If you are new to crappie fishing, or just want to get an idea of what kind of crappie tackle to use, then this is for you. Crappie is probably my second most favorite freshwater fish to eat (outside of fried catfish), however crappie tends to be a better fish for grilling or baking. But in this short post I want to give you a base line of gear to use to catch crappie, and having a blast doing it.
I’ll begin with rod selection. Crappie are a small panfish that rarely exceed 2 to 3 pounds. So to get the maximum enjoyment out of catching them, smaller gear is necessary. I would recommend that you get an ultralight to light action rod for your crappie excursion. A 6 to 7 foot Shakespeare Ugly Stik or Berkley Lighting Rod should do the trick.
Now that you have your rod, let’s look at reel selection. Since you are crappie fishing with light tackle, it stands to reason to have a small reel. The Shimano Symetre and the Penn Spinfisher are good starters to go with. The Shimano has new anti-rust ball bearings giving it longer life, but the Penn is of a higher overall quality. Price will be reflective of quality, so you should weigh out how much you plan to go fishing, as to how much you will invest in crappie tackle.
When it comes to fishing line, your selection will depend on conditions. If you expect to be fishing heavy cover and rough areas, go with a strong, thin monofilament line. But if you are fishing underneath piers or other clear water, consider going with a braided or fused line. You should use 3 to 6 pound test line for your crappie tackle and fishing operations. If you want a little extra help, spring for fluorocarbon type line, as it will be nearly invisible to the fish in the water.
Last, but certainly not least, let’s look at selecting your crappie lures. If you are just beginning, I need not say any more than Marabou jigs. These little guys are tip top baits that have been proven over time to work, again and again. Start with mostly lighter colors in the white, green, and yellow range. Get a few darker colors like black and purple just for when the water is really murky. But on normal days with relative to high water clarity, stick to the lighter colors.
Also, consider the use of a crappi light for night crappie fishing. It takes the idea of a pier light, and compacts into a small “flashlight” type device that you can attach a few feet above your lure or real bait, and attract fish right to the spot where your bait is.
And one last thing, make sure you have a good landing net and stringer or live well with you. Don’t underestimate your ability to fish. Take the necessary items to ensure you land the fish you catch, and are able to sustain them until you are ready to go home. So that’s a good overview of the types of crappie tackle you want to have to get out there and have a great time catching crappie.