Fishing, as we know it, is a fun and relaxing activity that can be enjoyed with family and friends or alone as well. People usually fish for the most common species of fish available, which include salmon, trout, bass, etc.
But what about crappie fishing? What exactly are crappies? How do you go about actually catching them?
Crappies are a genus of freshwater dwellers in the sunfish family. They have a diverse appetite which includes zooplankton, insects and crustaceans. However, they have also been known to feed on other smaller species of fish, including the young of their own predators.
When you are fishing for crappies, you should note down their activities and areas which they may inhabit. During the daytime, crappies tend to be less active and usually concentrate around weed beds and submerged objects like boulders.
Their feeding hours are usually dusk and dawn when it’s easier to spot them as they swim into open waters or approach the shore.
Not only is this freshwater fish a worthy catch but it’s also super tasty. But before you can actually catch one of these, you need to prepare your fishing kit. But in this case, you will need lures or baits as well to trap the crappies.
So what are the best crappie lures? Or the best bait for crappie fishing? Believe it or not, you’re not the only one who’s riddled with these confusing questions.
People who’re mostly starting to fish or aren’t professionals really need to look into choosing the best fishing product required for their trip.
Fishing enthusiasts also need to research to find a durable long-term product which can make fishing more enjoyable and fun.
To make your task of finding the best crappie lures easier, a list of all the factors you need to look into before purchasing has been prepared below:
When And How To Catch Crappies
Fishing for crappies can be quite a tedious task. You might think that fishing is all about putting out a bait on your fishing hook and that’s it. But that’s not the case here.
Crappies can be tricky to catch and extremely frustrating when you don’t get a bite.
It is important to know about the fish that you wish to capture and their habitats and techniques required to catch them.
Crappies usually stay hidden and inactive during the day and only come out at dawn or dusk to feed.
Keeping this in mind, we can move on to see when and how to catch them.
Spring – Fish In The Shallows
During springtime, crappies are usually spawning in the shallows, so anyone can cast their baits and capture them. Crappies spawn mid-March or end-May depending on their habitat and is generally done when water temperatures reach 55°F. In muddy waters, they swim at shallow depths of 1-2 feet, while in clear water, they can go as deep as 20 feet to spawn.
You can use a trolling motor and be sure to hit all the shallow areas and nooks and crannies. Once you’ve spotted the crappies, you can easily throw in jigs and capture them. On waters with high fishing pressure, you can throw in a small jig and keep erratically jerking it towards the shore or bank. The crappies are sure to follow the bait.
Summer – Go For Night Fishing Or Into Deeper Waters
Post their spawning period through mid-September, crappies stay in brush located around 10-15 feet in the water or up to 20 feet down. You can concentrate on standing timber along creek channels; vertical jigging works best here when fishing the brush. Crappies also crowd along piers and areas with deeper brush near the thermocline (where the water gets cooler with depth) during the hot summers.
You can easily capture crappies during the summer months using a light wire hook and a small shiner hung over the side of the boat. It would be best if you go for night fishing during summer using artificial lights as insects throng to them. Crappies are attracted to these insects.
Fall – Try The Docks
Crappies generally tend to be predictable and quite aggressive during the months of October and November. Docks are the prime location for crappies during fall and they can be found in 10 feet of water as well.
All you have to do is cast your jigs into the water for a few seconds and then bring it up slowly. Crappies get drawn to them and come up to the shallow shore. They can also be found in hiding in the same brush pile they inhabit during the spawning season.
Winter – Best Time For Crappie Fishing
Winter is hands down the best time to go crappie fishing. But unfortunately, a lot of inexperienced anglers may stow away their boats for warmer seasons. Winter is the only time when crappies can be found in hoards. They can be seen in deep water (20-40 feet) and swim towards the shallows during warmer times.
In winters, crappies concentrate in huge schools near structures instead of loose groups in open areas. So if you’re casting on one side and you don’t get a bite, you can also turn to the other side and catch a fish with every cast. Crappies prefer slower jigs in winters as compared to summers.
When you’re casting your jigs, it’ll be better if you retrieve them slowly, giving the crappies time to get enticed instead of fast and hurried jerking.
Best Crappie Lures 2020
1. Berkley PowerBait
Berkley PowerBait Ribbontail Grubs is the topmost bestseller when it comes to fishing baits for crappies. With its sleek and tiny body design, it is compatible with light wire hooks and swims through easily in the water.
Due to its size, it allows increased water action and the bait entices the fish to hold onto it 18 times longer than other fishing bait.
The PowerBait also features a unique scent which entices fish and its flavour is an added bonus. The fish eagerly grab the hook and you can easily scoop them up from there on.
Not only does this fishing bait make it easier for you to catch crappies, but also makes the whole process a smooth endeavour as compared to other baits.
According to customer reviews, these baits have been used widely by one and all and are known to be one of the best in the business. People who’ve used it shared their tales of success and how easy it is to hook other fish species as well using this bait.
The Berkley PowerBait package includes 15 baits. So this is truly an item that you can go for!
2. Sougayilang Large Hard Bait
If you’re having no luck catching fish with your bland fishing bait, then there’s a solution for you! Sougayilang presents its new range of large hard fishing baits that ensure a successful fishing trip.
With its life-like swimming actions in water, it easily attracts the fish to bite. And once they do, they’re hooked to it.
Some features include an ABS material that’s avirulent and odourless, which also makes it environment-friendly. The metal material inside makes it easy to sink and the bait’s 3D eyes make them look very realistic and natural.
The baits are also available in a wide variety of colours which entices the fish and is suitable for various water types.
Users have termed them as excellent crankbaits and had quite a few successful runs with this bait. Priced at an affordable rate, the product is pretty solid and delivers what is required of him.
However, it would be wise if you use the baits properly or else there are chances of them coming off if not attached properly.
A product that you should definitely try!
3. Aorace Mini Fishing Lures
Aorace fishing lures are the most affordable and still manage to provide you with good quality. Due to their tiny bodies, they are easy to cast quite far.
With a steel ball inside the bait, it keeps rolling and helps you control the barycenter. In addition, the attractive colours and realistic design with 3D eyes make them look natural.
Built with durable ABS material and featuring a powerful treble hook, it makes the bait a force to be reckoned with. The sharp hook latches itself easily into the fish and maintains a tight grip over it so you can easily pull it in.
These fishing lures are available in a wide range of colours which entices the fish and includes 10 pieces in the package.
According to users, the fishing lure works exactly like what it’s been designed to do. People have used it to capture numerous fish and have been successful as well.
However, due to its small size, it would be better to stick to small or medium sized fish so their weight does not become too overbearing for the product. Also, it would be advised to keep hooks out of the reach of small children owing to their sharp nature.
A definite steal at the price that it’s offered!
4. Sougayilang Jigs
Sougayilang jigs are one of the main game-changers when it comes to enticing and capturing fish. Not only does their colorful design attract fish easily, but their small and sleek bodies allow increased water action.
Fishing for crappies can be a difficult task and they may be fussy as well. It’s very important to get your bait or lures to suit the mood of the fish you intend on capturing.
Sougayilang jigs make the task so much easier. These jigs suit the mood of the fish and can be used in both saltwater and freshwater. The jigs are durable and built to last, while the treble hook is sharp and easily catches fish.
A high-quality plastic box has been provided free with the package. Anglers can use it to store baits and other small fishing items.
Users who’ve bought the product have recommended it as an excellent purchase available at an affordable rate. Yes, it does help you catch fish – even the heavy ones.
However, one of the major drawbacks is that if the jig is not attached properly, it has the tendency to break. So use the product properly and you won’t have a problem.
It can definitely be an option if you prefer colourful jigs.
5. Bobby Garland Baby Shad Crappie Baits
The Bobby Garland Baby Shad Crappie Baits are quite popular in the tournament circle of anglers. Mostly known to be used by professional anglers, these legendary soft plastic baits are durable and feature a plump body with a spear-shaped tail that attract fish.
The baits are available in two colours – blue and grey – and are offered in a package of 18 baits. They are not very big and can easily fit into any fishing kit or box. The fast-paced Bobby Garland baits are preferred any day over ordinary baits.
According to customers, this jig is the most action that you can get in the water. Not only are crappies and bass easily attracted to it, but it makes the whole task of catching them so much easier.
A solid high-quality product offered at a great price, you shouldn’t be missing out on this one!
6. Dr. Fish Softbait
If you’re an angler, you must be familiar with the works of Dr. Fish. Boasting high-quality products and realistic painting of baits, it’s no wonder that they are one of the most trusted baits when it comes to fishing for crappies.
With a supple body featuring a round head and wiggle paddle tail, the bait is fresh with the scent and salt required to make it seem like a live one.
This bait is excellent for drop shotting and works great in freshwater and saltwater. The size of the product also makes it highly compatible with any kind of jig that you might want to attach.
Dr. Fish’s bait easily pulls in fish, which get drawn towards it. Once hooked, you can pull up your capture.
Customers who bought the product were highly impressed by the detail and quality used in the product. They praised how realistic the bait looked and how the drop shots also helped them capture fish easily.
Professionals as well as beginners can use this product without any hassle. It can also be the perfect gift for loved ones who love fishing.
A top class product that won’t let you down!
7. Johncoo Fishing Lure
Johncoo’s new fishing lure is so realistic that even you’d mistake it for natural bait. It has been built keeping anglers in mind. The life-like movements of this glittering bait easily draw in fish.
The bait has been built with high-quality silicone which features a rubber tail designed to fall naturally on the side when it swims like a real fish!
The bait is quite popular among anglers who use it daily to capture fish. The design and realistic painting of the bait attract huge amounts of fish towards it.
Available in black and multi-colours, the bait is also super soft to touch and is easily compatible with any rig that you might want to attach.
Customers loved the product and claimed that they’re so realistic that they look like anchovies! The baits are exactly the perfect size that you require to capture crappies and are available in a lure pack of 24.
If you love crappie fishing and need the perfect bait, then this is what you’ve been looking for!
8. Wtrees #2730 Crappie Jigs Set
Wtrees presents its premium range of crappie jigs guaranteed to help you capture that crappie that you so desperately want. The hooks on this product are 20% lighter as compared to other baits, which gives it its unique ability to have life-like movements and be cast far as well.
The product is environment-friendly as well so you don’t have to worry about any chemicals in it.
With sharp and durable hook points, it increases your chances of landing the catch and is quite effective on panfish, trout, walleye, perch, and steelhead to name a few.
The pack includes a total of 100 pieces and is available in the right colors. Due to its efficiency and high success rate, many professional anglers worldwide prefer this product over others.
Users have highly recommended this product and have claimed that it is of high-quality and easily attracts all kinds of fish. Crappies especially are attracted to this lure and bite day and night.
Thanks to its durable nature, these hooks will last you a long time.You can definitely opt for them if you’re looking for simple designs that are guaranteed to get you a bite!
9. Lureshope Eu
The Mepps Aglia spinner is the original lure and has been termed the world’s number 1. Not only is it widely popular among anglers, but it also guarantees you easy fishing when you’re out there looking for crappies. These lures can easily be used in both freshwater as well as saltwater.
With a sharp treble hook and attractive colours, it can easily entice fish and provide you with a fighting-capacity when you’re reeling in fish.
The lure is available in varying weights which can be used to capture fish accordingly. Aglias in size 1 and 2 are perfect for larger fish like stream trout, sunfish, and crappies. Size 2 can also be used for smaller fish as well.
According to customers, these are the best fish hooks that you can purchase under $30. They offer you high-quality and are heavy enough to cast with light tackle and yet small enough to catch a wide variety of fish.
The sizes are perfect for teaching youngsters the basics of spinner fishing as well.
This is truly one of the best lures for crappie fishing and you should believe it!
10. Storm WildEye Live Crappie 02
Storm’s WildEye is rigged with premium treble hooks and a VMC needle-point hook. The realistic painting on the bait and its 3D eyes make it look natural enough to entice crappies.
The colour of the bait and its scent attract crappies which then get hooked to your line thanks to sharp needle hooks.
The product has been manufactured keeping crappie fishing in mind and has been designed to guarantee that your fishing trip is a success. Available in a pack of three, this colourful bait is truly one of the best lures for trapping crappies.
According to users, it is an excellent product at an amazing price of under $10. Some customers have even used it for years now and claim that crappie and bass literally jump out of the water for the bait. No fish is able to ignore this wonderful product.
You can definitely purchase this for your next fishing trip!
Tips To Remember
Once you’ve chosen the crappie lure that you deem best for you, there are still certain tips that you should remember before setting out. A few tips have been mentioned below:
1. When fishing for crappies, you’ll need to be extremely patient. Patience is an attribute that is required for any fishing activity. As you know, crappies are tricky and you might end up frustrated when you don’t get a bite.
Even if you’re not immediately catching any crappies, don’t lose hope. Be patient and you’ll eventually be rewarded.
2. The way you present your jigs and bait also play a major role in trapping crappies. It’s hard to predict the moods of fish, especially crappies. Sometimes they might take the bait and sometimes they won’t.
It’s best if you choose a bait or jig which is colourful and scented. Scented baits always attract crappies who are drawn towards them.
3. Try to obtain and equip a map or a GPS, Navionics chips for your fish finders. It’ll only help your cause in finding the best areas for trapping crappies. Whenever you’re out fishing, it’s best to have an idea or map on the area or region that you’ll be fishing in. Going into uncharted or unknown territory will only be troublesome for you and you’ll end up with no catches at all.
Crappies have different areas of habitations depending on the season. They usually throng to the brush pile during warmer weather and can easily be found in shallow water. Colder regions are best for crappie fishing, where they are concentrated in groups and found in deeper waters.
Knowing about fishing regions makes you a smart angler. The trick is always to fish intelligently and not just wing it.
4. Before heading out on the water, try to gather as much information as you can from bait shops and locals. It will help you if you could obtain some knowledge regarding the areas where you need to fish for crappies or what baits would be best suited to the crappies of that region.
Conservation agencies present in that area would also be able to guide you for when you have to fish for crappies. If you fish rashly, you might end up hurting young crappies when they’re spawning. Chemical baits and lures also harm the water and infect the fish, which is a big problem for the environment as well.
It’s best to opt for environment-friendly baits and lures which are odourless and lack chemical components.
5. Always keep in mind that crappies react best to sight, sound, and smell. They use all three senses when they’re looking for food. When you’re purchasing your fishing bait and jigs, make sure that they are colourful and attractive enough to entice those crappies. With swift jerking of the jigs on the water and action-packed swimming, it’s no wonder that crappies throng to them.
Make sure that the jigs and baits that you purchase contain a metal ball inside, which will help you to cast your bait further, thereby increasing your chances of capturing crappies. One of the best types of baits are the ones which are scented.
Scented baits are usually designed and painted to look realistic and natural. The scent draws crappies towards them, who mistake it for food and get hooked. With the newer styles of baits coming in, some even feature 3D eyes which make them seem like the real thing. And with swift tail movements when hitting the water, it’s no surprise that crappies mistake it for the real thing.
6. Try to equip your boat with fish finders that also function as a GPS. Keep one of the consoles on the boat and one on the front. This will help you mark and find your way around the fishing region.
You won’t get lost with this in unknown territories. It will guide you across the areas of all your fishing activities. Not only do fish finders double as a GPS that marks your way down, but they also help in side imaging and downward imaging. When you take your fish finder along, it becomes like a separate set of eyes for you.
Capturing downward and side images, it keeps you alert on all sides. It also helps you locate crappies and acts as an added advantage in your fishing trip.
7. Always remember to keep a fishing log book. That way, you can note down the colors, types, and fish species that you’ve caught and the weather conditions pertaining to it. This method prepares you for future fishing trips and gives you a fair idea on the techniques that you’ll need to remember when you go crappie fishing.
Expert anglers and professionals have also developed the habit of keeping a fishing log. Not only is it an essential part of fishing, but a very good way to keep track of all your past endeavors.
Best Crappie Lures: Choose the Right one!
After going through all the tips and factors required, you’re now equipped to purchase your lures for crappie fishing. Crappies, being one of the trickiest fish, can easily be caught if you understand the correct method and factors that go into making a fishing trip successful.
Fishing is not only about dropping in a line and hoping that you get a bite. It’s actually surprising to see that a simple activity such as fishing requires immense efforts on the angler’s part to understand the technicalities of fishing and apply them.
When you’re going fishing, you need the correct fishing gear, maps or GPS, appropriate bait or lures, a basic idea about local fishing hotspots, and the expected weather conditions. Only when you’ve prepared all this will you be ready to go fishing.
As mentioned earlier, crappies are a species of sunfish and one of the most popular that anglers prefer. Not only are they tasty, but also a challenge to catch.
If you’re planning on catching crappies, it’s only fair that you familiarize yourself with the areas that they visit and the baits that they prefer. It gets so confusing and frustrating at times when you buy bait and the fish just refuse to bite. So what can you do to tackle such situations?
At times, choosing a bait can also depend on the mood of the fish. You might go through all catalogues and features and finally zero in on one bait only to find that the fish still refuse to bite.
To avoid such situations, many companies have come up with more realistic-looking baits which feature 3D eyes and natural painting, which makes them look so life-like. But that’s not all! These baits are also scented, which can only help your cause.
Most crappies like minnows get attracted to these baits and may latch onto them. In such cases, as an added bonus, you can also attach colourful jigs to your hooks. The playful design and their fast movements in water are guaranteed to bring you a lot of bites.
While we’re on the subject of baits and lures, make sure that you choose odourless and environment-friendly ones which won’t harm the surroundings or infect the fish.
Baits and lures are helpful accessories that can help you fish better. They replace live baits in your fishing kit and work just as efficiently.
The problem with live baits is that you need to catch or buy them separately, keep them alive, and be sure that the fish definitely bite on it.
It’s too much of a hassle with live baits, which can easily be changed with bait and lures that are available in the market. Baits and lures are easier to store and reuse whenever the situation arises.
Fishing can be done in various seasons and crappies have their own season as well. While it is true that you can fish for crappies all through the four seasons, winter is deemed to be the best one of all.
Ice fishing for crappies is a task that many anglers undertake and the results are mind-boggling. Not only are the chances of finding crappies easier, but you get the opportunity of hauling crappies by the bulk.
Crappies tend to concentrate in large groups in deep waters and if you’re in luck, your bait might just end up in the middle of it all!
Once you’re through with all the points, you’ll certainly be ready to take your boat out and have a fun-filled fishing weekend!
All credit for this awesome list goes to Catskill Fly Fishing. https://www.catskillflyfishing.org/gears/best-crappie-lures/