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Ice fishing for crappie is a ton of fun, but it comes with some challenges.
So what’s the hardest part?
Ice fishing requires skill, knowledge, and luck, but choosing the right Crappie ice fishing lure is essential to getting fish on the ice.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help!
So what are the best ice fishing lures for Crappie?
What to know when ice fishing for crappie
When you’re fishing for Crappie under the ice, it’s important to have a good understanding of the equipment and techniques needed to position you for the best chance of success.
First, how do you find the fish? Locating crappie can be a tricky art form.
Influences such as the expanse of your lake, the time of the season, and the amount of crappie the lake contains all affect where to find your target.
Above all, you have to know where to look!
Are you fishing in a relatively shallow lake with a healthy population of aquatic plants?
If so, recognize that crappy love to spend time near grasses and other vegetation.
Follow their food sources. Find the food, and you will find the fish.
Crappie are usually two or three feet from the bottom of the lake, but the deepness of the water can cause subtle variations.
Crappie travel together
Part of the fun of fishing crappie is their inherent nature to travel in schools.
That means that you can fish from one hole for quite awhile, and you will not have to relocate as much and anglers who focus on larger fish.
If your hole starts to run dry, don’t be afraid to check out a new location, but you can rotate amongst your favorite spots frequently.
Lake conditions determine your ice fishing strategy
Early in the ice fishing season, oxygen levels are still high, so fish can safely spend time near the bottom of the lake in warmer water.
However, as winter progresses, oxygen levels decline, and crappie must move nearer to the surface to survive.
Plants consume some of the oxygen resources, too, and they cannot replenish it until sunlight breaks through the water much later in the year.
During the course of the season, fish gradually rise closer to the surface and high oxygen levels.
Schools increase their mobility as well.
As the fish move, you have to move with them, and it will probably take a few unsuccessful attempts before you find them again!
When do crappie feed?
Crappie are hungry in the early morning hours and towards the end of the evening. Your lures will be even more attractive during these time periods.
Crappie like to feed upward. This gives you a tip on presentation: hold your bait slightly above the level of the fish for optimal effect.
Since crappies’ eyes are situated on top of their head, your lures will be easy to see when they are a few inches above the fish.
Upward feeding also means that you need to pay close attention for a bite. Crappie will push in the opposite direction of a fish pulling on your rod, so this may not be what you are used to feeling. If your rod bends slightly upward, you may have a bite!
Using a sensitive rod is incredibly important.
As mentioned, crappie swim in schools. When one fish starts feeding, the others want to eat too!
Get your lure under the ice as soon as possible after reeling in a catch, and you may bring in a few more fish.
What type of lures do crappie prefer?
Crappie prefer light jigs, which means that a sensitive rod will be much more productive.
Be very selective about your jigs when ice fishing for crappie.
Usually, softer baits that excel in penetration work best.
Jig heads tend to use tungsten or lead components. Most jigs for crappie measure roughly 1/32 to 1/64 ounces.
Tungsten weighs more than lead which allows you to cover more ground with a small lure.
If you want to tip your jig, crappie like small invertebrate creatures.
You can use wax worms, minnows, or the like.
These work well in shallow waters.
Plastic lures are usually excellent choices when ice fishing for crappie.
They allow you to get your line back in the water faster, giving you more opportunities for reeling in catches.
You also have an indefinite amount of color, design, and weight options with this type of lure.
If larger fish are your targets, you can use spoons. Or, perhaps you want to try lipless baits.
Keep in mind that crappie are small fish, so you need to use small lures.
To weed out smaller catches, use slightly larger baits.
What to look for in an ice fishing lure for crappie
Most anglers prefer to fish with jigs over minnows on the ice.
Jigs will attract fish, and you avoid the hassle of removing your gloves, exposing your fingers to the cold, and fighting to put the minnow on your hook.
When you are considering ice fishing lures for crappie, here are some points that you should think about.
What size lure should you use?
Small lures work best. The size of the lure directly relates to the size of the fish that you will catch.
Soft plastic lures are recommended to be no more than a few inches long, erring on the shorter end of 2 inches.
Fish eat less in the winter and tend to eat smaller meals. Therefore, they will prefer smaller lures compared to your summertime go-tos.
And, smaller lures are less likely to spook fish, so you will be able to fish a singular hole for a longer period.
Crappie like a variety of lure colors depending on the situation and water conditions.
However, there are a couple of standards that you will want to store in your tackle box:
- Neon lures (multicolored, but definitely include a bright green/yellow option)
- Naturally colored jigs
Having these options readily available will allow you to play to crappies’ changing preferences and adapt to water and environmental conditions.
Best ice fishing lure for crappie
There are a number of fishing lure options that can work well when ice fishing for crappie. The following options may prove a good place to start your search.
YZD Marabou Feather Jig 12pcs
YZD sells one of the longest lasting, most highly rated crappie ice fishing lures available.
This feather jig is great for fishing at any depth and works well as a solo lure or when paired with a double rigging or bobber.
If you are struggling to get bites, try using the YZD crappie jig.
When fishing for crappie, you always want to have different lure varieties, so this package includes 12 jigs with 3 color options.
You can choose between different combinations of white, orange, rose, yellow, purple, and green.
And, you can purchase the YZD lure in packs of 12 or 48.
Whether you are looking for 1/16, 1/32 oz,or 1/64 oz lures, YZD has options.
These jigs are some of the best for panfish, including crappie, and they can also catch bluegill, perch, and walleye.
It is best to use this product solely in freshwater, and these are great jigs for beginners or professionals!
All of these lures come equipped with a size 6 or 8 hook.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product may work when ice fishing Crappie.
- Angler approved
- Long lasting, durable material and design
- Great for fishing at any depth
- Functions as a solo lure or paired with double rigging
- Multiple jigs with different color selections
- Comes in 1/16, 1/32 oz,or 1/64 oz
- Great for panfish, bluegill, perch, and walleye
- Freshwater only
Glow Ice Jigs – Marabou Chenille – Night Fishing Lures – Crappie Panfish – 6pk
Glow ice jigs are terrific lures for crappie, and you can also use them for night fishing.
Vibrantly painted heads, flash, and their glow in the dark nature make them easy to spot in the darkest of waters.
These jigs are especially designed for ice fishing for crappie and other panfish.
Each set comes with 6 jigs that are handmade in the United States.
The super sharp Eagle Claw aberdeen hooks will hold tight to crappie and remain strong.
In a pinch, you can easily use LED lights to charge them before casting on the ice.
You have several different color options with this brand, too.
Glow ice jigs can be purchased in white, pink, chartreuse, gree, blue, red, or orange.
The glow emitted matches the color of the head in most cases. However, the white lure gives a soft green glow.
Various sizes are available depending on your intended use.
Glow offers sizes ranging from 1/64 oz to ⅛ oz.
All lures are handmade in the United States with hand chosen feathers and powder coated heads.
For added security, threads are glued and triple knotted.
These lures attract bluegills, all varieties of panfish, muskies, walleyes and more!
View at Amazon for more information on how this product might work for use when ice fishing for Crappie.
- Daytime or nighttime fishing
- Designed for ice fishing for panfish
- Effective for most fishing scenarios
- Multiple size options
- Handmade in the US
- High quality feathers and powder coating finish
- Strong, secure threads
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