The most popular aid for crappie fishing are crappie jigs. They range from crappie tubes – simple plastic jig through to elaborate hand tied crappie hair jigs. Jig fishing for crappie means using freshwater jigs – as crappie are freshwater fish!
There are many reasons for using jigs bait rather than live bait:
- Jigs can be bought ahead of time and kept in storage.
- You can fish at any time with jigs.
- It is quicker and easier to start fishing with jigs as you don’t have to either stop off and buy bait or catch it.
- Jigs are a lot less messy than live bait.
- It is easy to change the type or colour of jig if the fish aren’t biting.
There are thousands of crappie jigs available, literally. They come in every conceivable style colour and weight. As crappie are light fish – with a very soft mouth the best weight of jigs to use is under ¼ ounce, and preferably less than 1/8 ounce.
It is always a good idea to keep a variety of jigs available for use as fishing conditions vary and you will need different crappie jigs to allow for that. As you gain in confidence and skill you will specialise in a small number of jigs.
Different Types of Jigs
Bodies – Jigs can be made from almost anything! Popular materials include plastic, rubber, hair, floss and fabric.
Tails – there is almost as wide a variety in tails as there is in bodies. The tails are what create the movement and are what attract the crappie. You can get triple tails, curly tails, ripple tails and broad tails.
Heads – this is the functional part of the jig. The colour of the head can attract the crappie and it needs to direct the rest of the jig and hold the fishing line. Types of head available include, standing heads, lead heads diving heads and floating heads.
Colours of Crappie Jigs
It is generally accepted that the brighter the day the brighter the colour of jig that you will need to use, and conversely if the day is dark – or you are night fishing then you will want to use darker colour jigs. But this wisdom isn’t set in stone. When jig fishing for crappie you may want to vary your jigs, crappie are well known for being choosy and what attracts them one day will not work the next. So if the fish aren’t biting then you may want to change the colour of your jig – try using a darker jig on a bright day or a lighter jig on a cloudy day.
When you need a little extra vibration you can also add spinners to your jigs – or use ones with spinner built in.