Why Use The Best Crappie Lures? Because Finding Crappies is Challenging!

Crappies are native to North America. They’re abundant in freshwater and regarded as one of the most popular game fish among anglers. You can find them in murky acidic waters rich in vegetation.

Since they usually inhabit unclear waters, they’re a little hard to look, presenting a challenge when catching them. That’s why you should only use the best crappie lures and baits when crappie fishing.

Juvenile crappies prey on microscopic organisms such as planktons while mature ones feed on insects, small freshwater fishes like minnows, and other fish fingerlings.

Fortunately, catching crappies is fairly easy provided you know how but the real challenge lies in finding the fish.

Crappies are also schooling fishes like other panfish. They usually hide on fallen objects that are submerged in the waters like fallen leaves and trees, weeds, and logs. These fishes generally stay deep during the day and will only resurface when feeding at dawn or dusk.

See a crappie hooked in water

As mentioned earlier, finding crappies is the hard part but catching them is not that hard nor too easy either. You should know where to find them and you should also use the right lure or bait.

Lures or baits?

Artificial lures and live baits both work effectively when catching crappies. The most efficient and profitable lure for crappies is the leadhead jig or spinner. These lures are constructed from a variety of materials and feature different colors and sizes.

Photo from bestchinahardware.com

They’re pretty effective because they mimic the manner by which minnows move – crappies love minnows thus it will drive them crazy.

Feathered or plastic bodied leadhead jig and spinners work the best, as tested by seasoned anglers. Though these lures come in a variety of colors, the most potent colors are yellow and black.

Also, hook size plays a small yet important role in crappie fishing. Angled little leadheads suspended from a bobber allows the lure to reach different depths to draw the attention of crappies underneath.

Alternatively, anglers use two jigs attached to a line, with one jig distanced for one to two feet above the other.

If you want to utilize live bait, minnows are the best option you’ve got. It will surely attract crappies whether in freshwater or ice.

Choosing the right size of minnows is paramount. Yes, they’re all minute but the ideal size would be those measuring from one to one and a half inches. If you’re having difficulties finding minnows, you can also use crawling worms hooked into a teardrop bait.

To use minnows for crappie fishing, simply insert the hook into the fish’s back, just under the dorsal fin. Be careful not to touch the spine, you’ll want your bait to be live and wiggly for a little longer.

Here’s a tip: you can also utilize both leadhead jig and live minnow. When things are going slow when using only one of either lure, you can hook a little minnow at the jig’s tip to maximize the attractiveness coming from the jig’s color and the minnow’s movement.

Simply attach the minnow through both lips of the jig rather than at the back.

Want more tips on catching crappies? Watch the video clip below!

When is the best time for crappie fishing?

For those of you who are planning to catch some crappie, it better be during the spring season - their spawning period. The waters get warm during this season and you’ll definitely have your luck catching heaps of crappies whether you’re using a lure or bait.

During the spawning period, they can easily be found in shallow waters. They’re basically defenseless during the spawning season. Also, crappies don't hibernate during the winter so they’re a great target when ice fishing.

Crappies are also a great game fish for ice fishing

Crappies, specifically the male ones, move to the shallow water regions and make nests from under the vegetation. The best tip for finding the nest is to scout for aquatic plants sticking a little more from the water than the rest.

Male crappies get pretty aggressive during this season so they tend to strike at anything that they perceive as danger – most especially your lures and baits.

Now that you know what lure or bait to use as well as the best time for crappie fishing, let’s get down to business – finding the best crappie lures. Let’s start!

The Best Crappie Lures of All Time

**Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

#1 - PowerBait Power Minnow

The PowerBait Power Minnow is an ideal crappie lure because apparently, minnows easily attract hungry crappies.

This tiny bait is truly versatile because aside from crappies, it effectively lures bass, trout, and walleyes as well. It appears realistic with its life-like body and holographic eyes.

The eye-catching profile of this bait attracts any crappies’ eyes but what makes crappies bite into it is the subtle and slow movement of its split tail, precisely mimicking that of a foraging minnow.

Upon sinking the rig, you won’t feel any wiggling action at all that’s why some anglers thought that this lure doesn’t work but wait for a few seconds and the hits will start coming.

Moreover, this lure works perfectly for jig trailers and spinner rigs. Though there are 10 baits included in this set, only two are rigged so you’ll have to rig the rest by yourself.

What We Like:

  • Durable
  • Highly visible
  • Right size
  • Versatile (baits other fishes as well)
  • Pre-rigged
  • Works for almost all kinds of fishing

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The tail gets nibbled on by smaller fishes which leads to damage (the natural movement gets altered)

#2 - Bobby Garland Stoll’r Crappie Baits

This lovely bait measures 2.5” which is quite big for crappie fishing yet it delivers a powerful performance with its trolling movement – it behaves like an injured or dying fish, quickly triggering the fishing instincts of male and female crappies in the vicinity.

This lure is designed for “strolling” or slow trolling crappies. Its slow and jerky movement in the water will surely send crappies racing for the price. The tail produces a superb action at any speed, whether you cast or trolled it.

Aside from its motion, another factor that adds to this lure’s functionality is its dual-tone color combination which is very intriguing for fishes of any kind.Outfit these with a 1/16 to 1/8th-ounce trail jig head and you’re ready to go.

What We Like:

  • Durable
  • Highly visible
  • Versatile (baits other fishes as well)
  • Works for casting and strolling

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The size is too big

#3 - Strike King Mr. Crappie Slabalicious Bait

The Slabalicious bait features a uniquely tapered tail that produces an awesome vibration which sends crappies into a frenzy.

This paddle-tailed lure forces itself down into the depths, with its tail beating from side to side, driving water out of its way and producing a powerful noise vibration.

Fishes can easily detect even vibration from afar thus they’ll come chasing after this gem. Its vibrant dual tone color also adds to its appeal.

In fact, this lure has been proven effective for luring other game fishes, especially crappies. The greatest thing about this lure is it works for almost all kinds of fishing – whether it be casting, strolling, pulling, flipping, or pitching.

What We Like:

  • Durable
  • Highly visible
  • Right size
  • Versatile (baits other fishes as well)
  • Works for almost all kinds of fishing

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The color tends to fade

#4 - Bobby Garland Shad Crappie Baits

The Booby Garland Shad Crappie Baits are soft, bright-colored plastic baits that resemble a shad fish profile.

Shads are excellent crappie lures, second to minnows. Shads ranging from 2 to 3 inches are the works best. Catching live shad is hard because of their minute size and preserving it takes a lot of work too.

So why opt for a live shad when you can use a reusable one?

This particular shad bait has a plump body and a tapered tail that makes a quivering motion underwater, garnering the attention of any crappie lingering in the area.

It measures 2” and comes in various neon colors - big and bright enough to be seen. These baits look realistic too, coaxing even careful crappies.

Here’s a secret: the chartreuse-colored bait works best for crappie fishing.

What We Like:

  • Durable
  • Highly visible
  • Right size
  • Versatile (baits other fishes as well)

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The other colors don’t work as effectively

#5 - Leland Lures Crappie Magnet

Crappie magnet jigheads like the Leland Lures Crappie Magnet emits a unique motion that perfectly mimics the usual food source of crappies – crustaceans, larval insects, and small fishes.

It features a split-tail grub design that doesn’t sink too deep near the bottom nor too shallow – it sits at the perfect depth, making it ideal for vertical presentations and for fishing under a small float.

Simply sink the lure and let it drift deadly into the water and wait for that glorious crappie bite.

What We Like:

  • Durable
  • Highly visible
  • Right size

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t reach crappies residing at deeper depths
  • Not so great when cast or strolled

The Verdict

It seems like all the lures presented in the list are pretty effective in their own unique ways. All of them have intrinsic characteristics that draws crappies in but there’s always one that outshines the rest.

Our pick for the best crappie lures of all time is the PowerBait Power Minnow. You just can’t go wrong with a minnow when crappie fishing. Live minnows send crappies into a frenzy!

The PowerBait Power Minnow artificial lure perfectly mimics the appearance and movement of live minnows, making them an excellent crappie lure in every season and water condition.

Have fun crappie fishing!

Hey! How are you doing? Have had any luck crappie fishing with a minnow lure or bait? What brand are you using? Do you apply other special crappie fishing strategies? Teach us master! Comment your thoughts below.

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John Morris

Hi, I’m John Morris. I’m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, blessed with an awesome wife and 2 kids. Fishing is not my passion, it is my lifestyle. I fished before I knew how to walk! I’m obsessed with all things related to fishing, even the fishy smell. I’m always willing to extend a hand to novice anglers looking for fishing tips and tricks thus I created this blog. This blog is a collection of my experiences, knowledge, and also research from other blogs.

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