The Best Bait for Crappie – Baits & Lures To Catch Crappie

Geoff Stadnyk in Baits & Lures on

Whether you’re an avid crappie fisher or going on a weekend trip (going in the summer? here are some summer specific crappie tips), we all know that the bait can make or break a day on the water. Crappies are schooling fish who like to hang out around submerged trees and weeds about 3-6 feet underwater. Lucky for us, they eat anything from hotdogs, bugs, worms, and small minnows. Thus, we have a lot of options when it comes to choosing the best crappie bait.

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You get to choose!

While some baits work better than others, the key to catching crappie is to find the bait that works best for you. Almost everyone that fishes crappie has a particular bait that he or she declares the BEST for catching crappie, and can out-fish any other bait. Funny enough, it out-fishes every other bait because they use that bait more than any other one. Let me break down the best options for catching crappie, and you can ultimately decide which ones you want to try out! The rule of thumb is that if they’re biting, keep using it. If not, switch it up a little.

Golden Spinners with a Yellow Tail- The Mepps Aglia Ultra Lite

golden-spinnersJim Porter, a professional fisherman and guide, swears by the Mepps Aglia ultra lite, and for good reason. The flash of the gold spinner is especially effective for catching crappie, and a yellow tail can never hurt. Although it is a little expensive as far as bait goes, the gold spinner is guaranteed to bring in productive standby any day on the water.
Artificial Minnow Baits- The Strike King Bitsy Minnow Bait
Minnow baits also work extremely well on crappie, and offsets the flashy appeal of the golden spinner. The best baits for crappie are generally small jigs, and if you’re looking for consistency, 1/8 ounce jigs are the way to go. One of the best for this is the Strike King Bitsy Minnow Bait, but you most likely have something just as good in your tackle box. The minnow is attractive to the crappie, and with a little up and down movement you’re guaranteed to get the most out of your day.

Live Bait- Minnows or Worms

While minnows and worms are very good for catching crappies, they can be pretty expensive if you’re going through a lot of bait. Because crappies like hanging out in dark places with obstacles in the way, you run the risk of losing your bait every time you cast a line. If you’re having trouble catching crappie, minnows are surefire bait, and if they don’t bite with a minnow on the line then they’re not gonna bite at all.

Maggots are also good for crappies as bait and you may check this article that we have about how long do fishing maggots lasts.


For more info on catching crappies with minnows, check out on catching crappie with live shiners.

That’s my advice on the best bait for crappie! Remember, the most important thing is to find one that works for you on any given day, and mixing it up can sometimes make a world of difference. Some other things to keep in mind when fishing for crappie are to make slow movements (especially with a spinner), and to always keep the line tight. This shouldn’t be hard, given that crappies usually put up a tough fight, and pulling one out of the water is always satisfying. I hope this helped you out, and let me know in the comments below what bait works best for you. Happy fishing!

Geoff Stadnyk

Geoff started fishing as a child in the gorgeous lakes of Mammoth, while on family vacations. His fishing experience includes the use of fly rod and reel. Guided trips along the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana, the Frying Pan and Animus in Colorado, and the Deschutes river in Oregon have all paid off and helped make Geoff the angler and writer that he is today.

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