Best Lures and Rigs for Crappie Fishing

Black Crappie
Black Crappie

Crappie Fishing

The black crappie is one of North America's most popular fish. These beautifully colored fish are one of the largest members of the sunfish family.

In Florida, the black crappie is often called speckled perch or "speck". Lake Okeechobee is famous as the speckled perch capital of the world due to its abundance of black crappie.

Popular crappie lures include crappie jigs, small spinnerbaits, small grub bodies, tube jigs, and other types of soft plastic jig bodies.

Crappie will also take crank baits, small poppers and other lures that are usually associated with largemouth bass fishing.

In addition to spinning tackle, some anglers employ fly fishing tackle when fishing for these highly sought after fish. A variety of insect patterns, small streamers and brightly colored poppers are popular for catching crappie.

Lures and techniques for catching crappie will vary with conditions, especially the seasons. In early Spring crappie stage prior to spawning and usually bite well once located. Good fishing continues throughout the spawn.

During summer, crappie are often harder to catch. Crappie are not as tolerant of hot water as other fish are and usually move into in deeper water. Although they may not feed as aggressively, they are sometimes easier to locate in deep water.

Crappie Fishing Outfits - Rods and Reels

In North America, anglers fish for crappie with ultralight or light spinning outfits, baitcasting outfits, crappie poles, cane poles, or other equipment. Depending on angler preference and the type of environment, fishermen may choose monofilament or braided lines from 4-12 pound test.

In some areas, anglers may also use fly fishing gear for catching crappie. These specialized outfits employ floating or sinking lines, light leaders and special fly patterns or other fly fishing lures.

bait minnow
bait minnow

Live Bait Rigs for Crappie Fishing

Live minnows are by far the most common live bait for catching crappie. The species of minnow may vary with location, but fishing rigs and techniques are similar.

Most minnow rigs employ a bobber or float to limit the depth at which the bait can swim. Hook styles consist of shad darts, bare jigs, circle hooks or live bait hooks. The use of jig hooks require less tackle as they eliminate the need for split shot or other types of sinkers.

Circle hooks have gained popularity in recent years as they are less likely to result in deep-hooking which can injure fish.

Many crappie fishermen feel that the shape of the float is critical for catching crappie. Some anglers choose simple round "clip on" style bobbers while others swear by traditional balsa wood floats that feature elongated shapes that offer less resistance to wary fish.

Other popular live baits include crickets, nightcrawlers, crayfish, and other choices. Anglers select live baits depending on availability, seasonal feeding habits and personal experience.

Spinnerbaits for Crappie Fishing

Small spinnerbaits are extremely effective lures for catching crappie during cool weather. These lures are simple to fish yet yield consistent results even during periods of low water temperatures.

Choosing the correct style spinnerbait is important since cold water fishing usually requires a very slow retrieve. Spinners and swivels should be high quality and in good condition to insure that the blades spin at slower speeds. When fishing spinnerbaits for crappie, it is important to keep the rod tip fairly high and use a slow sweeping motion.

Best Crappie Rig Poll

What is your favorite lure or rig for catching crappie?

  • crappie jig
  • small spinnerbait
  • soft plastic body jig
  • small crankbait
  • small spoon or metal jig
  • live minnow
  • live crayfish
See results without voting

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