Crappie are a smaller, panfish that feeds mostly on small bait fish and minnows. So when you are looking to select your crappie lures, you’ll want to go with a smaller bait, and a smaller hook. If you use to large of a rig and hook, you’ll likely lose most of your fish, or they will hit the line and not be able to get their small mouths around the hook. Crappie lures come in an insane amount of color combinations and choices, but I want to focus on 5 types of crappie lures:
The Crappie Jig
By far the most widely used and effective crappie lure, the crappie jig is a small chenille, hair, tinsel, or feather crafting attached to a 1/16 or 1/32 ounce painted or unpainted jig head. Often couple by a skirt of the same material, the crappie jig has been proven to catch fish over time.
The marabou jig has been the most effective jig over time. Behind it, the curly tail and rooster tail jig have been effective as well. I like using white colors the best with my crappie lures, but using chartreuse, yellow and green also work well in clear waters. If you find yourself in murky water, go for darker versions of purple, black, orange and green.
Soft Plastic Crappie Lures
A small, soft plastic lure of less than 3 inches long on a 1/8 ounce or smaller jig head is probably the second best crappie lure to throw. Stick to grubs, small worms, sassy shads, bassassins or other shad-like body styles for plastic baits. Again, I like white, but other colors like yellow, green, chartreuse, and black will work as well.
You can also use small straight shaft or bent shaft spinnerbaits as well. Stick to small, single blade spinnerbaits with a small jig or worm. Again, stick to the basic colors mentioned above.
Crankbaits for Crappie
If you think the crappie are running deep, you can throw a small shad style or minnow style crankbait at them. Something like a 2 inch Rapala minnow or shap rap will work great with a deep running lip. Stick to basic colors like white, green, and natural shad or minnow coloring.
For the fly fisherman, you can do really well with crappie flies. Some of the better flies for crappie fishing are Crappie Candy, Clousers Or Minnow Imitations. They come in a variety of colors and styles, so just stick to good basic water color and time of year colors (as I talked about above) and you’ll do very well with these crappie lures.