If you’ve ever fished for crappie, you’re probably familiar with the types of lures that work best for this species. Jigs and minnows are popular baits for crappies, and if you master the art of jigging, you will be able to capture a large number of them much sooner than you may expect. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to jig for crappie and improve your chances of catching this species of fish.
Why are jigs so good for catching crappie?
There are a plethora of different lures and baits available on the market, so the first thing that comes to mind is presumably why jigs are regarded in such high regard by anglers when it comes to this specific species. Jigs can attract crappie because of the jerky movements they can make in the water, which is the simplest answer.
It’s easy to see the significant differences between jigs and spinnerbaits when you examine them side by side. Spinnerbaits only move horizontally, which does not excite crappie in the same way that other baits might. This is the type of fish that requires you to provide them something in exchange for their attention, and jigs are just superior.
When it comes to jigging for crappie, it is critical to know what kind of equipment to bring with you so that you are well prepared. The equipment you’ll need will be demonstrated in the following sections, beginning with rod and line and progressing through the color schemes for your jigs. Other concerns, as well as ingenious techniques to help you become more successful when jigging for crappie, will be discussed in the next sections.
Get the proper gear
It is critical that you understand what crappie are looking for, but it is also critical that you gather the required equipment and never leave home without a plan. Many seasoned fishermen will offer tips on how to fish a crappie jig, but if you don’t have someone in your circle of acquaintances who is already familiar with jigging, you can take advantage of the following suggestions.
Let’s start with the rod, shall we? Although you may already be aware of this suggestion, there is nothing wrong with repeating it: when fishing for crappie, use a long rod to maximize your chances of catching fish. When it comes to this particular fish species, it is necessary to consider depth management. A short rod can never provide you with the kind of control you need to play this type of fish properly, and vice versa.
A long rod – think along the lines of an 8-10 foot pole – will allow you to detect the depth of the water and will also assist you in setting the hook fast when a fish attacks you. If you require more in-depth guidance, here is something more to consider: if you do not believe that utilizing a baistcaster reel is too intimidating, this is the best option for you.
You should keep in mind, however, that using this style of reel will take a significant amount of time and practice. For those that intend to be in this for the long haul, adopting this type of fishing technique may be beneficial.
While it comes to the best jig colors to use when fishing for crappie, there has been quite a bit of science done by dedicated fisherman over the years. You might even come across a guide to the greatest crappie jig colors, as detailed by these fishing enthusiasts. We’re here to provide you with some quick information on the subject at your disposal.
There are a few things you may want to consider before making your decision. Crappies, for example, are not particularly fond of any one color in particular. Their behavior can be finicky and unpredictable, which is why you must be open to making a variety of fine-tuning and adjustment until you achieve the desired color.
When fishing in clear water, it is preferable to use transparent colors. The reason behind this is rather simple to understand. The fish must be able to see the bait in order to jump on it. Because of this, employing muted colors in murky water is a waste of time and effort. Crappies will simply ignore your well selected jigs, and you may be left scratching your head as to why they didn’t work.
Although chartreuse jigs are frequently selected, it cannot be said that they are the only ones that are effective. Make an attempt to create a contrast that will attract the attention of the fish. And here’s another bit of advice: keep all of the colors you purchased close by in case you need them at a later time. Crappies have the ability to alter their minds at any time, so if you see that they are no longer biting, it is beneficial to try something different.
The jig head
We will not spend a lot of time discussing which line to use because the only reliable information that can be offered is that crappie can be caught using a hefty line when fishing for them. This has several advantages, the most significant of which is that you will no longer have to deal with line breaks on a regular basis.
The jig head, on the other hand, requires some attention. It is preferred that the jig head has a vivid color in comparison to other parts of the rig, according to experienced anglers, and that the weight be 1/8 ounces or less. If you like, you can use 14-ounce jog heads, which have shown to be quite successful as well.
A few actionable recommendations for jigging for crappie
A lot of time was spent discussing what kind of gear you should invest in to ensure that crappies will bite in large numbers when you go fishing. Nonetheless, having the appropriate equipment is only one part of the solution. You’ll also need to brush up on a few skills that will help you fish like a pro in the future.
Learn about where crappies hide
Fishing is a combination of intuition and experience, but you may also rely on a few scientific truths to help you out. Crappies, like any other fish species, exhibit distinct patterns of activity, and if you want to be successful at catching crappie, you must get familiar with these patterns.
The general rule of thumb is that you must pay special attention to a number of different aspects. Fish like crappies, for example, are attracted to sheltering behind various kinds of structures and dislike swimming against the current. If the waters are swift and you observe that the clear waters appear to be devoid of fish, this is the strategy you should use to get your attention.
When the currents are strong, you can usually bet on finding a large number of crappies hiding behind a variety of structures, where they can eat without being bothered. Because of this, crappie fishing is a little more interesting than you might imagine. As you attempt to pinpoint the exact place where the fish congregate to dine, you will feel like a true explorer.
If you are not very good at guessing, or if you don’t want to waste time trying to figure out fish behavior patterns, there is another option available to you: you may ask other anglers in the region where the greatest spots to get crappie are to be found. You might even pick up some new and intriguing information on what more you can do to entice more crappies to bite.
Things to know about water depth
If there is one thing that all anglers learn while engaging in their favorite recreational activity, it is that different types of fish prefer different depths of water. Schools of fish will swim through the water at their preferred depth, and you will need to develop a strong sense of intuition in order to determine this part of their behavior. An electronic fish finder could be of use, but you will have to rely on other methods if you do not have access to a digital fish finder.
One method for accomplishing this is to be patient and experiment with various water depths until you catch anything. The depth of the water in which the fish is hanging will be revealed by this method. There is a good probability that the fish you caught was not alone, and that there is a whole school of fish ready to nibble on your jigs.
Generally speaking, fish prefer to remain in waters that are 10 to 15 feet deep in order to avoid predators. This is the most likely location to find the majority of species, thus it is a safe bet. Here’s a little something else you might be interested in learning about crappie as a species.
Considering that these fish don’t have excellent vision, it is unlikely that they will be successful in spotting bait. What you can do to improve your chances of catching a crappie is to position the bait in such a way that the crappie will notice it. When it comes to getting the fish to bite more, the upward direction is the most advised, and this is what you should do.
Even while crappie is not considered to be a particularly difficult fish to catch by definition, this does not rule out the possibility of taking steps to increase your chances of catching the fish. One of these considerations is determining the optimal water depth so that you can determine how and where to throw your line.
How to drop your jig
As a result, you are well-equipped with everything you require. You have all of the necessary equipment, and you are aware of the various locations where crappie can be found, depending on the location and depth of the water. All that is left to learn is how to drop your jig in the appropriate manner.
Immediately after dropping the jig, the most critical step is to begin tapping it. As previously said at the outset of this article, jigs have the advantage of moving vertically in the water, as well as the ability to make jerky movements that can attract the attention of crappies swimming in the surrounding water body.
Crappies, as previously said, do not have the best eyesight when it comes to the aquatic environment. In order for the fish to see the bait, you will need to assist them in their search. When you tap on the jig and move it up and down, the lure will produce a natural shade in the water, which will attract fish. This will alert the fish that there is prey in the vicinity.
While it may appear that crappie fishing is a little challenging from this perspective, understanding the species’ behavior can help you catch a large number of these specimens. Only thing you have to watch out for is that you don’t tap the jig too harshly. It’s possible that the fish will flee if the motions of the jig are too fast.
Here’s another approach that you could use to your advantage. When you lower the jig, allow it to rest for a few seconds before moving on. What about the information you received earlier about jig colors and crappie preferences for various baits? Do you still remember what was said? Everything that applies to the approach for dropping the jig that you must employ applies here as well.
Crappie will sometimes prefer moving baits, and it is in these situations that you will need to tap the jig. However, there are occasions when slower targets are preferred, and keeping the jig motionless will result in significantly greater success. Keep these ideas and methods in mind because you may find them beneficial when you go fishing for other types of fish as well as when you go fishing for walleye.
Behavior during spawn time
When it comes to spawning, crappie is regarded for being a particularly aggressive fish. Crappie fishermen know that the fish will be hungry during this period, and they believe that this is the best time to go crappie fishing. Please keep your lures in deep water where crappies can see them. So that the fish would bite more, you should do it in a playful manner.
Crappie are more prone to swim away from protective structures when the breeding season is over, according to research. However, it may not be as hungry as it would be during spawning, thus there are pros and disadvantages to consider for each of these periods of time, as well as for the entire year.
It is possible that novice anglers would find jigging for crappie to be a difficult task, but it is not impossible to learn with the correct knowledge and experience. Because of the recommendations above, you will become more skilled at crappie fishing and will be able to bring home an even larger haul of crappie from your trip.
Don’t forget that picking the appropriate type of fishing equipment is critical to capturing crappie. Finding the proper colors for your jigs is really important when selecting them. In addition to taking certain factors into mind, such as location and depth of the water, you must also make certain preliminary arrangements..
Everything, from the type fishing rod you use to the line and jig head you use, must be properly selected in order to maximize your chances of success. Crappies, like many other fish species, are sensitive to loud noises, and you should be mindful of this fact when fishing for them as well.
Charles Reynolds is an engineer from New York University with a passion for fishing. His earliest memories of fishing go back to the days spent on the lake with his grandfather who taught him the sport. Reynolds spends a large part of his holidays fishing with his son and passing on the skills to the little one.