4 Different Types of Lures for Crappie

Crappie Lures

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The best fishing lures to catch crappie are jigs, spinnerbaits, spoons, and soft plastics.

Crappie are known to prefer a wide variety of different prey depending on the time of year and opportunity. It’s no secret that natural baits are often an excellent choice for catching crappie at any time of the year in most southern portions of the United States, but this article will mainly focus on artificial lures that can be purchased online or in big box retail stores. 

I am a big fan of taking a wide selection of lures whenever I go fishing. You can never predict exactly what will interest your target species without years of local experience and knowledge. The best way to prepare is to bring a range of lure types, sizes, and colors. If you are actively casting, I will change lures every 5 minutes or so – as long as I am confident in my location.

If I start to get any action or strikes, but still no bites, I will change my lure more subtly. Let’s have at look at my four favorite lures for crappie.

Donny with a Crappie

1. Jigs 

One of the most popular types of lures used to catch crappie are jigs. These are likely to be considered the most popular crappie lure of any on the market simply for their overall variety and versatility. Various jig tails give the jig a certain action as it runs under the water. Some jigs are better for fishing vertically into underwater cover like brush piles, while others are better for trolling or casting. 

Jigs are fished with a metal head that helps provide ample balance and weight, often allowing them to sink down to the desired depth that the angler expects to catch crappie. Anglers will need to understand how to twitch and jerk the jig as they retrieve it through the water to entice crappie to strike at it. 

2. Spinnerbaits

Spinners are the top choice among the many different lure styles you can choose from. Spinners are a very simple type of lure as they require that an angler only steadily retrieve the lure without having to make many other movements. These are a great choice of lure for beginner crappie anglers as the blade does most of the work. 

There are a variety of lures that utilize spinners in order to be effective when it comes to catching crappie. These can vary between lures like the classic Beetle Spin and a simple rooster tail design—both of which are very effective baits in crappie fishing. The spinner on any lure is meant to deliver a distinct vibration that crappie and other fish usually detect as coming from a small bait fish as it swims through the water. The blade on a spinner style lure is usually gold or silver in color, which helps give off the distinct flashing appearance that is common with small prey. 

Spinnerbait Lures in a row

3. Spoons

These types of lures are very similar to spinners in the way they run through the water. They feature a curved shape that gives off a specific fluttering or wobbling shape as it runs through the water. The aim of the spoon is for the lure itself to appear much like a wounded or injured bait fish making its way through the water. In many cases, fish will see this as a prime opportunity to take advantage of what could be an easy meal and strike at the lure, even when they are not necessarily hungry. 

There are a wide variety of different types of spoon lures, but many that are made to appeal to crappie and other small game fish are going to be a bit smaller than some of the other models. Spoons might also have more of less details, or even be solid colors or bright silver or gold. Most anglers will have to study up on the best methods for fishing with a spoon because they are more effective when used in a sporadic, twitching motion than a steady retrieve. 

4. Soft Plastics 

For many anglers, soft plastic lures are generally associated with bass or other types of fish species. However, crappie have been known to strike at some of the smaller types of soft plastic lures at certain times of the year when their feeding patterns are more aggressive than others. 

Some of the most effective soft plastic lures for crappie are small worm-like plastics that are rigged in a wacky style with a few small split-shot lures. Anglers have also reported having great success using small flukes or minnow-like plastic lures in a drop shot rig or other methods. 

four senko worms held up in hand

There are also various ways to rig your jig to a soft plastic worm, depending on how you want to present the bait. Some rigs are better suited for deep dropping, while others are useful when casting at weed beds.