Best Crappie Fishing Bait – 4 Things You Need To Know

crappie minnow


Crappie is commonly found in lakes. Normally they swim in schools and are really fun fish to target. However, you should use the right tips to target this fish.


One thing you should note is that their mouths are delicate. So without these skills, you might rip them off. Catching crappie is challenging, but it is possible with the best crappie fishing bait.


The most attractive thing about crappie fishing is that you can do so all year through. You can fish during all 4 seasons, whenever it is suitable for you. That being said, let’s discuss some of the tips that you should use to catch the best crappie. Have a look at the best crappie fishing bait.




Over the years live baits, and specifically minnows, have yielded lots of success for crappie. You can find them in stores that deal with aquarium supplies and pet fish. Likewise, you can find live minnows from just about any bait shop around.


As you use live minnows, remember that they are somewhat fragile with a short lifespan. When exposed to extremely cold or hot temperatures, they will not last long. They will become listless and die which is a sure recipe for NOT catching crappie. Crappie will pounce on lively minnows that are swimming briskly. Crappie will almost always ignore dead minnows on your hook.


So make sure you know how to keep your minnows alive. Luckily, you can use an aerated, insulated minnow bucket to store your live bait. Doing so will let them live as long as you need them.


Using minnows is easy…. You should hook your minnows either under the dorsal fin or via the upper lip. Doing so will extend their life while at the same time yield you success.


Make sure you don’t place the hook through the middle of minnow’s body. If you do, you’ll only be shortening the life of your live bait.


Here is a good article on crappie minnows!

plastic jigs



Plastic jigs come in different body types. The main ones are tube jigs which are hollow bodied, minnow like lures that look like the real thing, and lures that look like little tad poles. All of them have some type of tail that affects the movement of the jig in the water.


Grubs for example have a curly tail that gives the jig a very “twitch” movement in the water. This attracts crappie. Tube jigs are hollow and light. This is important because it will affect the fall of a lure. Crappies do not chase food below them. They will however attack bait that is directly in front of them or above them. They feed up. This is why you want your jig to descend slowly.


Plastic jigs come in a hundred different colors. They range from one solid colors to a two color combination. They come in “normal” colors as well as bright fluorescent combinations.


Make sure you have a few different ones on hand. Solid white, brown, pink, chartreuse and metallic blues are good ones to have handy.


Here is an in-depth article on crappie jigs and jig heads!

Jig heads



Since plastic jigs are versatile, they have become the favorite among all fishermen and women alike. However, you should use the right jig head for successful crappie fishing. Each jig head comes with a weighted top with one hook. This feature will help you change them based on size, varieties and colors of the particular plastic lure.


Even though the color is essential, you should note that jig heads’ main purpose is to provide weight to a lure. In most cases, the heads come in different weights such as 1/32, 1/16 and 1/8.


The lowest weight – 1/32 – is suitable for those who would like a slow jig fall. Alternatively, you can use a heavier head for added control of the jig. This will help you manage the lowering and raising of the rod tip.


spinners and spoons



Artificial lures with a spinner or rattles can be very attractive to crappie. These added features will increase the underwater vibrations. As a result, crappie will notice these vibrations. Just as you can with plastic grubs and jigs, you can remove the soft body from spinners to use a different color.


You’ll make this change while at the same time maintain the same jig head and spinner.


Additionally, you can purchase the spinner – just as it is. You can then fix it to a lead of the jig head. Doing so will add some flare to the tube grub or jig.


Lastly, we cannot end our discussion without mentioning the different colors of artificial baits. In as much as they come in different colors, each serves a certain purpose. Having said that, you should generally use a color that matches water conditions.


In murky water, for instance, objects take hazy and darker look. So bright color lure, as tempting as they seem, might increase the crappie’s defense mechanism. Instead, use dark color if fishing in dark water. In clear waters, use bright colored lures. Make sure you experiment and change out our colors often until you find which color the crappies want that day.





In my opinion, minnows are the most effective bait when trying to cat crappie. Crappies just love them. Having said that, I know a ton (at least half the crappie fishermen/women) that swear by “jiggin’”. These people will never bait their hooks with anything live 🙂


It is up to you to decide which bait to use. I suggest a combination of live and artificial baits.


Artificial lures take a bit more skill that live bait but both are fun and entertaining to fish with.


I hope you found this article helpful.


Please leave me questions and comments below. I would love to hear back from you.


Good fishin’ to you,






8 thoughts on “Best Crappie Fishing Bait – 4 Things You Need To Know”

    • Hi Melinda. Minnows are the BEST. Crappie just absolutely love them. But you can catch a lot of different species as well. Bass and catfish love them too. I am glad you found the article helpful.

  1. Mike thank you for a very interesting and helpful article.

    Being someone new to fishing I found your article and tips very useful.

    I had no idea that crappies don’t chase food below them and they feed up. This is very good information for me.

    I have bookmarked your site and will definitely be back… keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for your comments Moni! Yeah very few people know about that behavior and keep their bait too low in the water. That makes it hard to catch any crappie 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed the article. Let me know if you ever have any other questions, I will be glad to assist!

  2. It looks like a great info provided here. I’m not on fishing, but I’ll recommend your article to my friend. It’s one of his hobbies and he is always on a search for things related to fishing.

    • Hi Furkan!

      It is not a problem at all. As a beginner, you will probably take a few minutes to get used to the fall of the jigs in the water. Test a few retrieves and you will be good to go. can tell you this! Once a crappie hits your jig, the feeling is amazing!!!!
      Enjoy yourself

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