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How to Jig for Crappie Like a Pro: Basics, Techniques, and More…

Written by James Schulz

Amongst the plethora of weapons for fishing, jigs are probably the most versatile ones that are used by crappie anglers for crappie fishing.

The functionality of jigs in crappie fishing is unparalleled. Important functions like tightening, slip floating, trolling, and casting can all be performed with jigs.

With the help of a jig, you can perform all the aforementioned functions using different techniques in different situations.

When it comes to learning how to jig for crappie, learning about the functionality of a jig in fishing for crappie is essential.

A jig is probably your best bet in catching crappie.

When it comes to jigs, you have lots of options to choose from and it’s the perfect medicine for sac a lait.

Now whether you’re a seasoned pro at fishing in need of a refresher on how to jig for crappie or whether you’re just about to start fishing altogether, continue reading and learn about everything that there is to cover about jig for crappie.

How To Fish For Crappie Like A Pro

How To Jig For Crappie: The Basics Of Crappie Jig

Whether you’re just about to start fishing or you’ve been fishing for years, when it comes to using a jig for catching crappie, it’s essential to be thorough with the basics.

Why? This is because your crappie fishing endeavor will be bound to fail if you use the wrong jigging techniques or the incorrect equipment.

What Is A Jig?

The very first topic that must be covered before delving into the different techniques involved in how to jig for crappie is to properly understand the meaning of a jig.

What really is a jig in crappie fishing?

In crappie fishing, a jig is basically a lure. A jig consists of two fundamental parts, namely, a jig head and a jig body.

Now coming to the jig head, it is basically a hook.

This hook features a shaped, weighted section as well as an offset eye.

The jig head can either be plain lead or be painted. The jig head is available in a plethora of sizes and styles.

When it comes to choosing whether to opt for a painted jig head or the plain lead variant, it is up to you.

However, painted jig heads are preferred to plain lead jig heads.

However, you may just purchase an unpainted one and paint it yourself if you want an economical option.

The second component of jig heads is the jig body.

The great thing about jig heads is that they can accept any type of bait such as soft bait options such as curly-tailed grub to minnow parts.

What makes jigs so great for catching crappie is that they’re an incredibly versatile weapon in fishing.

Jigs are like blank slates that allow you the flexibility to use them in whatever way that you want to in fishing.

Did you know that some jigs also come with features like a spinner or a blade that is attached to the jig head? Yes!

This feature allows crappie jigs to move around like crankbaits.

The flash and vibrations that are created by the spinner and blades are great for attracting crappie bites.

Crappie Fishing: The Perfect Jig Size

When purchasing a crappie jig, the best recommendation would be to opt for jig heads that weigh between 1/32th to 1/8th ounces.

Most anglers opt for jig sizes between this aforementioned range.

However, some anglers fish with a heavier jig when jigging deep or in murky water.

Your perfect jig size will be dependent on the fishing conditions and the jigging technique that you’ve chosen.

However, a simple formula to remember when it comes to buying the right crappie jig for crappie fishing is to use a heavier jig for fishing in deeper water.

●      Casting: The casting distance, as well as the wind speed, are the other two factors that you must keep in mind when you fish for crappie.

For fishing in situations wherein you require the most wind-bucking and the greatest distance, go for a heavier jig.

●      Tightlining/trolling: The simple rule of a heavier crappie jig is only applicable for casting.

When it comes to tightening or trolling, owing to the added weight on the rig, you can go for a lighter crappie jig.

Jig Body Styles For Catching Crappie

When it comes to selecting the right jig for crappie, you can choose from four types of jig bodies for crappie holding in jig fishing. These are:

a. Minnow: These types of jig bodies are designed in a way so as to mimic the shape, action, and size of a live minnow.

This jig style (a live minnow) is such that it’s very effective in water when you fish.

The minnow jig for crappie is available in a plethora of colors for you to choose from to fish.

b. Grub: This jig body is designed in a way that it’s very easy for maneuvering in the water when you fish.

The body consists of a fat body and a long tail. The long tail is attached to the fat body of the jig for crappie.

c. Tube: This jig body looks unique. Tube jigs have two components.

A tube-shaped body that is attached to a fringe tail. The tube-shaped body of tube jigs looks like a soft-bullet-shaped cylinder.

However, there is a hybrid jig body type that’s used to catch crappie.

It’s a hybrid of the grub jig’s fat body and the fringe tail of the tube jig.

d. Marabou jigs: This crappie jig is another unique-looking jig for crappie fishing.

Marabou jigs are like an all-in-one, pre-tied combo of a crappie jig and a fly.

Marabou jigs look hairy. They have long trailing skirts for the purpose of creating lots of movement in water when jigged lightly.

Color Choices For Catching Crappie

When it comes to catching crappie, the importance of the color of the crappie jig needs to be thoroughly explored.

It’s said that crappie can be quite picky when it comes to the color of the crappie jig.

Using painted heads is important because both white crappie and black crappie have the ability to see colors and light underwater!

When it comes to catching crappie fish, you must remember that crappie fish have excellent eyesight as well as the largest eye-to-body-size ratios amongst freshwater fish.

Therefore, if you want to catch crappie, focus on the color.

When it comes to choosing the right color for fishing for crappie, you must take water depth and other conditions into consideration.

So, when it comes to jig fishing for crappie fish, here are some important points to remember:

  • Go for natural colors such as clear (raw lead heads), silver, green, and brown when jig fishing in clear water. Also, opt for soft bait (like curly-tailed grub) when trying to catch crappie in clear water.
  • Go for bright colors such as pink, red, yellow, and chartreuse in stained water or dark water. Such colors stand out well in stained water. Crappie fish will be able to spot brighter colors in stained water.
  • It’s important to remember that the visibility of colors decreases with deep water. This means that the greater the water depth, the lower will be the visibility of the color of your jig head.
  • Crappie fish are highly active at night. So, the best time to catch crappie would be at night!

Low light will maximize the chances of your success at crappie fishing.

When night fishing in low light for crappie, it’s a good idea to choose a jig color that matches the clarity of the water.

For clear water, opt for natural colors (including raw lead heads).

Bold colors are best for muddy water.

Additional tip: When you’re out crappie fishing at night using painted heads, use a green LED light underwater to secure a sac a lait and get impressive crappie bites!

Crappie Fishing: Tie A Jig The Right Way

When it comes to learning how to jig for crappie, it’s essential you understand that jigs are supposed to hang horizontally even if you’re vertical jigging.

To ensure that the jig hangs vertically at all times, the jig must be tied correctly. For this, tie a knot to attach the jig to the fishing line on the eye accurately.

Some popular knot styles to attach crappie jigs to the fishing line in jig fishing include the Palomar knot, the simple loop knot, and the Trilene knot.

Single rig jig:

When trying to catch crappie, it’s very important that you tie a knot that’ll permit the crappie jig to freely move in the shallow water and/or deep water without restrictions.

The Trilene knot and loop knot (simple loop) are great options under a single rig jig.

Double jig rig:

In double crappie rigs, two jigs can be attached to the fishing line.

So, the rod tip with two jigs gives the fisherman a split shot of getting bit by crappie.

The double rig jig allows you to utilize two different jig styles and colors to maximize your chances of catching crappie.

An example of a double jig rig would be the Palomar knot.

The Top Fishing Lines For Crappie Jigging

When it comes to maximizing your success in catching crappie, choosing the right crappie fishing line is just as important as choosing the right jig body, size, color, and head!

An important factor that you must take into account when buying the right fishing line for catching crappie is that you must remember the kind of water you wish to fish in.

To jig for crappie, there are 3 key types of crappie fishing lines available:

1) Monofilament Crappie Fishing Line

Pros:
  • Easy to cast
  • Extremely affordable
  • High visibility as this crappie jig is available in various colors
  • Resistant to abrasion
Cons:
  • Low sensitivity
  • Can absorb UV radiation (this weakens the line over time)
  • High stretch and low density
  • Retains memory

2) Braided Line

Pros:
  • Very high sensitivity
  • Top-notch casting ability
  • Zero stretch
  • Available in color options`
Cons:
  • Isn’t abrasion resistant
  • Poor knot strength
  • No low visibility options are available
  • Tangles easily

3) Fluorocarbon Line

Pros:
  • High density
  • Low stretch
  • Impressive knot strength
  • Excellent sensitivity
  • Is almost invisible underwater
Cons:
  • High memory
  • Poor abrasion resistance ability
  • Isn’t available in various color options
  • Expensive

Catch Crappie Like A Pro: Jigging Techniques

Now that you’re well-acquainted with the fundamentals of catching crappie and jig fishing in general, let’s delve into the various techniques under how to jig for crappie like a pro:

1) Vertical Jigging

Although vertical jigging is a highly effective technique for catching crappie, it’s unfortunately often overlooked as a technique for catching fall crappie and summer crappie.

Vertical jigging is ideal on warm summer days as well as early fall.

In early fall and warm summer days, fall crappie and summer crappie disperse in lakes.

In the fall, they move away from shallow water and during the summer, they look for cold water.

In both of the aforementioned seasons, crappie will form clusters in about 10 feet of water.

So, to catch crappie, find their location using your fish finder and just use gentle vertical jigging to catch these fish.

2) Trolling Jigs (With spider rig)

During early spring, crappie fish move from deeper water to shallow water for spawning. They first congregate in the backwaters and creeks.

After spawning, as the water warms, the crappie fish migrate back to deeper waters, schooling fish in the water column. and dispersing throughout their habitat.

So, if you want to catch crappie in the early spring and summer season, large portions of lakes have to be covered owing to schooling fish and warm weather.

For this, spider rigging is your best bet because it’s great for covering vast areas of water (with varying depths).

In spider rigging, you have to place several long rods in different rod holders.

This spider rig arrangement of rods in rod holders makes one’s boat look like a spider. Hence, the name spider rigging.

3) Shallow Water Jig Casting

It’s important to remember that vertical jigging isn’t the only way to fish for crappie.

Crappie isn’t restricted to vertical presentations! Crappie fish are great for catching through casting.

Casting a jig is great when you need to cover lots of water (in little time) and/or target inaccessible cover.

Casting a jig is especially a great fishing technique for catching crappie in the spring season (early spring).

Yes, there’s spider rigging for sure.

But, casting a jig is a great alternative, especially for the inaccessible cover.

Casting into the shallow waters when paper mouths are spawning can bear amazing results!

Although many anglers tend to opt for a braided fishing line for casting, it’s a good idea to opt for monofilament crappie fishing lines for hooking on crappie paper-mouths.

The casting location is also equally important for catching crappie.

Casting over submerged shallow water areas is a great option. You can also consider next to downed trees and stumps.

4) Slip Bobber:

Another highly effective way of fishing for crappie is by using a slip bobber!

Yes! The slip bobber method is highly effective and easy. The bobber is attached to the jig.

  • The slip floats and basically functions as a visual cue or indicator of whether any bites are occurring below the surface.
  • The slip floats and not only acts as a visual cue but also keeps the crappie jig suspended in the water column.
  • The slip floats and allows the jig to float in the water column above vegetation and other structures.
  • The slip float method is fantastic for crappie fishing in shallow water, especially during the spawning season (spring).
  • The slip float method is also suited for crappie fishing in dense vegetation areas (like lily pads) and open waters.

It’s best to try the slip float method on a cane pole or a very light rig.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do You Rig A Jig For Crappie?

When it comes to learning how to rig a jig for crappie, always remember that jigs are supposed to hang horizontally even if you're vertical jigging. For this, tie a knot to attach the jig to the fishing line on the eye accurately. To rig a jig, you have two options: the single rig jig (e.g.: trilene knot) and the double rig jig (eg: paloma knot).

What Kind Of Jig Do You Use For Crappie?

The best jig will be that color, style, and weight of jig that attracts the most bites from crappie fish. Popular jig for crappie fishing includes the Blakemore Roadrunner style, Marabou style, and Crappie Magnet.

What Color Jig Is Best for Crappie?

The jig color will depend on the type and depth of water in which you'll be fishing for crappie. Go for natural colors such as clear (raw lead heads), silver, green, and brown in clear water and for bright colors such as pink, red, yellow, and chartreuse in stained water or dark water.

How Do You Catch A Crappie With A Jig And A Slip Bobber?

To catch a crappie with a slip bobber and jig, just drop your slip bobber and jig into a small opening surrounded by vegetation and structures where the crappie is spawning. Let your jig sit. Closely observe the slip bobber. Remember to twitch your rod tip gently every few minutes. 

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