Santee Cooper Crappie Fishing Advice

Live Minnows or Plastic Jigs; That is the Question

This is the age old question among crappie enthusiasts and there are a number of members in each camp. But the savvy angler knows that the best answer is… It depends.

One of the variables is temperature; colder water will make the crappie lazier and slower moving. Even though the angler might get the same amount of hits from a minnow and a lure, the likelihood of getting him up into the net is much, much higher with a minnow. Being live, it generates more of a spirited bite and swallow than a static lure.

Crappie tend to feed less aggressively between about 10:00 AM and mid-afternoon and the same concept applies here. The excessive minnow action just gets their attention better. It may be a bit of fish psychology but nine times out of ten it is going to ring true.

But there are times that a plastic or a jig is the superior form of bait to present but for totally different reasons. Imagine that you are fishing in the weeds or in structure. You put an active minnow down to the appropriate depth. You get a hit and try to set the hook. If you get the crappie, that’s great. But if you don’t you’ll have to reel back in to check the hook because chances are that he took the minnow but avoided the hook.

Not only have you lost time and bait, but due to your locale, you run a good chance of snagging on structure and losing your hook.

But with a lure, you don’t have to reel back in. Just put it right back where you already know he is before he leaves. Might as well be fair and give him another shot at it!

I hope these tips help you when you hit Santee Cooper. Plan your trip, load the boat, and go!

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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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