Best Baits for Crappie Fishing

I already posted about what I felt was the best bait for Crappie fishing. In this post, I am going to discuss a number of common baits and give you a brief description of them.

The Standby: Minnows

Flathead MinnowMinnows are not just any small fish. Young fish are called “fry.” Minnows are adult small fish. Common Shiners and Flatheads are pretty common bait minnows.

Minnows are good to fish with. You can catch Crappy, Bass and even Catfish or almost any other carnivorous fish using minnows. The trick is to keep the minnows alive.

Minnows sometimes die quickly in minnow buckets. They are very temperature sensitive and need plenty of air. Using an aerator and non-chlorine ice is an effective way to extend their life. Be careful, faucet water and commercial ice will kill them because of the chlorine. Freeze a bottle of spring water and drop it in your minnow bucket.

You can hook a minnow through it lips, through its tail or through its back, depending on how you are going to fish it. With most of my fishing I hook it in the back. Just keep the hook in the meat away from the bone. A paralyzed minnow ain’t as good as a lively one


The Gulp! Alive! 1″ Minnows I mentioned in my earlier post is a jig. There are many types Jigsof jigs. They all have one thing in common: a metal head (usually lead) on the dull end of a hook.

The heads can be almost any shape, but most are round. Very often they are painted bright or bold colors. Some even have eyeballs painted on, drilled through, or attached.

Behind the head covering the hook is the skirt. It can be fluffy like a feather, plastic looking like a grub, worm or minnow, or even a piece of leather. Many fishermen attach live bait like a worm, minnow, or grub to the hook under the skirt.

Jigs can also have spoons attached to attract a Crappie’s attention. The advantages of jigs are they are cheaper than live bait, you do not have to keep re-baiting, and they are not a mess to fool with.

Frankly, there are thousands of jigs and they are usually very cheap, go to any bait shop and buy a handful to try. I personally like the Gulp! Alive! 1″ Minnows.

Spinner BaitSpinner Bait

Spinner bat is sort of similar to a jig in that it also wears a skirt or plastic grub. Hidden under the skirt is a treble hook. In front the hook is the body or head of the lure, which is usually metal and often a spoon to grab attention.

Spinner bait can vary wildly. With one design, one or more spoons are set off to the side of the body. Spinner bait is often used for bass fishing but is also good bait for Crappie.

There are many different spinner baits. They are available at any bait store but are much more expensive than jigs.


You have a wide assortment of lures. Most are often used for bass fishing. Smaller lures resembling minnows can be effective bait for Crappie.

A lure typically has a body of balsa or hard plastic and is painted to resemble a fish, frog, or some other aquatic animal. They are often colorful. Usually, there are two or more sets of treble hooks dangling under a lure.

There are many types of Lures which are available at most bait stores, butthey can run from $3 each to $15 each. You lose one of these on a hang-up and you feel it.

WormsRed Wigglers

Worms are not used for Crappy fishing very often, but you do occasionally catch Crappy on worms. The two most common worms are red wigglers and earth worms. Both are available at most bait stores or even in your back yard.

The problem with worms is they are very messy. Your fingers can get covered with a black crust that is difficult to wash off, and can remain smelly. They are also relatively expensive.

If you have no other bait give worms a try. You might catch something.

Grubs, Maggots and SuchGrubs

Thesebaits are fairly uncommon, but they are good baits. You can raise any of them easily at home in a container. Like worms, they can be messy. I do find it distasteful to get grub juice on my hands and then eat a sandwich.


Nibbles are little pieces of bait manufactured for Crappie fishing. These soft pellets weigh Nibblesnext to nothing. When in the water they usually disburse a scented cloud around the bait, and if they include sparkles the sparkles look like small fish scales in the water. They can be used on a plain hook or on a jig hook.

I have given you a brief run down of most baits for Crappie fishing. I suggest you try different things and see what works best for you. In most states you can use multiple poles while Crappie Fishing. So, put a different bait on each one to determine which, for you, is the best Crappie Fishing Bait. Leave me a comment below as to what you think the best Crappie bait is.

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2 Responses to Best Baits for Crappie Fishing

  1. Brooks says:

    I have been fishing before, but have never caught much. After reading this article, I think it’s because I just didn’t know enough about bait, lures, etc. and what kind of fish responds to what type of bait. Your article is very informative and you explain everything very clearly. Next time I go fishing, I will definitely figure out what kind of fish I am trying to catch and then see what type of bait works best for that fish. Thanks!

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