Choosing live bait for crappie fishing is very easy. Crappies feed on minnows, worms and just about any insect they can get their mouths on. Live bait is easy to find in stores (or collect yourself) and even easier to fish with. The real-life movement of these creatures can appear extremely attractive to the fish. Since this is the crappie's natural food, it may seem like the most natural option.
On the other hand, live bait can be difficult to work with. Most complaints come from the inconvenience of keeping yourself stocked in minnows or worms. Keeping the insects alive, healthy and fed can be costly and time consuming. Artificial baits such as lures and jigs can be an attractive alternative. Lures can be tossed into the tackle box without worrying about their mortality. Plus, it's much easier to run to the store for lures than try to capture your own live bait.
When choosing a lure, make sure to pick one that would appeal to crappies, one that could pass for their food of choice -- minnows, small crayfish or any type of insect. Crappies have keen eyesight, so coloring is important [source: Crappie.net]. Opt for lure colors that correspond with the surrounding conditions. In clear waters, use lures that are close to the typical color of crappie food such as silver and gray. At night, you can try blacks and dark blues. On sunny days, use the brightest color lures you can find.
Many anglers also advocate using both live and artificial lures to bait crappie. It's effective in fishing dense vegetation (where crappies like to hang out the most) while making the bait appear more life-like. Your choice of jig color can aid in attracting the crappie to the live bait.
There is no wrong way to hook a crappie, so experiment with whatever methods suit you to find your favorite way to catch.
Looking for a more exciting way to catch your crappie? Read on to find out how to fly fish for a crappie.