You can use a variety of different crappie fishing rigs to catch crappie.
However, it is very easy to get confused with the hundreds of different types of rigs that are out there to choose from.
Making it even more difficult is that rigs are often named different depending on the region of the country.
In this article we’ll examine a few of the more common rigs for crappie fishing.
CRAPPIE BOBBER RIG WITH MINNOWS
When fishing with minnows, bobber rigs are the most common rig used by crappie anglers.
Bobber rigs can also be used for crappie fishing with jigs.
By the way, minnows rock for crappie fishing – Check out my crappie fishing minnows article
The bobber rigs give you control of depth and allows you to easily see if you get a bite.
When using a bobber rig you will want to use a 1/8th oz. split shot sinker 6”-12” above an appropriately sized hook.
Next, attach a fixed or slip type bobber at the depth you are fishing.
You will want to try to fish with the bobber rig at a shallower depth first and work your way deeper because crappie mainly feed upwards.
When fishing for shallow spawning spring crappie, a fixed bobber will usually suffice.
In summer, fall or winter when fishing for suspended and
deep-water crappie a slip bobber may be more convenient.
A lot of anglers prefer the pencil type bobber when selecting a shape.
The pencil type bobber is easy for crappie to pull under, and this allows you to visually detect more strikes.
When you start out, try keeping the bobber in one place first. If you find that keeping the bobber in one place is not working, try a slow retrieve to cover more water.
Check out this cool video. He must be from up north from the way he says “crappie”!
CRAPPIE MINNOW RIG WITHOUT BOBBER
You can also fish for crappie with minnows without a bobber.
Fishing without a bobber with minnows allows the minnow to sink deeper and may be more effective than using a bobber if you are fishing deeper water.
There are 2 main ways of rigging this up. The first is to tie a hook to the end of 4-6 pound test line and attach a split shot to the line 6-12 inches above the hook. This is my preferred method!
The second way is to use a 3 way swivel. Attach a 3 way swivel to your main line. On the bottom of the swivel tie on a 12 to 18 inch piece of line with a small bank sinker. On the side of the swivel tie on a leader with an Aberdeen hook.
There are different schools of thought here. Some say that the vibration caused by the sinker hitting the bottom will attract the crappie. My opinion is that this is the easiest way to avoid snags. It keeps the hook 12 to 18 inches away from any structure on the bottom that could cause a snag.
CRAPPIE VERTICAL JIGGING RIG
Vertically jigging for crappie is the most common technique used with jigs because it’s an extremely simple yet highly effective setup.
The vertical jigging rig consists of a jig tied on to the end of your line.
When using a vertical jigging rig to catch crappie, first cast or drop the jig down into an area you think contain crappie.
You will find that a lot of the time the crappie will strike when the jig is sinking. It pays to be patient.
After you let the jig sink to the bottom, twitch the end of your rod and then let it sit for a few seconds.
After that, reel the jig in about a foot.
Keep repeating this process until you’ve reeled the jig all the way in.
One other technique you can try with the vertical crappie jigging rig is very slow, constant reeling. With this technique, keep reeling the line in at a slow pace and every so often twitch the rod tip.
A third and final technique you can try is “yo-yo’ing” the link while you retrieve it.
To do this technique, you pull the rod up a couple feet, let the rod back down, and then reel in a couple feet.
You will want to perform this technique slowly though. Performing the technique slowly will allow the crappie to chase the jig.
CRAPPIE DOUBLE HOOK RIG
A lot of crappie anglers fish two jigs on the same line, with one jig 18 inches above the other.
This double hook rig lets you fish different depths at the same time, thus increasing your odds for enticing a crappie to hit on your line.
A basic double-jig crappie rig – the two jigs 18 inches apart – works great when crappies school at a specific depth.
Some people tie them at different distances. Check this video out
CRAPPIE STUMP BUMP RIG
If you are fishing around stumps and other solid structures you can try the stump-bumping rig.
The stump bump rig uses the vibrations created by bouncing a weight off the structure to attract nearby crappie.
This technique can be combined with a vertical jigging rig – if you do however, make sure to keep your rig right on the structure you are fishing.
CRAPPIE SPIDER RIG- FOR THOSE OF YOU WITH A BOAT
If you want to cover a lot of water in order to find where and what depth the crappie are at, you will want to try spider rigging.
This technique will also allow you to find out very quickly what jigs are working.
A spider rig consists of multiple rods fanned out over the back of the boat.
How many rods you use depends on your skill level. A good place to start is with two rods. If you can find that you can easily manage two, add another.
The spider rig technique is useful to eliminate unknowns when jigging for crappie.
The spider technique also allows for the use of spinners, crank baits, or minnows.
A couple key points to keep in mind when using the spider rig:
- Be careful not to get your lines caught in the motor prop
- Take the wind direction into account when you are trolling. For instance, you may have to slow down when trolling with the wind and conversely speed up when going against it
CRAPPIE FISHING RIGS SUMMARY
The above crappie fishing rig techniques are a good place to start when crappie fishing.
It is a good idea to experiment with any combination of these techniques. As you get more experienced you may even end up inventing your own rig if you discover something that works for you.
The key is to be to patient, slow and subtle.
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Good luck out there.