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Both white and black crappies are known to be fickle about what they eat. It is not uncommon for this fish to stubbornly prefer a jig of a specific shape, color, size, wiggle, or wobble, and they will do this for seemingly no reason, or at least for reasons that don’t make any sense to humans. Yet, at other times they want to hit a variety of jigs.
Fortunately, jigs come in a wide variety of configurations to match crappies’ diverse diet and increase the chance of a hit. These baits can be used with many fishing methods to produce consistent results throughout the year.
While there are lots of jigs available, this article presents the very best crappie jig in different categories to make it easy for you to choose what suits your fishing style.
A deep-diving crankbait is your best bet for a guaranteed bite if you are fishing for crappies in summer, winter, or fall. An excellent choice is the Norman Little N Crankbait, featuring a plum body with an angled lip that lets it dive up to 12 feet under the water. Crappies are likely to strike aggressively once they see the medium-wide wobble of this crankbait.
The crankbait measures 2.5-inch in length and weigh 3/8-ounces, which is great for fishing large crappies and a few other gamefish, too. It also comes with two premium hooks and is available in more than 25 different colors and detailed patterns to suit different fishing conditions. The lavender shad, spring craw, and chartreuse are favorite picks for many fishermen.
Regardless of your choice of color, Norman uses a hardy gel coat finish to protect all the crankbaits from wear and tear, so they will serve you for several fishing seasons.
The Eagle Claw Crappie Jig is a very simple one, yet it is undoubtedly the best crappie jig as far as feathered options go. You can fish this by twitching below a bobber, using vertical jigging, or in several other ways. Consider using this in spring when crappies spawn and gather shallow in large numbers. Your chance of a guaranteed bite is greater at such times.
This jig has a body made of tread, with a head and shaft constructed from metal and a feather tail. However, it is still a lightweight jig, available in 1/16- and 1/32-ounce, depending on your preferred weight. The cleverly painted dot on the jig’s head resembles the eye of a baitfish, and the action of the feathertail in the water creates enough vibration to attract the crappie’s attention.
If you are fishing in stained water, consider choosing a darker color such as black, while lighter colors, including chartreuse or white, works great for fishing in clear water or on sunny days. Regardless of the color or time of day, you can almost count on the fact that if crappies can see this jig, they will most likely bite.
Here is a jig that perfectly replicates the action of injured baitfish – something that crappies can hardly resist! The Berkley PowerBait Minnow comes in a split-tail design that gives it a realistic swim action. To make things even more lifelike, the artificial minnow features captivating details such as a pair of 3D eyes and holographic inserts.
This is the best crappie jig for finesse application, especially in pressured lakes. It can be as a spinner, jig trailer, or a bottom-bouncing rig. Interestingly, it also works great for other species, including bass, panfish, trout, salmon, and walleye.
The biodegradable PowerBait is highly visible under the water, but to ensure that it catches a crappie’s attention, the manufacturer impregnated this jig with a scent dispersion technology. It will release a smell that acts as a blood trail immediately it hits the water. More scent is released once there is a bite, making the fish hold on much longer and letting you set the hook deeper for a sure catch.
The black shad-colored jig measures 2-inches in length and come in a pack of 10, with some pre-rigged and ready to fish.
There are quite a number of features that make the Worden’s Original Rooster Tail Spinner a classic in-line spinner for catching crappie. First, the weighted body allows for an attention-getting spinning action that doesn’t fail to attract fish.
Secondly, the animated hackle tail conceals the treble hook, such that a strike will most often result in a catch. Lastly, there is the blade that produces the right amount of underwater vibrations to temp crappies.
This jig comes in different weights, but 1/24-ounce or 1/32-ounce is most suitable if you want to fish for crappies. This lure probably has the largest selection of colors, with over 100 different shades to choose from. That means you can find an option that works for your specific fishing condition, regardless of location, water clarity, and time of year.
If you prefer bright colors, you may want to choose glitter chartreuse shade or metallic flame trigger. These are likely to trigger curiosity in the fish and lead to bites. Other realistic natural prey colors include brown trout, frog, and crawdad.
Known for a striking lifelike look and swimming action, the Shadalicious Swimbait from the popular fishing equipment manufacturer, Strike King, is your best bet if your fishing style is cast and retrieve or trolling. The jig can be used with a weighted hook or rigged on an open jig head. In any case, you will get better results if you use the Shadalicious Swimbait with a slow, steady retrieve.
Designed to have a soft, hollow body in addition to a paddle tail, the swimbait moves from side to side just as real as baitfish and quickly draws the attention of crappies looking for a tasty meal.
Strike King’s lure comes in a few different size options ranging from 3.5-inches to 6.5-inches, offering anglers a variety of lures that can work for several hook sizes and for targeting crappies of various sizes. You can also choose from a handful of realistic color patterns, such as chartreuse, ayu, blue gizzard, neon ghost minnow, and more.
Many anglers who use this swimbait opt for the pearl chartreuse belly or sexy shad (pictured above) color pattern because these shades tend to get more attention from crappies. But again, this is a fickle fish, so experiment with different colors at different times for the best results.
6. Strike King Mr. Crappie Thunder Bait – Best Plastic Tube
The Thunder Bait is the result of a joint effort from famous tackle company Strike King and professional fisherman, Mr. Crappie. The jig is made from first-rate silicone and is built to have a solid ripple body that looks like a yummy grub.
The jig measures 1 3/4-inch in length and features a multi-strand tail capable of flaring out at 90o angles to create subtle vibrations that attract fish. It also glitters under the water, giving it the semblance of shimmers from scales of baitfish. All these qualities combine to make Thunder Bait the best crappie jig when it comes to plastic tube lures.
There are over 15 colors to choose from, a few of which include Junebug chartreuse glitter tail (pictured above), purple sage, tuxedo black sparkle, blue pearl, and bluegrass. These plastic tubes often send crappies into a feeding frenzy, but they are not likely to last very long because they are quite soft. But there are 15 pieces in a pack and are highly affordable, so you will get more than enough value for your cash.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best month to catch crappie?
Crappies typically seek woody cover, no matter what time of year it is. But a general rule is to fish shallow, especially in spring, because this is when they congregate in large schools. You might likely have a fair catch if you fish shallow in fall, although crappies would have started moving deeper into the water. You will have to fish deep during winter and summer to catch the fish.
What temp do crappies bite?
Typically, crappies begin to swim to shallow areas when water temperatures start to reach the 50oF to 60oF range. Spawning usually occurs when water temps are about 68oF and 72oF, and that’s when they move to shallow spawning spots.
What is the best color jig for crappie?
The jig color you choose can impact your catch rate because crappies are sight feeders and have a preference for certain colors than a lot of other fish. Jigs appear a bit differently underwater, regardless of their color. If the water is muddy or stained, it can change how crappies see the jig.
In general, some of the colors that work well for stained waters include black, pink, chartreuse (in various shades), blue, white, opaque colors, dark colors, and solid colors. For clear waters, you want to choose translucent colors, natural colors, brown, motor oil color, white, chartreuse, and more. Notice that there are a few repeats. That’s because some colors work well in both clear and stained water.
If there is one color that stands out as the best all-around color for crappie jig, it is chartreuse. It works great in any type of water, and it looks like a fish underwater. Include it in your arsenal for an increased catch rate of this tasty fish.
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