Fishing & Hunting Tips

How to jig for crappie

If you want the ultimate weapon for crappies, the jig is all you ever need. You can land crappies easily using a jig. You will have a variety of techniques from tightening to casting, slip floating to trolling.

Did you know that when you are using an ultralight tackle, the light line ensures you to cast even the smallest lures and jigs needed for hooking crappies from far away?

Apart from a perfect jig, you’ll need one of the best baitcasting reels for the money. Even in the kitchen, we got you covered with our best electric fillet knife for crappie.

The jig is a very versatile lure for crappie. If you only use the jig, it will be enough to fill your insulated cooler bucket with loads of crappies.

In this article, we will try to discuss the basics and some nifty techniques on how to jig for crappie. Beginners, as well as any avid fishermen, will find this article worthwhile to read.

What’s a jig?

A jig is a lure that has two parts. There are an offset eye and a hook-like weighted shaped part. The eye section can be found in many colors or in the plain lead. They are also available in different sizes and types.

It’s better to stick with those painted head jigs but if you wanna save a few bucks than those plain lead ones are best suited to your needs.

Then there comes the body. You can equip the jigs head with anything from minnow parts to curly-tailed grub soft bait.

What I like about jigs, that they are so so much versatile and offers wide compatibility. I mean you can practically rig anything on them. You also have these jigs that come attached with spinner or blade to the head. The blade reflection gets any nearby fish’s attention and the spinner works more like a crankbait.

The perfect jig size

My suggestion to use a jig head weigh in about 1/32 to ⅛ ounces for crappie. This is the recommended choice for jigging although if you decide to hunt in murky water or cast in deep water, only then go for jigs that are heavier.

The condition and intended techniques determine the best suitable jig weight. Below, you’ll find the different techniques. Just let me get some info off my chest first.

If you want to go deep water jigging then use a heavier jig. These are also well suited for distance casting. Even in strong winds, you’ll be able to cast long distance with heavier jigs which will sink further and faster below.

But if you are using a heavier rig when trolling or tightening, you won’t need a heavier jig. Keep your line tight enough when you’re casting an only a jig. Just don’t use too light of a jig. Because you’ll miss the bite and more likely to miss the striking zone. So use jig weight in at least ⅛ ounces or so.

But avoid using heavy jig when you’re fishing in covers. Because if you do it is more likely to get snagged. So it’s wise to apply the smallest jig possible especially when you’re jigging in clear water.

Jig body techniques for crappie

There are four must have jig bodies for crappie fishing.

  • Grubs: This kind of jig has a fat body and long tail that is designed to wriggle in the water. You can pick up some common grubs like the Zoom Fat Albert grub and the Bobby Garland slayer.
  • Tubes: it appears just the way its name suggest. A typically soft bullet shaped tube that looks like a cylinder. But with a trimmed tail. The Z- Man TRD tube is the best example. There are other designs consist of a solid grub-style head and a ringed tail. The striker king Mr. crappie joker and the Johnson crappie buster are two of these kinds available to but my today.
  • Maribou jigs: These are the all-in-one pre-tied combination of a fly and a jig. Even if you present this jig gently, it will make a lot of movements with it’s hairy trailing long skirt like design. Remember, those eagle claws?
  • Minnows: These are the ones which disguise the size, shape, and action of a live minnow. But unlike those natural ones, you have the option to choose from different colors. Use that popular Gulp!alive minnows and the Bobby Garland Bobby Shad crappie baits are one of the best.

Whether you choose those wriggling tail of the grub, or those tentacles like a tube, the hairy maribou or the jiggling mimic of that minnow, they all have one thing in common. And that’s the movement.

The right color

Crappie can act differently in different days, so picking up the right color is crucial for a successful catch. That’s why you need to get ready with multiple colored jigs because crappie won’t bite down the same colored jig if you use them over and over again. Conditions like the depth of the water and visibility play a vital role in crappie behavior.

Keep an eye on the watercolor

If you hunt crappie in clear water, beware of their excellent visibility. Use a bright colored jig and present them right beside those natural shades. It will help the jig portrays a natural color. Because too much glare from a bright colored jig can spook the crappie. But in a cloudy day, or when you’re casting in murky water with limited visibility, present that bright colored jig anywhere you see fit.

Deep watercolor for jigs

Even in clear water, the color will get blurred or entirely annihilated as it goes deeper. But not all the color will be lost. At a certain level of depth, a certain color will disappear.

You will experience the loss of red, orange, yellow, green and blue simultaneously at each passing level of depth. So when you’re hunting crappie in shallow waters, selection of the right color becomes very important. Let’s discuss some colors that should be used at the right depth.

  • Black: This color is excellent for shallow water jigging. It stays perfectly visible in the shallows with every lighting condition. So use jigs that is darker and you’ll also have an attractive silhouette from deep within.
  • Chartreuse: You might find using chartreuse to be quite bountiful. Like white, it oozes out high contrast for better visibility. Very effective in murky waters on a cloudy day. Even if depth, these jigs are most likely to stay vivid for crappies. So make sure you pick a jig that has a chartreuse presence in the head, body or at the tail.
  • White, red, pink and purple: You can find jigs consists of these colors as a combo. I prefer the combination of chartreuse and black, red and white, black and white, etc. These are some of the best combinations for crappies.
how to jig for crappie

Do you know how to tie a jig for crappie?

When you’re jigging vertically, the jig should low down and hung horizontally from the line. Simply tie a knot at the right side of the eye for the jig to work properly. Use tying techniques like the Palomar knot, very famous Trilene knot and a traditional classic knot is good enough to attach the jig with your line.

Jigging styles for more crappie

Choosing the right color and tying the perfect knot is the primary step towards a successful crappie hunting session. The real secret of successful compilation lies within the technique you’re willing to deliver. Let’s discuss four of the most famous jigging styles below.

  • Mod summer and early fall vertical jigging: One of the most underrated techniques for summer and fall crappies. Crappie will look for covers and scatter all around the lake or pond to escape the heat. And during the early fall, they will disappear out of the shallows. Regardless of the weather, they are often found gathered no more than 10 feet below the surface using bush piles, weed beds and other natural obstacles as cover. Simply fire up your fish finder, and drop jig overhead and into your cooler.
  • Spider rig trolling: As the spring gets close to the horizon, crappie will move out of the deep water into the shallows for spawning. They will start to swarm in numbers in the Creeks and backwaters. After the successful compilation of their business, they are more likely to scatter away from the shallows into their available hanging spots. At this particular time, you need to cover a lot of water to get a hold of their location.

Now you can hone your trolling skills using the spider-rigging technique. You can cover a lot of water and choose from a variety of color as you’re rigging with spider style jigging. Although the amount of money needs to be invested is truly staggering. But in the end, it’ll be worth your while.

Place four-rod holders at each side of the boat. A total of eight rods and reel. Now score around the waters like spiders and see your cooler gets over stashed with freshly caught crappies. Just use the same sized rod to be more visually pleasing as well as successful hunting.

  • Casting during spawning: Sounds like a low life move. Imagine you’re getting arrested on the wedding night. Anyway, you need to stick up your jig vertically if you’re planning to make a cast. You can explore your surroundings faster and hit your jig to your preferred spot a lot easier.

You can cast in the shallows from your boat in early spring, the spawning season for crappie. Avoid using braided lines. High-quality monofilament should be the line of choice because of their soft impact on hooksets. You can find the best monofilament fishing line from here.

  • Slip float near cover: Slip float jigging is a versatile style that can be performed by standing off the shore or on a boat, even from a hammock if you can get one. Simply cast to those crappie habitation spots like pilling, near stumps, and any other natural vegetations and covers.


In the end

I know mate, for your new anglers this article renders boring. But trust me, if you guys can fight your negative energy, I can assure you that soon you’ll have your name written on a trophy. Remember, it is we who stop ourselves from hard work, not others.

So beat yourself up and thoroughly read this article a couple of times. You’ll come to master the basic tricks and techniques about how to jig for crappie. Best of regards.

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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