Fishing For Crappie During The Winter

Are jigs or minnows a better choice when fishing for Crappie in the winter?

As with most things, this is a completely personal choice.  However, depending on the water in which you are fishing, one may be better than the other.  The key is to try everything and determine what works best for you.


In the winter, crappie are pretty slow moving and won’t attack your bait as quickly as they would in the summertime.  However, since it is the middle of winter and they have practically been in hibernation with little or no food consumption, they will be hungry.


In murky waters, a jig that is well presented, dangled straight in front of a crappie that is the right color and size, will produce a great effect.  If the fish can get an eye on the chartreuse or fluorescent orange (or other bright color you’re presenting), it’s likely to take a snap at it.  However, in clearer water, where they can see better, crappie are less likely to go for a jig, even if you use a standard natural color like brown or black.


In clear waters in the winter, you may want to opt for minnows, simply because these will also give off a smell at the same time as appearing natural in the water.  If you find that even minnows don’t work, don’t give up – try another type of bait with a scent that will permeate the water, such as stink bait.  This will grab the attention of a listless crappie at rest and should send it into overdrive trying to latch onto your bait presentation.

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow crappie fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on crappie fishing since 2004.

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