The Best Baits For Crappie Fishing

Fishing - The Best Baits For Crappie Fishing

Crappie are schooling fish that tend to gather near cover such as submerged brush piles or docks, especially during their mating season. Crappie also prefer shallow waters when it’s time for reproduction.

For optimal crappie fishing, try pairing live minnows or grubs with a small jig head and fishing them beneath a slip bobber for optimal depth control.


Crappie are known to move deeper in spring, making jigs an excellent bait option. Easy to use and versatile enough for any species of minnow or soft plastic baiting, jigs consist of two parts – head and body; where the latter consists of an off-center eyed shape while there is also a variety of plain and painted heads available on the market.

Some jigs come equipped with blades to create more movement and give them more “thump” in the water, but their bodies are what attract fish to it; many feature holes at their top for attaching hooks, and many even come equipped with trailers that can hold baits.

Anglers fishing for crappie typically employ a bobber and some type of small minnow for bait. Crappie are known to cluster near weed beds, so positioning your bait near them is crucial. As these fish have delicate mouths that must be handled carefully when hooking one. Also important when targeting these fish are having high quality bobbers that won’t break with just a slight pull on them.

Vertical crappie fishing with a large head jig can provide more precise hits, and its extra weight helps ensure it remains on the bottom even in windy conditions.

Crappie can be caught year round, though summer and fall tend to be peak times for their capture. While some anglers prefer running and gunning across large brush piles with baited lines, others opt for slow trolling over specific spots that have proven successful over time. Both approaches can produce many fish; the key lies in covering lots of water surface area.

Live Minnows

Crappie fish tend to bite hard at baits that resemble their natural diet, such as minnows. Minnows can be used on their own or combined with other forms of bait; just ensure you use fresh minnows rather than frozen ones as they will attract crappie more effectively.

When using a minnow as bait for crappie fishing, it is important to be mindful of which species of crappie you are targeting. White and black crappie have distinct differences when it comes to diet preferences and habitat requirements. White crappie tend to prefer open and murky waters and feed on minnows or shad. As defense mechanisms, white crappie are likely to avoid anything that seems foreign as they try to protect themselves.

Crappie fish that are getting ready to spawn often congregate in pre-spawn areas in spring. These areas offer them food, shelter, and ideal water temperature conditions; such areas could include submerged brush piles, docks or other structures. Anglers looking to attract these fish could try small jigs and minnows or vertical jigging which involves dropping your bait straight down onto the bottom and then moving it vertically up and down repeatedly.

Early spring fishing for crappie can be extremely effective due to warming waters and active fish that respond well to live bait movement. A bobber should help keep it at an appropriate depth in the strike zone for maximum effectiveness of bait presentation.

Small Soft Plastic Lure

Crappie can be captured using any variety of soft plastic lures, but the key to successful fishing is matching your bait size to that of the fish you are targeting. When fishing crappie with small plastics such as paddle tail, worm, or craw styles designed to mimic their food source are most successful; pre marinated lures often attract crappie while providing action that triggers strikes from strikes from predators.

How a soft plastic behaves during retrieval depends entirely on how its angler manipulates their rod tip during retrieve. Short jerks will imitate the frantic movements of fleeing baitfish while long, slow retrieves allow the plastic to sink to and rise from its perch on bottom – both actions producing dramatic reactions from nearby crappie.

Once a crappie has been caught, an angler should keep its bait near where it was hooked and continue fishing that spot until more fish have been found. Crappies tend to spend most of their time during late winter and early spring in transition areas between their deep winter haunts and shallower spawning flats – these provide ideal opportunities to use soft plastic lures to draw a large number of them to one spot and catch them more effectively.

Lunkerhunt Baby Shad is an ideal vertical jigging bait to use when targeting crappie. Available in various colors, the Baby Shad mimics real shad perfectly. Plus, its unique design enables its hook to pass through its “hood” without becoming exposed – keeping your bait from riding up on your hook after capture!


Earthworms make great bait for crappie fishing as they tend to swim near the surface and submerge in dense vegetation or submerged brush piles. Earthworms can easily be caught using small hooks, and their wiggling helps attract the crappie‘s attention.

There are various earthworm species, each boasting its distinctive body form that separates them from similar-appearing creatures. Yet, all earthworms share several traits in common despite these variations: segmented bodies, eyes, and an airway called the prostomium which allows breathing while providing protection from predators.

Crappie are freshwater fish found throughout lakes, rivers and creeks of all sizes and types. Crappie tend to congregate near underwater structures like docks or brush piles or dense vegetation such as eelgrass or water lilies; their peak activity hours for fishing are early morning and late afternoon when most active. To fish for crappie at your best chances you should target early morning or late afternoon hours when conditions are best.

Crappie are best caught using live bait such as minnows and worms, though small jigs will work just as effectively. When fishing for crappie in most states, practice catch and release to ensure a successful trip. By following these simple tips you’re sure to experience an enjoyable crappie fishing expedition!


Insects make an excellent bait choice for crappie fishing because of their many advantages over other options. First of all, insects are relatively inexpensive. Furthermore, no freezing or refrigerating is required which makes them a convenient solution for anglers looking to save money or time by not needing frozen bait preparation. Moreover, insects have proven highly effective at drawing more fish in quicker than other baits do.

Crappie fish prefer areas that offer food, shelter and clean water sources; such places might include creek channels, riprap beds or boat docks. You might also find them near shallower waters near spawning beds in summer; during winter they frequently retreat into brush piles for protection from sun’s heat or windy weather conditions.

If you plan to fish crappie during bright and sunny days, use brightly-colored baits. Crappies won’t be able to see dark colors underwater; for this reason, choose something like the Slider CSGF45 Crappie Grub that comes in green to reflect light well and attract the fish’s attention.

Under overcast or cloudy skies, darker grubs should be the bait of choice for optimal fishing success. Their strong scent attracts crappie while simulating what the fish typically consumes on regular days. To increase vibrations even further, try attaching a small spinner lure.

Top 5 Best Crappie Fishing Lures, baits, and Jigs