Best Live Baits For Crappie Fishing

Fishing - Best live baits for crappie fishing

Crappie fishing requires the use of live baits such as shad shiners, minnows, crawfish, tadpoles and worms. These species work well on any lake and will help increase your catch.

Crappie feed on a variety of worms, such as earthworms, night crawlers, wax worms and mealworms. Which worms you select will have an enormous impact on your success rate.

Shad Shiners

One of the best “live baits” for crappie is a shad shiner. This balsa composite lure can be cranked, crawled and twitched to make your day on the water more enjoyable. In spring and summertime, this shad-shaped creature of the night is an effective way to catch crappie and other species.

Shad shiners make excellent ice fishing targets when the ice breaks and crappies begin to appear. These creatures tend to move shallow to escape cold weather, often found in 6-12 feet of water on old cabbage beds or slow tapering flats with scattered weed clumps. Bring along some food for them – hot dogs or hamburgers work great!

The Aruku shad 60 is the premier shad shiner for crappie fishing. Crafted from premium balsa, this small but powerful crankbait boasts high tech rattles, treble hooks and multiple glow tack blings. Floating on a bobber, you can troll this realistic crawfish imitation at high speeds – guaranteed to be one of your screen’s most impressive sights!


For effective live bait that will attract crappies, minnows are an excellent choice. Not only are these baits highly effective year-round, but their small size makes them great for anglers of any skill level or location.

Crappie fishing requires using various worms, depending on the season and conditions. Popular options for crappies include earthworms, night crawlers, wax worms and mealworms.

Crappie fishing enthusiasts often use red wiggler worms. These worms are about half the size of a night crawler and much livelier.

To use a red wiggler for crappie fishing, hook it onto a larger hook and leave an inch or so of the worm dangling. This will enable the worm to move around freely and attract strikes from curious crappies.

According to Jeremy Smith, fishing shallower water when the ice melts is key for targeting muddy-water crappie during spring. These fish typically swim around between 6-10 feet deep, often near cover like bullrushes or weed clumps, according to expert advice.


Crawfish make for excellent crappie fishing bait due to their abundance and accessibility in most rivers. Not only that, but these creatures boast an impressive appetite – making them a tasty treat for both kids and adults alike!

Worms are an effective bait for crappie fishing throughout the year, but they excel when the water temperature is cold. This is because worms have more long-lasting survival rates in colder waters than other live baits can handle.

Another advantage of worms is their ease of discovery and capture, especially during wintertime. Not only are they inexpensive to purchase, but they’re also beneficial in keeping your baitfish healthy while on the river.

Crappie are more sensitive to vibrations and odor than sight when searching for prey in murky waters. That is why a scent-tipped jig or live minnow can be the most successful enticement on a day like this.

Anglers often turn to soft-plastics as an alternative to live baits due to their antifreeze quality, which helps them last better in cold conditions while offering subtle action when jigged.

These pliable baits can be used on a variety of dropper rigs, including spoons, ice jigs and drop shot rigs. Additionally, they’re effective when tipped with small worms, bugs or minnows.


Frogs are beloved creatures in ponds and make excellent live bait for crappie fishing. Additionally, frogs provide valuable nutrition to various pond animals.

Tadpoles begin as delicate, elongated bodies without legs. To breathe underwater, they have gills and tails; plus, their “beak” looks like a “rasp” for eating algae.

Tadpoles grow into tiny frogs with long tails as they develop. As they mature, tadpoles develop hind legs, front legs and lungs to breathe above water. Their skin over their gills also gives them the appearance of small frogs with long tails.

They begin as tadpoles for about four weeks, before developing into fierce carnivores with back legs, teeth and lungs that feed on anything that comes their way. It’s quite entertaining to watch these little guys grow up – their transformation into carnivores is truly fascinating!

Tadpoles can be a challenging live bait to catch. They take up space and are difficult to locate, particularly in large ponds or shallow water. Furthermore, predators such as frogs and birds could easily consume them if not taken care of promptly. So to ensure your tadpoles don’t get eaten, consider building a tadpole exit ramp; that way, you’ll have much better odds at capturing them! Remember also to adhere to certain fishing regulations when using live bait: no swimming before 12:00am!


Crappie are typically bottom feeders, making worms an ideal “live bait” option for this type of fishing. Worms tend to be larger than most other baits and leave a substantial amount dangling from the hook, making them much more likely to be taken by crappie.

Some types of worms can be parasites, meaning they live on another organism (like humans). Parasite worms have the potential to do great harm and even lead to serious medical issues. Some parasite worms even enter people’s intestines and cause serious infections like blindness and brain defects.

Worms are any living thing with an invertebrate body. In the animal kingdom, worms belong to the phylum Platyhelminthes.

Worms are flat, ribbon-shaped animals with two eyes at the front. Some worms are parasites like tapeworms; while others live as planarians in ponds and lakes.

Crappie fishing requires the use of live bait, and different worms can be utilized as such. Some are small like gastrotrichs; others are larger like peanut worms (Sipuncula).


Grubs are widely considered the best “live baits” for crappie fishing due to their size and ease of identification. These small, c-shaped creatures typically feature brown heads and legs with no eyes.

At their larval stage, these pests live beneath the surface and feed on organic matter such as plant roots. If left unchecked, these worms can do significant damage to lawns.

If you notice dead patches of grass in your yard, grubs are likely the culprit. To check for them, dig up a sample of turf and search the soil for 0.75-inch-long white grubs that are 2-6 inches below the surface.

You can eliminate grubs in your lawn with preventive products like imidacloprid, thiamethoxam or clothianidin. When applied in June or July and irrigated with 0.5 inches of water immediately after application, these pesticides have been known to reduce grub numbers 75-100%.

Alternative solution: beneficial nematodes. These microscopic parasitic worms feed on grubs, spreading bacteria until they die off completely. Nematodes can be purchased from garden stores or online; however, remember that they take some time to establish in your lawn.

Insects and Bugs

Animals, insects and bugs comprise one of the most diverse groups on Earth. With more than 80% of all known animal life forms and an estimated two to 30 million additional insect species yet to be discovered, insects are truly remarkable creatures.

Insects, officially known as pancrustaceans from the Latin ‘insectum’, make up the bulk of arthropod phylum. Other arthropod groups include centipedes, millipedes, mites and sowbugs but they stand out with a chitinous exoskeleton, three-part body with jointed legs and compound eyes that set them apart from non-insect arthropods.

They possess a paired alimentary canal that unidirectionally channels food from their mouth to their anus, as well as salivary glands and reservoirs for producing saliva. Furthermore, insects possess specialized organs of perception which enable them to detect sound, ultraviolet light and pheromones over long distances.

Insects are the only land invertebrates capable of actively flying, enabling them to move faster than their bodies would allow if they were just walking. This ability is essential for their survival; some even use wagging movements as a form of communication (such as what the yellow paper wasp does) within colonies.

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