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Crappie tend to be fairly widespread in terms of their location, they taste pretty good, and they are moderately easy to catch as well. With that being said, you do need to have the right fishing gear and technique in order to catch them.
One of the best types of lures to go with for crappie is the jig, with jigging being one of the most solid crappie fishing methods.
So, how do you use a crappie jig? This is one question we will do our best to answer, along with providing you all kinds of other info in regards to jigging for crappie.
What Is Jigging?
Generally speaking, the jigging technique is pretty similar no matter what style you choose to go with. The jigging fishing technique usually always involves a yo-yo type technique. In other words, jigging is where you let the jig sink a little bit, then reel it in a certain distance, thus causing it to raise in depth and come closer to you.
You will keep repeating this. Let it sink, reel it up and in a bit, and then let it sink some more, either until you get a bite or until the lure is back at the rod. There are some other jigging techniques too besides this one. We will cover them all further below.
What Is A Jig?
A jig is a type of fishing lure, one that is designed to mimic small prey and bait fish. These can come in all shapes and sizes, plus all kinds of colors too. They are usually made of plastic or rubber, some of which are designed to sink, and some of which have neutral buoyancy.
When it comes to fishing for crappie, the jig lure and the jigging fishing technique is a deadly combination that every angler needs to know about.
Types Of Crappie Jigs
Speaking of the jigs, if you are fishing for crappie, there are 4 main types of jigs that you want to be using.
Let’s talk about these real quick;
Curly Tail Jig
First off, you’ve got your curly tail jig, which have tails that wiggle in the water and are designed to look like grubs.
Next, you have the skirted jig, which has a plastic skirt and is designed to be subtle and to look like bait.
Third, you’ve got your Marabou or hairy jig, which has a bunch of “hairs” which move around as you reel the jig in.
Fish Shaped Jig
Finally, you’ve got the fish shaped jig, which as the name implies, is designed to look like a fish. All of these types of jigs will work well for crappie fishing.
The Jig Heads For Crappie Fishing
Another thing to keep in mind when jigging for crappie, is that the jig is not the only part of the equation. You need to have a jig head too. A jig head has a feature that looks like an eye, thus making it look even more like real live bait (more on what baits to use for Crappie here).
The other important aspect of the jig head is that this is the part which actually has the hook on it. Yes, you definitely need a hook to catch your fish. The other purpose of a jig head is to add some weight into the mix so the jig can sink faster.
Light Or Heavy Jig Heads?
When the metabolism of the crappie you are going for is in high gear, you want to use a heavier jig head. It will move faster, something which will spur on the crappie to go for the lure.
On the other hand, during the colder months, when the metabolism of the crappie is slower, and they move slower, using a lighter crappie jig head is best, as it will not sink or move as quickly. In terms of length, never use a jig or jig head over 2 inches, as this is just too large for crappie.
Something between 0.75 and 1.5 inches is best.
Jig Head Style
In terms of the jig head style, a round one that looks like an eye is usually best. This is true because the eye is something that will really lure fish in, plus the shape of the ball allows for fairly quick sinking. When it comes to the color, there are many different colors to go with.
It all depends on the weather, the time of day, and the time of year. However, a good all-around choice for jig and jig head colors is chartreuse, which is a specific shade of green.
Attaching The Jig Head To The Jig
Now, one important thing that you need to do before you get started is to attach the jig to the jig head. The jig head is the part with the hook on it. So, push the hook through the top of the jig.
Continue pushing the hook in, right through the center of the jig, until the top of the actual jig comes into contact with the jig head on the end of the hook.
Hook Through The Jig
Now, poke the hook through the jig, which should now be about halfway down the length of the jig. Make sure the hook is in there good, and that when you push it out, that a lot of the hook is coming out.
You need a fair amount of the hook to be pushing through the jig in order to hook your crappie. Make sure that the body of the jig is in line with the jig head, especially the eye. You want it to be straight.
Tie Fishing Line
The next step is to tie the fishing line onto the jig head in a way that will work best. The best type of knot to use here is the clinch knot, or if you need a lot of strength, go with Trilene fishing line and try tying a double clinch knot.
It’s an easy knot to tie and has a lot of strength. However, if you want to have truly unrestricted movement for your jig, using a simple loop knot will work too.
A Note On Knot Placement
Another thing to keep in mind here is the placement of the knot itself. You want the knot to be tied so that when the jig is hanging in the water, it hangs horizontally, so it actually looks like prey. If the jig hangs at a weird angle or is vertical, crappie probably won’t go for it.
On a side note, try bending the hook a bit to make it wider, which will help get the hook stuck in the roof of the mouth of the crappie that bites it.
Types Of Crappie Jigging Techniques
Now it is time to talk about how to jig for crappie. There are a few jigging techniques that work really well for crappie fishing, so let’s go over each of these right now.
In terms of common and effective crappie jigging techniques, vertical jigging is number one. It’s very easy to set up, to execute, and crappie cannot seem to resist lures when jigging this way. All you need to do for this is tie the jig and jig head to your line as we talked about above.
If you feel like covering some more water, you can always tie a second jig onto the line about a foot above the first one. Use a three way swivel to do this (more on swivels here). All you need to do to execute this technique is to cast the jig into an area where you think there are crappie. Let it sink down a good way, as crappie will often strike the jig when it is sinking.
You want to make subtle twitches with your rod and let the lure sit there for a few seconds. After this, reel it in by about a foot or two, and then keep repeating this process. Make sure to be patient, go slow, and be steady and consistent. You can also try slow and constant reeling, or you can try yo-yoing it too if you like. All three of these methods work pretty well.
The stump bumping technique is another good one to go with. The point here is to use a weight, one that you will drag along the bottom, more or less. The aim is to have the weight hit stumps and rocks, which will then create vibrations, thus luring the crappie to your bait.
You can actually use the vertical jigging technique for this as well, just be sure to keep the rig on the structure or stump that you are fishing on and around. Here you will need to use a barrel swivel, with the sinker attached on top of the swivel.
On the other end of the swivel, leave about a foot of line, and then attach the jigging rig on the end. This way, you have the weight bouncing off of structures, with the actual hook and lure close behind.
The other technique you can use is spider jigging. Now, you can use the vertical jigging technique or the stump bumping technique in combination with this. The spider jigging technique actually refers to the amount of rods and jigs you have going. Here is why Crappie rods are so long, in case you was wondering.
Take a few different types of jigs and varying jig heads, start with 2 setups, and cast them behind your boat, a good few feet apart. You can start with 2 and the work your way up to 3, 4, or 5 if you choose.
The good part about this technique is that you will quickly figure out which lures, jigs, jig heads, knots, and colors work best for the area you are fishing. You can also cast the jigs at various depths and just let them all go behind your boat as you move along, or in other words, troll for crappie.
It’s pretty much a go big or go home kind of technique, one that uses sheer numbers and overwhelming force to lure in crappie. Hey, if one jig does not work, maybe 5 of them will.
If you need some good Crappie float suggestions, we have covered our favorite picks on this article.
Before you get started jigging for crappie, keep in mind that what kind of jig and jig head you use does depend on various things. You do need to consider the depth of the water, the time of day, the time of year, and other such factors too. At any rate, if you follow our tips and use the jigging techniques we have covered here, you should have no problems catching a good amount of crappie on your next trip.