Trouble Catching Slabs? Our Top Crappie Fishing Tips & Techniques Are Guaranteed To Help!
We want to help you catch crappie more often, no matter if you are a crappie fishing enthusiast or a novice. We have compiled a list of crappie fishing tips. These tips and the “lucky 7” techniques will help you catch the monsters that you have been looking for if they are done correctly.
Only one question is required. Are you ready?
- How to predict where monster slabs will be found every season, even summer. Never leave home empty-handed again…
- How to select the best lure and technique for each situation
- Secrets from crappie legends that will. Change the way that you fish slabs.
- Live bait: How to get the best out of it, rig it as a skimmer Champion of the tournament, and turn the odds in your favor.
- How to improve your spider-rigging setup.
- Here are some tips for master night fishing when the heat really is on.
- Tips and techniques that work all the time, all the time.
- and there’s more!
Crappie fishing tips
Line and Hook Basics
You’ve probably been terrorizing Sac-a-lait for decades, catching crappie from downed trees and piers every weekend for decades. Many of our readers don’t know much about the thrill you enjoy, so we are here to help!
Crappie is small fish. The world record for crappie is five pounds. Other weights average around one pound. These fish don’t require a steel chain to attach to your rod. A four-pound test will suffice, while six will catch the largest crappie you will ever see.
Many bass anglers have switched to braided superlines because of their remarkable sensitivity and lack of stretch. However, this is not the right line for slabs. We’ve already explained why in our detailed article on choosing the best fishing lines for crappie.
You will catch more papermouths when you use a rod like a St. Croix with a line like Stren Original and Seaguar InvizX. Crappie’s delicate mouths are susceptible to being torn and damaged by unforgiving hooksets. You need to give these fish some room in your gear.
This is a simple fact that any sac-a-lait master will confirm.
It is also important to choose the right hook. Crappie is larger than other panfish and has larger mouths. Crappie has a thin mouth, so you need to increase the size of your hooks. Start with a #6 and move up to a #1 or 2 for larger minnows.
An Aberdeen-style hook is the best, but there are many great options. We love the Mustad Classic Aberdeen and Eagle Claw Aberdeen.
Check out our reviews and guide to the best crappie hooks!
Jig, Jig, Jig–But Rig ‘Em Right!
If you want to increase your chances of getting crappie, the one tip that we can give is to favor the jig.
Slab addicts will attest that jigs offer the most versatility in lure choices. You can match the size, color, and action of your lure to whatever conditions you are fishing in with the incredible variety of options.
Take a look at our top picks for crappie lures and fishing jigs.
This means that you can cast over weed beds, retrieve past pilings and run a slip floor over a brush pile to find dispersed fish. A jig is always an excellent option.
I love all types of jigs and will fish anything from minnows to tubes. Clearwater is my preference, but I will use natural colors in muddy or stained water. At night, I’ll opt for bright, Day-Glo options.
My crappie is caught in water with limited visibility. I love the Popsicle. I like most slab hunters and love Bobby Garland’s soft baits, particularly the Bobby Garland Mo’Glo Baby Shad Pink Phantom and Slab Slay’r pink and black.
Proven Rigging Jigs
Although rigging a jig doesn’t require rocket science, there are a few tricks you can use to make it more efficient.
Minnows are not inclined to be vertically presented, so if your minnow jig is hung tail down and head upward, it will not look or behave like prey. Your jigs should be as horizontally as possible. This is mostly down to knot position.
You can slip your knot to the “front”, which will encourage a vertical position that is distinctly unnatural for would-be predators.
Soft baits such as the Slab Slay’rs are my favorite, but everything has a time. Zoom’s Fat Albert Grub and Berkley’s Power Grub are my go-to for slowing down the fall of my jig. The jig’s descent is slowed by the tail that twirls.
That’s what the trick is – slow falling lures give crappie a chance at striking. More strikes equal more fish in the cooler.
Richard Gene demonstrates how to do this on a cold morning when crappie won’t bite. They will bite again and again if they see a slow fall.
Avoid the Expensive Fluorocarbon Braid and Braid: Go Mono
Crappie’s expanding mouths are larger than those of other panfish. However, their tissues are thin and delicate. It is easy to break a hook by either setting it too hard or running too small.
The stretch of nylon monofilament has one advantage. Monofilament is extremely elastic and can stretch under loads without deformation. Mono can cushion your hookset, which can be a benefit in cases where you require high shock strength.
You might want to reconsider the line you are using if you get bites but no fish. You should start spooling mono if you don’t already. When you set your hook, you’ll immediately notice a difference!
Crappie fishing techniques: The “Lucky Seven”, Guaranteed to Catch More Crappie
These seven techniques have been proven effective in the real world. If you are a long-time angler you will probably be familiar with many of them. If they are fished correctly, crappie will be caught in spring, summer, and autumn.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Marabou jigs are used near submerged trees or stumps, especially during foul weather
Crappie loves to cover and vertical structures. Crappie love to learn from their friends, and they will not leave these habitats unexplored.
We have an alternative for spring storms: a Marabou Jig such as the Bass Pro Shops Marabou Crappie Jig. It’s the furry body of this jig that makes crappie crazy. We recommend the 1/8-ounce size in red white, chartreuse, or black. These are murders with the right technique!
This technique requires that you don’t spook the fish.
A long rod and patience are the best ways to go. To lock yourself in place, slide up to the likely spot and cut your trolling motor.
Next, release enough lines to allow you to hold the jig close to your reel. Use the reach of your rod to gently lower your jig undercover. Then, move your wrist slowly with your wrist to set it dancing. You’ll instantly know if crappie has made its home there.
This is not what you want. Pay attention to where the knot leaves your eye.
Instead, place your knot just above the eye. This will cause the jig to tilt forward, lift the tail and make it appear and behave more like a real minnow.
This is what you need.
It’s easy to use jigs with soft baits. But if you don’t know how to do it right, take a look at these videos.
A slow fall is a great option
You probably know that crappie is ambush predators. Crappie hunt in a highly efficient manner to conserve energy, which is something that you probably already know. They won’t chase lures or prey items, and if they aren’t being caught as often as you should, it could be that your fishing speed is too fast.
Keep it Small
A jig that is too heavy is one of the culprits. Anglers want their jigs racing to the bottom. There is a lot of talk about how fast a heavy jig can fall when it’s attached to fluorocarbon.
Some of it is true.
Because it weighs more than the buoyant jig it is fitted with, a heavier jig will sink faster. We say “more buoyant” because the jig sinks slowly due to its density.
The real-world sink rate for fluorocarbons is quite modest.
All this talk about sinking is missing the point. Crappie are lazy predators and a jig that sinks too fast past them will not attract a bite!
You should instead size down the jig heads and throw the lightest possible. We recommend starting with 1/32 or 1/16 ounce heads. If you want to buck the wind or need to have a precise feel, you will need to increase the size of your jigs, but you should generally use the smallest jigs you can throw and fish with.
Take Care When Choosing Your Jig Design
Hydrodynamic soft baits are more fluid if they are sleeker. It will therefore fall faster through the water column than other baits.
The Thill Crappie Cork slip float is a great choice. It allows you to cast perfectly while maintaining control over the depth of your terminal tackle. The Thill doesn’t require beaded stops. A simple knot will suffice. It is easy to use, and it’s quick to adjust to different depths.
As minnows live longer, we like to run a four-pound test through the floating to an Aberdeen hook. Match your hook size to your minnow. We recommend no less than #6 for real slabs and no more than #1 for real slabs. The split shot can be added to this rig for better casting. This will allow you to keep your distance and not scare dinner.
Soft baits such as Strike King Mr. Crappie Jaw Head can be used if live minnows don’t appeal to you.
These two gentlemen use slip floats and minnows as well as jigs in an attempt to terrorize crappie near stumps.