Jigs & Minnows are the most common crappie baits and can be fished alone or in combination. Selecting a grub color to satisfy the crappie’s finicky eye can be tricky. Water color is probably the most important factor governing crappie’s feeding activities. Crappie are primarily sight-feeders. If they don’t see the bait, they won’t hit it. General rules for selecting jig colors are: In clear water, use clear jigs. In dark water, use dark jigs. If the water is muddy, use dark jigs. At Lake Fork it is good to use any color and chartreuse. Black with a chartreuse tail is common.
Jig Types range from Hair and Feather to Rubber. The curly tail rubber style grub is probably the most popular. It has a swimming action that looks more natural to fish. Both types can be used at any time, but hair & feather jigs are used most in cold water. Choices of grubs range from tube (hollow) to solid bodies. Select the proper jig head weight from the chart below.
Techniques: One technique is to slide a jig body onto a light wire hook instead of a jig head and tip it with a minnow. This technique includes using a long, cylindrical sinker crimped on the line from 10 to 18 inches above the hook. This method works well for suspended fish or bottom line fishing.
If you prefer casting, the Jig-n-Float technique is excellent for when the crappie move into the shallows in the Spring time. Tie a jig 1 to 4 feet below a bobber or slip float. The depth depends upon how deep the crappie are. You want the jig to be a little shallower than the fish. Crappie are always looking up.
And alas if you are one that likes to Troll for crappie, spider rigging can be an efficient method for locating crappie because you can cover a lot of water and offer a variety of bait types & colors at once. Fan out the poles (10′ to 12′ poles) in holders off the front of the boat. Set the depths of the jigs to cover the water column, and try a variety of colored jigs. These parameters will let you cover a wide swath horizontally and vertically, as well as determine which colors or combinations the crappie prefer that day.