Anglers that are new to crappie fishing, must first learn the basics of this fish species to better understand how to hunt and catch them.
Learning about what crappie fishing equipment works best along with some of the techniques and tricks can help you land both black crappie and white crappie at will.
What Equipment Do You Need To Catch Crappie?
Crappie is considered small fish and as such you will not need the most robust equipment to catch them as compared to other hard-hitting fish such as bass.
One of the biggest papermouths ever caught was about five pounds. However, most of your catches will fall within the 1-1.5 pounds range.
You won’t be needing high-strength fishing rods, instead, you will want something that makes catching crappie fun and exciting without harming the fish.
Crappie has the most delicate mouths and they can easily tear if you use too much force or heavy-duty fishing gear.
Most anglers fishing for bass use a braided line because it offers great sensitivity and lack of stretch but this is not needed when crappie fishing.
One should always use an ultra-light or light-medium rod for hunting white perch. All the rods you choose should ideally be in the mid-priced rod range options and have fluorocarbon or a monofilament line.
The Best Hooks For Crappie Fishing
Remember, crappie have very tender mouths that are easily damaged and torn by unforgiving hooksets.
Therefore, in order to secure your catch in one piece, you should always use gear that is more forgiving.
Another important thing new crappie anglers must have knowledge about is the type of hook they should use.
As compared to other fish species, crappie has bigger mouths, but they are very delicate.
Therefore, you should use a larger size of hook, to have better control once the fish is hooked.
You can use a hook as small as a #6 and go up to as large as #1.
If you plan to use a setup with a minnow attached to the hook its size should be 2/0.
Your best bet would be to use an Aberdeen hook, but you can also go for other options depending on your likes and dislikes.
Jigging – Vertical Jigging, Yellow Jigs, Two Jigs & More
In order to help you catch crappie, you will need to get some jig fishing practice as this helps improve your odds of landing more crappie significantly.
Jigs are the most productive fishing lures because they have the most versatile profile allowing anglers to fish in all kinds of water conditions.
These jigs allow you to match and choose the size, color, and action of your lure according to the prey fish found in the water body you are fishing in.
When casting in waters with deep cover, retrieving pilings, overhanging tree limbs, or when running a slip bobber or spider rigging to find fish, your best bet would be to use a jig.
The Best Jigs For Crappie Fishing
Many anglers tend to use tubes or minnows and even yellow jigs to two jigs combinations but you should choose the style of your jig according to the conditions.
In clear water, we recommend natural colors, in order to have a more natural presentation.
On the other hand, when crappie fishing in stained or muddy water, or when night fishing, it is better to use bright-colored, Day-Glo crappie jigs.
Since most of the time you will be fishing in waters that have limited visibility, you should opt for jigs that have the above-mentioned features.
How To Rig Jigs Professionally
Jig fishing is not a difficult thing to do but in order to master its art, you must know certain tips and tricks to catch more crappie.
If you are using a minnow it will not look like prey to the fish without proper rigging, because its tail will be down and its head will be up.
Therefore, in order to make your jig sit horizontally in the water, you should make sure that the position of your knot is correct.
Many anglers tend to make the mistake that they slip the knot in front of the eye.
This leads the jig to rest in an artificial-looking vertical position that is not able to attract predatory fish.
You will not want this to happen so you should be careful when tying the knot.
The correct position is right at the top of the eye.
This will tilt the jig forward, lifting the tail and making it look and act a lot more like a real minnow.
You can also use jigs with soft plastics or soft plastic body baits to catch more fish.
Slow Fall Jig Fishing
Although crappie is a schooling fish, they are also an ambush predator that is always looking to prey on small fish.
However, they will never go after fast-moving prey, because this will cause them to lose essential energy, moreover, there is a higher chance of being unsuccessful.
They will never go after lures that are fast-moving or have a continuously changing direction.
Therefore, when fishing for crappie you must be very slow and calm.
Moreover, if you want to landfall crappie, you must let your jig fall down slowly into deeper water and wait for the crappie to get enticed and come out.
This will dramatically increase your rate of catching fish.
If you are not able to catch, it must be because you are jigging too fast.
Using A Smaller Jig
Another reason why people are unable to catch crappie is that their jigs are too heavy.
The mistake anglers make is that in order to get their jigs to the bottom they use heavier jigs.
The most common setup in this situation is a heavy jig with a fluorocarbon line, although this might work in certain conditions, most of the time it is unable to catch crappie.
We understand that a heavy jig is less buoyant and it will not float around in the water, but it is important to note that the lighter jig will eventually sink down.
It will take a little longer because it is not dense.
Moreover, fluorocarbon has a sink rate that is comparable to other lines and there is not much difference.
But during all this debate, we tend to overlook the most important thing – crappies are very lazy just like bass.
They will never go after quick sinking bait, they tend to overlook fast-moving objects.
Therefore, we will recommend you to use a down-sized jig, with a lighter weight.
You can start with 1/32 and 1/16 ounce heads.
If you are going against the wind or if you need to have a more precise feel or want better rod control you can use a bigger jig.
But normally you should try to use the smallest jigs in order to catch crappie.
Choosing The Right Jig
When using soft plastics, you should use a bait that is streamlined and cuts easily through the water.
This will provide you with a bait that sinks at a moderate rate without compromising on its ability to attract crappie.
You can use artificial lures ranging from soft plastics to minnows when catching black/white crappie.
To slow down your jigs sinking, you can use a wide-bodied one that has a wider surface area.
The slower the fall the more enticed the crappie will be.
A light-headed jig will give them a chance to strike and more strikes mean more fish.
When you head out for ice fishing to catch winter crappie, these slow lures will make them go crazy and they will keep on biting.
Use A Monofilament Line
As we all know that crappie tends to have enormous mouths, we must avoid using small hook sizes for them.
Since smaller hooks can tear apart their mouth tissues that are paper-thin and highly delicate.
Moreover, using a smaller hook will require you to use more force, which then of course will rip off their mouth.
Therefore, when you are doing crappie spawn, use a nylon monofilament line.
These monofilament lines have a tendency to stretch.
The material used to make mono is very elastic, allowing it to stretch without deformation under load.
This not only provides you with strength but another advantage is that the monofilament provides a cushion to your hookset.
If for some reason you are unable to catch crappie, you must stop using the line you have equipped your rod with.