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Crappie lures to cover water and target bigger fish


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Just curious recommendations for the above topic. I don’t really crappie fish but have caught a few 15” or so actually fishing for bass with a jerk bait… bass closed in Minnesota for a while so just looking for some fun thanks

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I'm also interested as I intend to start crappie fishing in the next week or so.

 

Most of my crappie fishing has been a mix of live bait (minnows) under a float and small plastics.  The two local bait shops near me closed last year so live bait isn't really an option anymore.  I need to go to 100% artificial lures, just like I do when bass fishing.

 

I'll take any advice offered.

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On 3/7/2024 at 5:56 AM, gimruis said:

I'm also interested as I intend to start crappie fishing in the next week or so.

 

Most of my crappie fishing has been a mix of live bait (minnows) under a float and small plastics.  The two local bait shops near me closed last year so live bait isn't really an option anymore.  I need to go to 100% artificial lures, just like I do when bass fishing.

 

I'll take any advice offered.

 

My go tos when I know where they are are the bobby garland baby swim shad and the lunker city fin-s-shad.  I'll put both on the same 1/16 or 1/32 jighead and fish them through the schools.

 

https://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Bobby_Garland_Baby_Shad_SwimR/descpage-BGAR.html

 

https://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Lunker_City_Fin-S_Shad/descpage-LCFSH.html

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We catch several large crappie on Keitech 2.8 swim baits while bass fishing in April and May.  We are fishing them on Dirty Jigs 1/8 oz guppy heads.

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43 minutes ago, Jig Man said:

We catch several large crappie on Keitech 2.8 swim baits while bass fishing in April and May.

 

Unfortunately that isn't going to really help me because I cannot use a "bass sized" presentation (closed season).  I have to make sure my lures are panfish sized.

 

If I catch a bass (which does happen sometimes) on accident that is different than specifically targeting them with a keitech.

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Well if its nearly 3 inches long, the MN DNR might not buy that as a "panfish lure."  I'm not taking that chance.  We don't grow 3 pound crappies up here.  Most of them are about palm-sized.

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While I do occasionally catch bass on my panfish lures, I don't target bass with these

 

For slip-bobber fishing, I use the following.

1/32-1/8 oz ball-head jigs with...

Mr Twister original in 2"

Mr Crappie Shadpole

Mr Crappie Joker

TRD Hogz

 

Other lures include

1/16 & 1/8 oz Z-Man Flashback Mini - actually caught a 15" walleye on one of these

1/8 oz Booyah Micro Pond Magic

1/10 oz Creme Tiny Lipless

1/8oz Rapala UL Shad 04

1/16 oz Rapala X-Rap 04

1/32-1/8 oz Beetle Spins

Mepps Aglia #0-#2

Mepps Comet #0-#2 - 14"-16" bass love the #2, large crappie and bluegill as well

1/8oz Blue Fox Flash Spinner - 17" bass caught on one of these

1/32-1/16oz Blakemore Road Runner

1/16oz Northland Mimic Minnow

1/16 Creme Spoiler Shad

 

Ya - I've got a small collection of panfish tackle

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my go to crappie lure is a beetle spin, last year I did pretty good with some of the z-man microfinesse stuff.

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I carry crappie jigs with my BFS gear which works great.

 

Beetle spin

Roadrunner

Mr. Twister curly tail on a 1/32 or 1/16 jig head under a float

 

 

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Last year my wife caught a 2lb bass and a 11" Crappie on a 1/8 beetle spin while fishing for bluegill, chartreuse silver blade.

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Kalin's Crappie Scrubs and nail tails. Trout Magnet and Crappie Magnet plastics and jigs

AND Rocket Bobbers are a must

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Beetle spin and road runner catch everything. They are always with me when I have an ultralight rod in reach. 

 

If only targeting crappie, all the guys I know who do it a lot seem to throw 1/16 or 1/32 jig head with plastic, or something like a beetlebou 

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1/16oz Johnson Beetle Spin or 1/16-1/8oz Blakemore Road Runner.

Zman Shad Fryz, Berkley Power Swimmer/or Keitech between 2-2 3/4", and a curly tail grub for trailers.

 

1/16-1/8oz Zman Flashback Mini (make sure to check them before buying, ive had a few where the paint was put on so thick it got everywhere and wouldnt allow the blade to run right, and others the blade came off when taking it out of the package since the eye wasnt closed).

Damiki Armor Shads size 2.5" and 3" for trailers.

 

Trout Magnets only have caught me trout and smaller bluegills, when upsizing to the Crappie Magnets put on either the Trout Magnet 1/64oz jighead or a 1/32oz ball jig head ive caught bigger bluegills, crappie and quite a few bass.

 

Panfish tubes, ive got a few from a bunch of different brands but really like the ones from Bass Pro Shops, also under a 1/32oz jig. Bobby Garland Baby Shad's or the Strike King ones are great. Cant beat the Monkey Milk or Electric Chicken colors. These are my go to's.

There were days the bass fishing was almost non existent but the Bobby Garlands got me a few bass and some crappie too.

 

Strike King now makes a Bitsy Red Eye Shad, and Berkley makes the 1/4oz War Pig.

Strike King Bitsy Minnow is a great crankbait and so is the Yo Zuri Snap Bean, Rapala has the Husky Jerk jerkbait that comes in small sizes and also the Original Floater jerkbaits do great for both species too.

 

Trout Magnet, Crappie Magnet, and Rocket Bobber are the only bobbers i use. The Rocket Bobber is the closest humans have come to being able to cast into space.

 

For trolling or long casts, the Berkley Money Badger has been great, same with their Flicker Shads.

 

Gulp Minnows, and Leeches work great under a bobber too, and are scented.

Powerbait trout worms have done great for me too (same as their mice tails just without the egg).

 

If you want something cheap, simple, and familar get the Berkley Powerbait Power Honey Worm (looks like a meal worm or wax worm) this was one of my best baits for panfish last year.

Edited by MediumMouthBass
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On 3/7/2024 at 10:31 AM, gimruis said:

Well if its nearly 3 inches long, the MN DNR might not buy that as a "panfish lure."  I'm not taking that chance.  We don't grow 3 pound crappies up here.  Most of them are about palm-sized.

That's not something I'd worry about. 

 

Bass is open all year here, but the lures/flies I use can easily hook up with pike, or even musky, which is closed.

 

They'd have to prove intent, right close to impossible if all fish are released.

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