Crappie Fishing – the best baits, lures, tips and tricks

Throughout North America, one of the most popular species of fish that provide year-round opportunities for angles is crappie. Not only do they taste great, but a large variety of lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and ponds are home to these hard-fighting fish.

There are two types of crappie, both white and black crappie. Both can often be found living in the same waters, and even swimming together. Both varieties can also be caught using the same lures, bait, and techniques. While both varieties are very similar, there are a few slight differences such as:

Black Crappie:

Silver/gold with black speckles all over have 7 or 8 spines down their dorsal fin.

White Crappie: 

Mostly silver with only slight vertical bar markings down the side, only have 6 spines down their dorsal fin.

Both varieties of crappie can grow up to 21 inches long and weigh up to 5 pounds, but the average size is around 8 to 12 inches long and weigh around half a pound. Crappie that are over 1 pound are often considered a trophy catch.

Baits and Lures

Crappie are hungry fish and feed on many different things where they live. Mature crappie can often be found feeding on things like:

  • Insects
  • Baitfish
  • Worms
  • Crayfish

In addition to live bait, most crappie can also be easily caught using artificial lures. The best lures and what you use will largely depend on the time of year and the conditions, as well as personal preference for how you like to fish.

Crappie anglers love using different lures and baits, and some of the most popular include:

  • Spinnerbaits
  • Plastic worms
  • Crappie power bait
  • Grubs
  • Jigs
  • Crankbaits

Jigs are by far the favorite among anglers, and they come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and styles. The best jig for you is the one in which you develop the most confidence. Try several varieties, and most likely, one will soon become your favorite. 

Fishing Rods and Reels

The great thing about crappie fishing is that almost any rod and reel combination will work well with these fish. When the fish are deep or in dense cover, a lightweight spinning reel or spin-cast combo work well, while 4 to 10-pound line tends to be the overall favorite for crappie.

Last-Minute Tips to Successfully Catch More Crappie

Crappie fishing can be a blast, but if the fish are not biting as well as you had hoped, remember these last-minute tips to try and increase your success:

  1. Try different presentations and retrieval speeds. 
  2. Cover plenty of ground to find the fish.
  3. Crappie are a schooling fish, where you catch one there are sure to be more. 

No matter where you go, crappie fishing can be a remarkably fun and enjoyable experience. They are hard fighting fish and are usually easily caught. Not to mention the excellent table fare that you will have after a day on the water, why wouldn’t you want to give crappie fishing a try this season?