Best Crappie Fishing Lures – Pro Tips For Beginners!

crappie fishing lures


As you walk down the aisles of a sporting goods store, looking for the best crappie fishing lures – it can be very confusing to choose among the huge selection.


When it comes to crappie lures, there’s a wide range of options available in different sizes, colors and varieties. The price ranges vary wildly as well.


If you already happen to be an experienced angler, you won’t have trouble finding your way around fishing for crappies. However, if you’re new to crappie fishing you can be confused with the dizzying selection of different lures.


It’s best to research prior to your trip to your local outdoor store. There are many things to consider when you’re looking for the best lures for crappie fishing. In this article, we break it down step by step.


Let’s go!

Crappie jigs



Jigs: Jigs come in a variety of different weights and sizes, as well as colors.


One of the types that is most popular with crappie anglers is the Marabou jig. These have tails made of feathers or colorful strands and really furry bodies. They’re like a smaller version of the hair jigs used for bass or for musky fishing.


They can be fished using vertically jigging over structure.


Do remember that crappies have big mouths. If you’re aware that you are in an area with bigger fish, make sure to try bigger jigs. You may be surprised and land a big slab!


Grubs: Grubs come in a range of different colors and sizes. They can be employed using a cast and retrieve technique, but they can also be vertically jigged over structure. This is one of their primary benefits.


It’s better to use vertical jigging when presenting a grub. This is because it can often be tough to cast and retrieve a grub without getting snagged if, for instance, the crappies are holding to a brush pile or other dense cover.



Spinners: Spinners have been around for a long time, and anglers continue to use them today because they can effectively

catch fish. Spinners can be used in a cast and retrieve technique.


The smaller sized spinners often happen to be the most effective. Many anglers also like to use spinners that are gold bladed and tipped with a tube bait that is brightly-colored.


They believe that this technique can help effectively catch fish in any condition.


Crankbaits: Crankbaits are effective at enticing a reaction from lazy crappies that are finicky and don’t bite. This is called “lockjaw” and often happens in the dead heat of summer or in the freezing winter cold.


They come in a wide variety sizes and colors. You can use crankbaits in a cast and retrieve technique.


Crankbaits are not the best choice for anglers who are newer to crappie fishing, but will work ideally for anyone who is experienced with them – especially during the summer.





Vertical jigging


Vertical jigging is one of the most popular techniques in crappy fishing.


All jigging basically makes use a yo-yo retrieving motion. The idea is to let the jig fall to depth and then reel in gradually. This technique is useful in cases when casting is not possible.


Remember, if there happens to be a heavy cover requiring experience to present your jig – vertical jigging is your ideal option.


Learn more about crappie fishing jigs


When making use of this technique, it’s essential to be as slow as possible and allow the fish every opportunity to grab the jig. Make sure to keep your motion as fluid as possible.


fishing dock


Dock shooting


Dock shooting is one of the most effective methods of crappy fishing, especially on pressured lakes (pressured means heavily fished).


While learning to shoot docks can be tough initially, the payoff will be the largest crappie on your lake! Most anglers tend to miss the crappies that hold on to the darkest and deepest part of the boat dock. Dock shooting can help you overcome this easily.


Check this guy out!  That is some good dock shooting!  I wish I was that good.



When making use of the dock shooting technique, make sure to employ baits that skip well. This is one of the biggest issues with anglers using this technique. Make sure to use a compact bait of a relatively higher weight. Here is a tip! Lures with big skirts or extra tails, and spinners, tend to skip much slower and aren’t effective at reaching far under the dock.


Cast and retrieve


Cast and retrieve is a popular fishing technique that can work for pretty much all types of fish. These are effective whether you are using spoons, crankbaits, jigs or spinners.


It will help if you’re experimenting with steady reeling as well as reeling with intervals so you can determine what works best for you. The cast and retrieve technique is ideal when the objective is to cover lots of open water.


fall season



How weather/water conditions affect which technique you use.




Spring is the time when crappies are spawning in the shallows and anyone can catch a ton of fish by casting a bobber and a minnow in a couple feet of water.


Water clarity plays a part here as the clearer the water, the deeper within the spawn. Vertical Jigging is usually the most effective technique to employ during this time.


Learn Spring Crappie Patterns in my article




During most of the summer, crappies prefer to stay in brush that are situated around 15 feet or deeper. The hotter the water, the deeper they go! Vertical jigging can be effective when fishing the brush. Vertically jig a minnow next to the pier, start deep and work your way up.


Here is an article I wrote on Summer Crappie Fishing Tips




Crappie can be aggressive in Autumn. Fall crappie usually choose to stay near the docks. They’ll also move into shallow water on the warmer days during fall, when you can catch them in the brush piles.


Read this article if you want to catch fall crappie!




Crappie start to migrate back toward the deep parts of the lake. They can be hard to catch as they get more and more lethargic. They have what is called “lockjaw” meaning they don’t strike at the bait. In fact, the bite can be so light that you won’t even fell it. Raise your pole every once in a while and you may be surprised to have a crappie at the end of it!


Click this link to learn of the best ways to Catch Winter Crappie!




It’s always a good idea to carry around a bunch of different types of lures with you so you can test which one works best in your local lake.


I don’t wait very long before switching out jigs. I find that if you have tried with one color (at different depths) and have not got a bite in 10 minutes, its time to switch! Go through a few of your colors quickly and find what the crappies want!


Keep a mental note of what colors are successful. While the crappie will not always want the same color, you will establish a pattern for your lake. This knowledge is what separates seasoned anglers from new fishermen/women. After a few trips you will know exactly what works on your lake!



While crappies are usually the most sought after freshwater fish you’ll find in the lake, they can also be quite hard to catch if you’re just beginning.


With a grasp of the common techniques, types of lures and weather conditions in context with your lake – you can easily learn the art of crappie fishing over time!


I hope you enjoyed this post.


Please leave your comments and questions below! I would love to hear from you!


Good Fishin’ To You!








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