Known for their tendency to be extremely fickle, hard-to-catch fish, crappies are the sworn enemy of many fishermen. One day, they’ll be caught with a brightly colored, slow-moving lure, while the next day the same lure does nothing more than dangle uselessly and, in the end, the crappie is caught with a wiggly-wobbly, fast-moving lure.
Trying to figure out what crappie wants to eat on any given day is a task and a half and unless you’re a mind reader, you’re likely to be left taking your best guess and hoping for a miracle. Luckily, there are a select few lures that seem to get the job done 90% of the time – and we’re going to share those with you.
Top 10 Crappie Lures:
1. Crappie Magnet Fin Spin Kit
One of Crappie Magnet’s most popular lure kits, the Fin Spin kit is a solid choice for crappie fishers everywhere. Each of the included lures has a unique, dart-like shape that helps create a realistic movement in the water.
In addition, each one also has a cup on the front portion. This serves as an effective way for water to be forced to the blade, slowing down the lure’s spinning motions.
The lures feature large gap hooks which make them great for catching a variety of fish. These hooks are equipped with double barbs, giving them an extra bit of strength for when you’re reeling in large, lively catches.
To help attract the target fish, these lures are brightly colored and move like real fish when in motion. The colors are excellent reflectors and stand out against the water for maximum attention.
- Unique shape that aids in movement
- Double barbed hooks
- Can be used for a variety of fish
- Brightly colored for maximum attraction
- Might not be as effective on large catches
2. Wtrees Swim Jigs Kit
With two craws and six jigs, this handy little jig kit has everything you need to catch crappie. The jigs are well made and crafted from high-quality materials that can withstand years of frequent use. They come in 6 different colors and with pre-installed hooks.
Moreover, each lure’s color is protected with a layer of the protective coating that prevents the color from fading.
Each lure is made with a soft skirt of 55 strands, as well as a durable hook that is both strong but thin and easy to disguise. The hook is resistant to damage such as bending and flexing.
The lures are lightweight and ideal for use with lightweight rods and rigs, as well as for catching small-medium fish that don’t require heavy-duty setups.
- Soft, colorful skirts with 55 strands
- Hooks resistant to flexing and bending
- Made of durable materials
- Not for large fish
3. YZD Silverside Minnow Jig
YZD’s Silverside Minnow Jigs are designed to help fishers catch small to medium-sized fish which includes, of course, crappies. Each pack of lures contains 12 jig heads that suitable for both fresh and saltwater use.
The lures are 1.5-inches long and very lightweight, boasting a realistic appearance and soft, smooth texture. Each lure is painted and polished with care, being highly reflective to catch the attention of all types of fish.
The midsection of the lures contains a solid, durable #6 hook. The hook is thin enough to be unassuming but sturdy enough to catch a midsized fish with a good amount of weight to it. They are resistant to bending, rusting, and other damage.
- Lightweight and good for small fish
- Equipped with a #6 hook
- Highly reflective
- Generous package size
- Too light for sinking
4. Berkley PowerBait Crappie Nibbles
Designed with vibrant glow-in-the-dark colors, these crappie nibbles are known for their ability to attract fish from miles away while simultaneously earning the fisher more bites per hour than traditional soft bait. To attract the fish, the bait uses a combination of its visually stimulating colors and extra-strength PowerBait scent.
The pellets are roughly ¼” in size and are incredibly lightweight, making them easy to rig without making a mess or wasting any bait. They are sized with the standard crappie hook in mind, fitting onto the end with a near-perfect fit. They can also be used with small lures and for tipping jigs or filling tubes.
In addition, they are long-lasting and dissolve slowly in the water, leaving a cloud of sweet-smelling bait in the water to attract even more fish. When a fish bites, the PowerBait scent is released, which makes the fish hold onto the hook for a longer period of time. As more and more fish bite, more scent is released.
- Vibrant, glow-in-the-dark colors
- Lightweight and mess-free
- PowerBait scent technology
- Ideal size for use with small lures
- Some reports of bait falling off the hook
5. Truscend Fishing Lures
Equipped with durable hardware and finished with two-tone coloration and fine details, these paddle tail lures are staples in the kits of many fishermen around the world. With a soft body, the baits are given a specific shape that is designed to elevate their movements and simulate real fish moving through the water.
The 3D paddle tail on the end of each lure is designed to kick and thump regardless of speed and are able to maintain their swimming motion with ease. They can even maintain their movement when going at a slow speed. The fins of the lures have been crafted with the goal of helping the hook stay within the optimal hooking range.
Each lure is made of a soft plastic that is both realistic in texture as well as degradable, making the lures environmentally friendly. The lures’ hooks are made of BKK carbon steel, giving them the durability that one needs to land a big catch.
In addition, each lure looks like a real fish – scaled details and realistic 3.5-inch size and all.
- Maintains fluid movements at slow speeds
- Realistic details and shape
- Made of durable plastic and carbon steel
- Environmentally friendly
- Reportedly bigger than advertised
6. Yumbrella Ultralight Willow Blade Rig
By Yum Lures, the Yumbrella Ultralight Willow Blade Rigs are ideal for catching stubborn crappies. They are available in 3-wire and 5-wire options, as well as in an assortment of colors. The wires used to create the rigs are stainless-steel and extremely durable, as well as resistant to bending and breaking.
They are very reflective, and their polish gives off a ton of flash, which gives off the appearance of a large school of small fish. Each of the rigs are lightweight and compact, making them great for use on virtually any rod/reel combo.
- Lightweight and versatile
- Highly reflective and shiny
- Made of quality stainless steel
- Damage resistant
- Too small for some fish
7. Johncoo Fishing Lure
Available in 8 vibrant colors, these rainbow minnow lures are both effective and appealing to the eye. The lures are made with food-grade silicone that is safe for the fish, and each one boasts a rainbow paper internal body. This unique internal feature reflects light from all directions, effectively catching the attention of fish in the area when it shines through the crystal-clear fish body.
All the lures have a realistic appearance with a flexible paddle tail design that is t-shaped and promotes consistent, natural tail twitching. Each one also has a pair of glossy, 3D eyes that further aid in attracting the target fish.
The lures can be purchased in a variety of sizes, as well as in the fore mentioned 8 color options. The color options offered are diverse, with each one appealing to a certain type or group of fish. They are lightweight and move through the water with ease, even stopping and resuming their path on occasion
- Made of durable, non-toxic silicone
- Available in a variety of sizes and colors
- T-shaped, paddle tail design to attract targets
- Reflects light from all directions
- Very small
8. NUOMI Mini Fishing Lures
Available in a 5-piece set, these small lures are ideal for catching a variety of smaller fish including crappies and bass. They can be used in both fresh and saltwater and are small enough that fish are not spooked by them.
Each lure is made of ABS and high-carbon steel, which makes them extremely durable and gives them a bit of weight. Thanks to this, they sink slowly.
They are lightweight and don’t dive very deep, making them best suited for shallow bodies of water like streams and rivers. It also makes them especially easy to rig onto rods.
When it comes to coloration, the lures are hand-painted and finished with care. They are available in a variety of colors that are appealing to target fish.
- Lightweight and easy to rig
- Sink slowly for maximum attraction
- Crafted of durable ABS and steel
- Not for deep water fishing
9. thkfish Looming Flash Lures
These effective lures are both easy to use and extremely appealing to target fish. They have an aerodynamic, spoon-like shape that helps the fisher in question cast them long distances and with precision.
They’re made of durable metal and have been painted and polished so that they are appealing to fish in the area. There are three colors to choose from and each one is available in four size options, which gives them a ton of versatility. Their mirror-like shine helps light reflect off them, enhancing their brilliance.
Each lure has been made with a special balance that helps them move through the water with erratic twisting and turning motions that entices surrounding fish to strike. They can be used for slow or fast retrieves.
In addition, the lures are ideal for long-term use as they boast an incredibly long lifespan. This is thanks to their high-quality materials and resistance to rust, corrosion, bending, and scratches.
- Reflective, corrosion-resistant surface
- Available in a variety of sizes
- Made of high-quality materials
- Reports of fish disliking these lures
10. Strike King Sausage Heads Jig Head
Available in convenient packages of 3, Strike King’s Sausage Heads jig heads are wallet-friendly and incredibly versatile in their use. They are available in several colors and each color is available in two sizes.
Each jig head resembles a small fish, with a soft tail and large, bulging eyes that reflect sunlight to attract bigger fish. The middle of each lure is made of a ridged silicone that prevents the lure from turning too much or rolling when placed on flat surfaces.
They are ideal for casting and vertical jigging and come equipped with an eagle-claw hook. This hook is made of durable platinum materials.
- Versatile use
- Variety of colors and sizes to choose from
- Hook made of durable platinum
- Ridged body to prevent turning
- Not ideal for catching large fish
Best Crappie Lures Buying Guide
The color of your lure can have a direct impact on your success on any given fishing trip. While there are no colors that crappies actively dislike or avoid, this type of fish can be very picky and there are a few general color guidelines that could be useful.
When you’re fishing in brackish water, solid, opaque colored lures tend to be the best. They stick out against the drab background.
If the water is clear, however, a large opaque figure could scare the crappies away. Instead, consider using a translucent bait or one that has a less dominant color, such as a light grey or white.
Most crappie lures are roughly the same size, give or take a centimeter or two. This being said, though, some lures are designed for a wider range of fish and, because of this, are bigger than crappie-specific lures.
You’ll need to decide what fish you want to catch with your lures. If you’re open to a variety, go with a larger lure. If you want to attract and catch mostly crappies and other small-medium fish, a smaller lure is likely going to be the most successful.
When it comes to package size, you should consider how much crappie fishing you’re going to do. The more fishing you do, the more likely you are to need to replace your lures at some point. If this is the case, opt for a package with multiple inside of it.
Also, if you’re hoping to go fishing in both brackish and clear water, you may want to go for a package with a few see-through lures and a few solid-colored lures. You may also want to try to find a package with lures of varying sizes.
Package sizes vary from 3-4 pieces to up to 12 pieces.
Crappie Fishing Tips
Once you’ve chosen the crappie lure that you deem best for you, there are still certain tips that you should remember before setting out. A few tips have been mentioned below:
1. Fishing for crappies requires a lot of patience. While a certain level of patience is required for all fishing, crappies are especially tricky to catch. Remember to be patient and let the fish come to you.
2. Before you go fishing, try and find yourself a reliable map or GPS, as well as Navionics chips for fish finders. These will help you find the best areas for crappie fishing, as going in blind is a great way to set yourself up for a disappointing fishing trip.
3. Educate yourself on fishing regions and the habits of crappies. Depending on the season, crappies inhabit different areas. They tend to gather in shallow water during warm weather and in areas with cold water or colder weather, can be found in groups in deeper water.
4. Always hold the line tight. Since crappies have soft lips, they are prone to tearing. They are also great escape artists and will shake themselves free if given any slack on the line.
5. Avoid using fast-moving bait during the winter fishing months. During the cold months, crappies are slower than usual due to lethargy. This means that they are less likely to bite fast-moving bait than they are a slow-moving bait.
6. Remember that crappies feed up. By this, we mean that when you’re crappie fishing, it’s important to remember that crappies eat things right in front of them or things that are above them. They are very unlikely to go after a bait that is below them.
Crappie Fishing Techniques
Most anglers began their journey with bobber fishing, which is a technique that they likely moved away from at some point. The question is, how come? Bobber fishing is just as effective as any other method of crappie fishing.
Although some anglers view the practice as cheating, the process is simple and effective. It gets fishers out on the water and enjoying the great outdoors just like any other method, so what’s the problem?
You can get started with bobber fishing by setting your bobber to the right depth. This depth is the one at which the crappies are located. If they are staying at around 5 feet deep, try to get your bobber to match that depth as closely as possible. When doing this, remember that crappies look for food upwards not downwards within the water column.
Below the bobber, use either a live minnow or a jig. By using a jig, you have complete control over how deep you want your lure to go, but if you dislike jigs or choose not to go for that option, you should still be successful with this method.
Cast your bait and allow the target fish to swim below the bobber. This, with a bit of patience, entices even the jumpiest of fish and proves to be a great way to catch several fish in a short amount of time.
Dipping the Cover
Ideal for springtime fishing but just as useful in the fall, this technique is about as simple as you could get. During the spring, crappies are commonly found in the shallows, making their beds, while during the fall they are likely to be more aggressive but still in the shallows.
Use a jig and a rod that is longer than the ones you would normally use. Search for some type of cover or brush pile. Then, toss the jib into and around the area of the cover, moving it in an up and down motion.
Start by casting into the shallows, as close as just one foot from the shore. While this isn’t always successful, crappies are sometimes that close. Then, slowly move forward and work the jig into deeper water.
When you first set this technique into motion, stay as far back as possible and try to keep your shadow from touching the water. Crappie can be easily spooked by your looming shadow, causing them to flee from their beds or to avoid biting your lure.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
What lures work best for crappie?
Crappies are attracted to a variety of lures. It comes down to trial and error, and to the preference of the target fish on any given day.
What color crappie looks best?
In deep water, purple-white and blue-white lures do well. In stained water with natural light, bright colors like orange, lime green, and grass green are good options.
What is the best jig size for crappie?
A good jig size to start with is a 1/16-ounce jig head paired with a 1/12-inch tube jig.
What is the best month to catch crappie?
There is no “best month” for catching crappie. However, the spring months are generally the best months for catching lots of crappies.
What time of day is best for crappie fishing?
One of the best times for catching crappie is during their prime feeding hours. This is usually between 12 and 2 am.
How deep should I fish for crappie?
Most crappies will be found between 6 to 15 feet below the surface.
Once you manage to catch crappie, there’s no denying that you’re going to feel accomplished. They can be hard to catch and often require a lot of patience to land.
Using our buying guide and best crappie lures recommendations, you’ll stand a good chance of landing crappie or two.
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