What bait should I use ice fishing for crappie?

When ice-fishing for Crappies is it better to use live bait or artificial bait?

In the winter, most fishermen will find it the easiest to catch Crappie using Crappie Jigs.  The most popular and most efficient seem to be jigs that will actually ride horizontally and imitate minnows.  A few that you may want to try would include Lindy‘s Techni-Glo Genz Worms, Forage Minnow Fry, Fat Boys, and/or Northland‘s Fire Eye Minnows.  Although you can use jigs as small as a size 10, you’ll have the best luck with the ones ranging from a 2 to an 8.  You may also want to try adding a few wax-worms to the lure.  In some cases, a 1 inch white Power Grub will make all the difference in the world.  Since Crappies also are attracted to noisy jigging spoons, you may want to invest in a Lindy Rattl’r or a Northland Buck-Shot Rattle.  For the most success, you shouldn’t jig too aggressively when trying to catch Crappies.  The best technique is to simply wiggle your bait slightly right in front of the fish.  Tapping your index finger on the rod blank will produce a slight vibration that is usually just enough to get their attention.  Using a slip float will also give you the needed edge to suspend your lure in deeper water while letting you know when you’ve gotten even the lightest bite.

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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