If you have ever fished for crappie, you might well know what lures this species prefers. Jigs are a common choice, as are minnows, and, if you master the art of jigging, sooner than you think you will be able to catch a lot of crappies. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to jig for crappie and become more successful in catching this type of fish.
Why are jigs so good for catching crappie?
There are many various lures and baits and the market, so, most probably, the first question that comes to your mind is why jigs are held in such high esteem by anglers when it comes to this particular species. The shortest answer is that jigs can attract crappie because of the jerky movements they can create in the water.
If you compare jigs to spinnerbaits, you will immediately notice the crucial differences. Spinnerbaits only move horizontally and that doesn’t create too much excitement in crappie. This is the type of fish you have to offer something to attract their attention, and jigs are just much better.
When you go jigging for crappie, it is essential that you know what sort of gear to pick to be well prepared. As follows, we will show you what equipment you need, starting with rod and line and finishing with the colors you should pick for your jigs. Other considerations, as well as clever tips to help you become more successful at jigging for crappie, will also be addressed as follows.
Get the proper gear
It is essential that you understand what crappie want, but it is equally important to grab the necessary gear and never leave home unprepared. How to fish a crappie jig solutions are offered, many times, by seasoned anglers, but, if you don’t have anyone in your circle of friends who are already accustomed with jigging, you may use the following advice.
Let’s start with the rod. You may know this one, but it is nothing wrong with repeating this recommendation: pick a long rod when you go fishing for crappie. When it comes to this fish species, you have to think about depth control. A short rod will never give you the kind of control you require for playing right this kind of fish.
A long rod – think along the terms of an 8-10 foot rod – will let you determine the depth and also it will help you set the hook quickly when a fish bites. If you need more in-depth advice, here is something more: if you don’t think it is too daunting to start using a baistcaster reel, this is the ideal choice.
However, you need to bear in mind that using this type of reel requires quite a lot of practice. If you’re in this for the long run, maybe it serves to take up this kind of fishing style.
There is quite a little science developed by passionate anglers regarding what jig colors you should use when fishing crappie. You may even find the best crappie jig colors guide, as described by these enthusiasts. We are here to help you with some quick information on the matter.
There are a few things you may want to take into consideration. For instance, crappies are not fond of only one color or another. They can be a little picky and unpredictable, which is why you need to be open to making all kinds of fine-tuning and adjustments until you get the color right.
Transparent colors are preferred when fishing in clear waters. The explanation is rather straightforward. The fish need to see the bait, to jump on it. There is no point in using toned down colors in muddy waters, for that reason. Crappies will just overlook your carefully picked jigs, and you may be left wondering what didn’t work.
Chartreuse jigs are often preferred, but one cannot say that they are the only ones that work. Trying creating a contrast that will draw the attention of the fish. And here is another piece of advice: keep all the colors you bought nearby, as you might need them. Crappies can change their mind all the time, so it serves to try something different when you notice that they are no longer biting.
The jig head
We will not speak a lot of time about what line to pick since the only reliable advice that can be given is that crappie can be fished with a heavy line. The most important advantage is that you will not have to deal with line breaks on a regular basis.
However, we need to focus a bit on the jig head. The ideal weight sworn by seasoned anglers is 1/8 ounces, and it is preferable that the jig head has a bright color compared to the rest. You can also use ¼-ounce jog heads, as these seem to be pretty successful, as well.
A few actionable recommendations for jigging for crappie
Earlier, we talked a lot about what kind of gear you should get to make sure that crappies will bite in huge numbers. But, of course, the right equipment is just part of the solution. You also need to learn a few things that will help you fish like a professional.
Learn about where crappies hide
Fishing is part experience, part intuition, but you can also rely on a few scientific facts. Crappies have specific patterns of behavior, just like any other fish species, and you must become knowledgeable of their habits if you want to get successful at catching crappie.
The rule of thumb is that you need to pay close attention to certain factors. Crappies, for instance, love hiding behind all kinds of structures, and they don’t like swimming in the current. If the waters are fast and you notice that the clear waters seem scarce in fish, this is the approach you need to appeal to.
When the currents are strong, you can always count on finding plenty of crappies hidden behind all sorts of structures, where they can eat without any disturbance. That makes fishing crappie a bit more exciting than you might expect. You will feel like a true explorer as you try to identify the exact location when fish come to eat.
In case you are not very good at guessing, or you don’t want to waste any time trying to figure out behavior patterns in fish, there is also another thing you can do, and that is to ask other fishers in the area about the best places to find crappie. You may even gain some more interesting knowledge on what else you can do to get more crappies to bite.
Things to know about water depth
If there is one thing that all fishermen learn while practicing their favorite pastime is that different species of fish prefer varying water depth. The schools of fish will move through the water at their preferred depth, and you need to develop quite a knack for determining this aspect. A fish finder could help you, but, if you don’t have such a tool at your disposal, you will have to rely on other things.
One way to do that is to be patient, and try different water depths until you catch something. That will tell you what water depth are the fish suspended in. The chances are that the fish you caught was not alone, and there is an entire school waiting to bite on your jigs.
As a general rule, most fish prefer to stay in water at a depth of 10 to 15 feet. This is where you will find most species, so it is a good bet. Here is also a little something you may want to know about crappie, as a species.
These fish don’t have great vision, which means that they are not very good at seeing the bait. What you can do, to increase your chances, is to place the bait in such a way that the crappie will see it. The upward direction is the most indicated, and this is what you can do to make the fish bite more.
Crappie is not a very difficult fish to catch by definition, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot do various things to maximize your chances of success. Finding the ideal water depth so you can know how and where to cast your line is one of these aspects.
How to drop your jig
Now you are well armed with everything you need. You have all the equipment required, and you know where you can find crappie, depending on location and water depth. All you have to learn more is how to drop your jig properly.
When you drop the jig, the most important thing is to start tapping it. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, jigs have the advantage of moving vertically in the water, and those jerky actions that can draw the attention of the crappies swimming in the water body.
Crappies, as said before, don’t have the best eyesight in the underwater world. That means that you need to lend the fish a helping hand so they can see the bait. When you tap on the jig, and you make it move up and down, the lure will create a natural shade of the water. That will let the fish know that there is prey nearby.
While you may feel like crappie fishing is a tad difficult from this point of view, knowing its behavior will help you catch plenty of these specimens. All you need to do is to make sure that you don’t tap the jig too brusquely. The fish will run away if the actions of the jig are too frantic.
Here is another strategy that you may employ. When you drop the jig, let it sit still for several seconds. Do you still remember the information supplied earlier on jig colors, and crappies’ preferences for specific baits? Just the same thing applies to the strategy for dropping the jig you have to use.
Sometimes, crappie prefers moving baits, and that is when you need to tap the jig. But, other times, slower targets are preferable, and keeping the jig still will be much more successful. Keep these tips and tricks in mind, as you might find them useful when you go fishing for other species of fish, as well.
Behavior during spawn time
Crappie is known as an aggressive fish when it’s spawn time. Fishermen know that the fish will be hungry during this time, and they consider this the most appropriate moment for crappie fishing. Remember to hang out your lures in deep water, so that crappies can see them. This way, you will entice the fish to bite more.
Outside the spawning season, crappie is more likely to swim away from protective structures. However, it may not be as hungry as during spawn, so there are advantages and disadvantages to consider for each of these periods of time.
Novice anglers may find jigging for crappie a bit challenging, but it is nothing you cannot learn without the proper knowledge and practice. With the help of the advice offered above, you will become more proficient at fishing crappie, and you will be able to bring home a more sizeable bounty.
Don’t forget that choosing the right type of gear is essential for catching crappie. When picking your jigs, finding the right colors is highly recommended. Taking certain things into consideration such as location and water depth is also part of the preparations you need to undertake.
From the type of rod you use to the line and jig head, everything must be chosen carefully to maximize your chances of success. Crappies, just like many other fish species, don’t like loud noises, and so you should be aware of this aspect, too.