Today, I am going to focus in on the top three (3) crappie baits to cast out there for these delicious fish. But to shed a little background light on the subject, crappie are a small panfish that mostly feed on small minnows and bait fish. So as we go through these crappie baits, keep that in mind; a bait that is 1 to 3 inches long is likely going to work much better for crappie than a bait that is 5 inches or longer (like you might use when going after big mouth bass).
Live Crappie Baits
The most effective live bait to use when crappie fishing is the live minnow. Minnows that are 1 to 2 inches long work best for the small panfish, and will yield some excellent results.
One key thing here is to try to keep them as lively as possible. You can buy small aerators at your local Wal-Mart or outdoor store for $20-$30. But if necessary, you might even buy a second aerator, just to move as move oxygen around in your bait bucket as you possibly can.
When you are rigging up for live crappie bait minnows action, use a small hook, and hook the bait up through the bottom lip, and out the top lip. This will keep the bait right side up and will allow it to look natural in the water.
If you have little or no experience using crappie lures, I highly recommend starting off with marabou jigs. For just pennies per lure, you can have the most time tested, crappie producing lure ever. I would buy them in the 1/32 to 1/16 (perhaps even as big as 1/8) ounce jig size. Stick to lighter colors in the beginning, whites, greens and yellows are good starter colors.
Take them out to your fishing spot, then let them down to the bottom, and “jig” them (bounce them up and down) off the bottom, the reel up some, a repeat the process until you have pulled in all the line. This will allow to work the different depths, and you can find about how far down the fish are.
Crappie Baits: Soft Plastic Lures
If you are looking to use a bassassin or plastic worm, it can work, but the lure needs to be small. Try to get sizes of less than 3 inches long, and couple that with a jig head that is 1/8 ounce or less. Your worm style should be that of a grub, sassy shad, small worm or styles that resemble shad or minnows. Stay with the lighter colors in the beginning, and as you get confidence with a particular style and size, you can look at some of the darker colors when the water is stained, and the light colors aren’t working.
So that is three strong crappie baits you can use at your local fishing hole. So let me know what you think, and I’ll be back soon with more great crappie fishing tips.