Want to learn how you can jig for crappie? Well, you’re about to find out! As an angler, the jig is your best friend so it’s important to learn how to use it properly because if you’ve mastered it then you can use it for trolling, casting, tightlining, and even slip floating.
Jig applications are literally endless and you can use it on all types of different bodies of water. That’s why the jig is the preferred lure for crappie. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
Jigging for Crappie
As you’ll soon find out, jigging for crappie is a relatively easy process, if you know what to do. Once you’ve gone through the steps shared below, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t tried it before.
Here’s our simple guide.
What is a Jig in Fishing?
Before we get into crappie fishing with a jig, it’s important to understand what we’re talking about here.
The design is like this. First, there’s the jig head which consists of a hook with a weighted section and an offset eye. Jig heads can be made from plain lead or they can be painted and they come in a wide range of sizes and styles.
Most people like painted heads, including us. They’re just more convenient. But if you don’t mind painting your own, you’re free to buy raw lead heads and just paint it yourself. It’s the more cost-effective option anyway.
The other part of a jig is its body. This is what gives the jig its versatility so that you can attach almost anything onto it from minnow parts to curly-tailed grub.
What Size Jig for Crappie Fishing?
Since you’ll be fishing for crappy, you’ll do well to stick with jig heads that weigh between 1/32 and ⅛ ounces. This is the common crappie jig setup among most anglers and we highly recommend it.
However, when it comes to selecting weights for your jig, you’ll want to take into account variables such as the techniques you’re using as well as the fishing conditions you’ll be dealing with. Basically, deeper water requires a much heavier jig, as does murky waters that require you to go deep.
You will also want to keep in mind your casting distance as well as wind conditions. The heavier your jig, the farther you’ll be able to cast it, regardless of how much wind you’re dealing with.
Jig Head Styles
The next aspect is to know that there are four different jig bodies to choose from; the minnow, the marabou, the tube, and the grub.
They are as follows:
This tube-shaped jig is kind of like a soft bullet cylinder and it has a fringe tail at the end.
This type of jig body is characterized by a long tail attached to a fat body for easy maneuvering on the water.
These types of jigs come with a fly and jig that are already tied to each other and thanks to the hairy appearance they move smoothly on the water.
As the name implies, this type of jig is made to look and act like a live minnow, making it very effective on the water. They also come in a wide variety of colors which is great.
How to Tie a Jig
Alright, now we’ve come to the main event of jigging for crappie. For best results, it’s recommended to tie your jigs horizontally from your line regardless of how you’re jigging.
You can either use a simple loop knot, a Palomar knot, or a Trilene knot to tie your jig to your line.
Jig Fishing Techniques
Fishing with a jig is a lot of fun because you can experiment with different techniques.
Here are some of our favorites:
What makes jigs so unique and desirable is the fact that they’re incredibly versatile. You can use them to cover a lot of water and even access inaccessible cover relatively easily.
If you’re fishing in the early spring, then you’ll want to look first in the depths of the water as crappie fish tend to move there during this time after they’ve spawned in the shallows early in the spring.
Fishing for crappie with a crappie reel is really fun during this time because you cover the entire lake and spend all day at the lake and come back satisfied. This time of year is also the best time for trolling and spider rigging.
If you’re going to fish for crappie or tripletail fish in the summer and fall, then you cannot go wrong with vertical jigging.
Keep in mind that crappie like to fill the lake and can be found on all of its four corners on warm summer days. It’s their way of keeping cool. So, you’re unlikely to find them on the shallows.
What you can do is to use the right jig head and body combo to gently twist your jig and get the job done.
If you really want to be successful at jigging, then you should use slip floats. They work beautifully in or near crappie habitats, whether you plan on fishing bear stumps or while standing off.
Now you know how to rig a crappie jig and are well equipped to go on your first crappie fishing trip.
Except, there will be nothing crappy about it! Remember to include a slip float when angling near the cover and enjoy lake-wide fishing adventures all year round.