What is the Best Bait for Crappie?

The goal of this article is to share the best baits for Crappie.  Let’s get to the specifics.

Best Crappie Bait 

The two most popular baits are crappie jigs and minnows. It is common knowledge by crappie anglers that jigs perform better than most other lure types when fishing for Crappie.  If you go to any sporting goods store’s lure selection, it is dominated by plastic lures. From simple to advance crappie jigs/grubs, scented and unscented, and all types of colors and sizes.  It can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you are looking for.

Soft plastic bodies behind a weighted jig head, give anglers many options for switching bait size and color while staying with the basic crappie jig.  They key when fishing with crappie jigs is the use the right color grub based on the light levels and water clarity.

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Water color is probably the most important factor impacting crappie’s feeding activities. Crappie are sight-feeders, so water clarity is a key factor when selecting colors. Simply put, water clarity impacts what they see or do not see. If the crappie stop biting, you might just need to change the bait color.  

Most crappie anglers state their favorite color is chartreuse. However, we all have that favorite crappie lures we use that performs consistently – or at least in our eyes it does.  However, next time you strike out with your tried and true lure, think about what the water clarity and light levels are doing to ensure you have the right color jig in the water.  Below are a general rule of thumb when selecting your grub colors:

1. When to use lighter colors - Clearer water

2. When to use darker colors – Muggier water 

Best Crappie Bait Setup with Minnows

As mentioned before, minnows are the best live Crappie fishing bait.  The smaller minnows are the best because crappie are mostly a smaller game fish. The good news is most bait shops have them sorted out between large and small because they have different prices.

To be precise, you want the minnows between 1 – 1 ½ inch. 

The best way to hook a minnow is through the lower and upper lip.  This will allow the minnow to remain active in the water, which increases your odds of landing a big crappie.  When using minnows for bait, use a small hook (e.g., size 4 or 6) as to not damage the minnow or the mouth of the Crappie.  You will need to add a weight for casting purpose. Add a light shot set around a foot away from the hook. If your like me, I just purchase some crappie rigs already pre-made. 

Best Crappie Jig & Bobber Setup

This technique is best when the crappie are in shallow water during spawning season.  Depending on the depth of the shallows, you will want to make sure you are hoovering the crappie bait above them.  Crappie feed on what is above them. If you’re too deep they will not see your bait. That is where the bobber comes in.  A good way to test what level you should be fishing at is start off by fishing one to two feet from surface and go deeper until you begin to get some action.  The key to casting and retrieving is to create subtle movement from the bait.  No need to reel in the crappie jig quickly. 

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We hope you enjoyed this article. Crappie Fishing Tackle will continue provide the best crappie fishing tips to our customers. Until then, keep jigging for Crappie!

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