spider rig (slow troll), so I have 6 jigs in the water at once. The deep-water pattern works best in timber along main lake bluffs and channel swings during the hottest part of summer. I plan on giving it a whirl this year. How To Catch Crappie At Night If you quickly change the speed of the bait or even the direction, it will often entice a hit from a crappie. Try these patterns for crappie action as hot as the summertime weather. But, down here in the deep south we sometimes hook into stud crappie. Only when I use 2 jigs at a time do I generally opt for a jig head lighter than 1/16 ounce for the top jig. Firstly, the color of a bait, as seen on the shelf, isn’t necessarily how it appears when viewed under water. Remove the slip bobber rig then and present your minnow vertically on a tight line next to the timber to trigger a bite. And, the most popular shape is the simple round head. I really like to spider rig (slow troll), so I have 6 jigs in the water at once. I listed some additional popular and effective crappie baits below. Or, you could use a plastic syringe to accomplish the same thing, but I prefer the bait pump. Use number 2 or 4 hooks and pinch on a couple of number 5 split shots about 2 to 3 inches above the hook. ; Help Crappie.com by becoming a Supporting Member. Minnows catch crappie at all times, but as the fish get more lethargic, that’s when minnows really help you get more bites. You can consider vertical jigging as you fish within the brush. So, all those wild colors are not necessarily as crazy-looking under water. Without getting too deep into the weeds about specific styles, I’ll discuss the three broad types of crappie jigs listed below, which are hollow body tubes, solid body tubes, and feather, or hair jigs.. One of the most popular crappie jig styles of all time is the hollow body tube. color of a bait, as seen on the shelf, isn’t necessarily how it appears when viewed under water. Not all jig heads are created equal. This is particularly important if you’re spider rigging or slow trolling. Also, to prevent line twist, and to keep rigging simple, some drop-shot anglers use … They eat all sorts of things, but a crappie’s diet primarily consists of small fish such as minnows, shad, and tiny bluegill. I plan to cover color selection in more detail in another article, but I’d like to make a few quick points about different colored crappie baits. It was great. If you haven’t used it before, it’s killer on crappie. Just hold the rod still and let the minnow do the work. Studying the crappie behavior during summer will help you know where to look. And, where I fish. I have even used a minnow-tipped jig many times under a slip float with great results. Even though I don’t want a thick hook, I do still want a jig with a pretty good size hook gap. Perhaps because of the brighter colors, the artificial baits tend to be far more desirable to the crappie. Chartreuse is a color that works well in both clear, and stained water, and is often the color you want to start with. Since a crappie’s appetite is voracious during the summer, I select larger minnows (sometimes bigger than 3 inches) for my bait. Come join the best Family Orientated fishing website on the Internet. … This allows you to target big crappie and pick off a couple giants before moving on to locate another school to fish. I don’t like the flimsy styrofoam lids flopping around in the boat. Berkley Crappie Nibbles. Lake Eufala. Its not always action, just a larger profile. Branching away from chartreuse, other good color options for crappie are white, pink, yellow, green, black, red and blue. Minnow shaped baits and fluke style baits have been the best for me. The best baits for crappie are those that closely resemble what crappie actually eat. One notable exception is during the spawn. If you plan to troll, the best way to hook a minnow is through the lips, as close to the tip as you can without them falling off. Minners! The year was 1959 when Berkley’s Trilene and DuPont’s Stren were launched. You can’t go wrong with a thin wire aberdeen style hook that’s sized appropriately for the bait you’re using. As with anything, there are some exceptions. Any deeper than 8 feet, and I’m considering moving to 1/8 ounce jig heads. Small crankbaits and jerkbaits are an excellent crappie option when you're seeing baitfish fry darting around -- this typically coincides with late spring and early summer, and baits like the Rapala Ultra Light Shad do an excellent job resembling natural forage. Best Crappie Jig Colors, And How To Choose, Best Electric Fillet Knife For Crappie Fishermen, Top 9 Criteria to Evaluate When Choosing a Surf Rod. Also, hair and plastic jigs work equally well, but I’m typically more a fan of plastics. Keeping the weight close to the minnow will restrict its movement to prevent hang-ups in the heavy cover. Crappie will school up this way in the summer in open water as well as near structure or cover, like rock and wood. He generally doesn’t tip his jig with minnows in the summer, although you can. I find myself using plastics far more, as I like the speed of color changes that you get with plastic baits. The same slip-bobber rig used for catching shallow crappie also works in the deeper water because the fish will be suspended in the timber. But, itty bitty hooks do tend to result in ineffective hook-sets when using this presentation. Depths range from 20 to 40 feet. Although there had been extruded nylon fishing lines prior to these two brands, both Trilene and Stren were far superior to … Estimated Price: $4. Crappie’s post-breeding period is within September when the crappie seems to stay in the brush of the water measuring 15 to 20 feet or around 10 to 15 feet underneath. If I’m fishing where I think I’m going to constantly get hung up, I might opt for a jig head with a smaller wire hook. Tipping a jig with a wax worm, instead of a minnow, allows you to fish a jig through heavy cover, such as lily pads, without getting hung up as much. These are superb live-bait hooks, and they have been popular with crappie fishermen for years. It’s best to have 2 or 3 weights to choose from, so that you can adapt to current conditions. I prefer using 2/0 and 3/0 hooks because the bigger hook is easier to remove from a crappie and the fish don’t swallow it as much as they do a smaller hook. Crappie ’ s something nostalgic about watching a bobber in order to fish for.... 80 % of the bait pump spawn when fish are shallow though as they feed on schools of passing! 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