8 Best Crappie Jigs for Hooking Up Fat Crappie

Crappie Fishing Guide Lake Lewisville and Lake Ray Roberts

Spring crappie fishing brings me pure joy. When the crisp morning air gently kisses my cheeks and the sunrise peeks over the glassy lake surface, I eagerly prepare my tackle for the day's adventure. Choosing the perfect crappie jig is no simple task, but rather an art form perfected over years of matching wits with those plump, papermouth panfish. 

In this guide, I'll walk you through my 8 tried-and-true crappies jigs that never fail to entice hungry slabs. 

What to Prepare?

Chasing spring crappie with lightweight jigs demands specialized spinning tackle built for finesse and sensitivity. Any season angler knows you'll only catch as many fish as your ability to detect light bites. Here's a quick rundown of my go-to spring crappie arsenal. For a more comprehensive crappie rod or fishing pole setup, check out my guide here:

Ultralight Spinning Rods

  • 6'6" to 7' moderate or medium-fast action
  • Strong yet sensitive graphite construction
  • Light powers - ultralight to medium-light
  • Micro guide platforms for casting weightless baits

Ultralight Spinning Reels

  • Size 20-30 designed for ultralight lures
  • Premium smooth drag and anti-reverse
  • Large arbor spool for long casts
  • Light, compact graphite bodies
  • 10-12 lb. braid line capacity
Crappie Fishing Trip

Terminal Tackle Considerations

Braided line and fluorocarbon leaders help detect subtle pickups from pressured crappie while also enabling long casts to probe productive spots.

Now that you've got the right gear dialed, let's move on to the most important decision - jig selection...

My 8 Go-To Crappie Jigs Fishing Success

If you asked 10 different crappie experts what the "best" jigs were, you'd likely get 10 different answers. But while tackle selection is undoubtedly personal, some baits simply rise over and over again for their consistent ability to tempt spring crappie year after year. I base my picks on 20+ years of field testing based on profile, action, colors, hooking percentage, and good old fashioned fish catching success.

In this section, I'll break down my 8 absolute go-to jigs for trophy spring slabsides. Consider it your personal tackle box filled with hand-selected lures I'd take to a deserted island or cross country fishing trip. So let's dig in!

1. G-Daddy Baits Crappie Shad

These baits come in first on our must have crappie jigs especially when

G-Daddy Baits Logo

tournament fishing in North Texas. They are tough, and we can expect to keep one of these plastics on our hook all day after catching crappie the whole time. These crappie jigs are the workhorse of our tackle at Crappie Co. The twin tail design adds amazing action that triggers crappie to strike even when they are trying to be finicky. These jigs can be used year round in deep water, shallow water, on stumps, and on brush piles. With other jig styles try vertical jigging to drop right on em. For a little extra action go with a hybrid jig that incorporates some additional water movement.

Try our favorite colors:

  • Black Ice
  • Dan's Dream
  • Thumper

2. Constant Pursuit Outfitters Thump Chubbies

Another of the most durable crappie jigs you can find on the marker comes from

Constant Pursuit Outfitters Crappie Jigs

Constant Pursuit Outfitters. We never leave the house without a few of their Thump Chubbies Crappie Jigs, to add a little different profile without losing quality. This is another jig that you can catch slabs all day with and never need to replace the plastic. They are just that durable. Fish these as you normally would on stumps, brush piles, or dropping on open water crappie. We also like to add them to some of our hand tied jigs from time to time to change up the profile and give those slabs something new to react to.

As for colors we like:

  • Blue Wing Teal
  • Fishin Farmer
  • Dirty Deed

3. Lone Star Crappie Jigs

Coming in next on our list are our favorite hand tied crappie jigs from Lone Start Crappie Jigs! These jigs are amazing. They don't use any glue, just high quality hand tied jigs! They last a long time. Have amazing action that will entice any finicky crappie to an instinct reaction. This is a great place to get some custom hand tied jigs as well. Like our jigs with bait savers, that we use to attach a Thump Chubbie or G-daddy bait to.

Try some of our favorites:

  • Blue Flamingo
  • Hulk
  • Sparky

 

4. Bobby Garland Crappie Baits

Crappie Jig

If finesse fishing was an Olympic sport, the 2” Bobby Garland Baby Shad would bring home the gold every time. Its small profile mimics vulnerable baitfish to perfection. The tapered tail kicks with an irresistible flutter falling pause-and-go retrieve that triggers instinct to attack. I've caught thousands of slabs tempted by this subtle presentation. It shines across retrieves:

Vertical Jigging - Nose-hook the Baby Shad on light wire jig heads from 1/32 - 1/16 oz. counting down through structure. Aggressively popping the rod tip makes it dart erratically like an injured baitfish.

Cast & Retrieve - Rig it on a 1/8 or even 1/4 oz. ball head and burn it back to trigger reaction strikes from aggressive post-spawn males.

Triples - Tip a 1/64 oz finesse jig with 2 Baby Shads for added vibration and flash. Deadly for shallow bedding crappie in clear water.

It also takes on any color combo reliably. But for starting points, I'd suggest:

  • Black/Chartreuse
  • Monkey Milk
  • Electric Chicken

Regardless of technique, the Baby Shad's balanced wiggle seduces spring crappie like no other soft plastic bait. It's absolutely deadly for targeting spawning and post-spawn fish.

5. Bobby Garland Slab Slayer

As the name implies, the pudgy 2” profile of Bobby Garland's Slab Slayer mimics

Crappie Jig Slab Slayer

the large gizzard shad crappie gorge on during spring feeding frenzies. It's one of the first jigs I tie on when targeting aggressive pre-spawn aggregations. The wide body throws tons of water and vibration to attract fish from a distance. The paddle tail kicks hard on the fall, then pulses wildly on the retrieve. I buzz it back quickly burning just below surface, or counted slowly down through cover – either way it calls fish in and triggers insta-strikes.

The Slab Slayer's bigger bulk also helps hooks find a solid hold on thrashing hooksets. I'll generally rig it on 1/16 or 1/32 oz jigs tipped with minnows or scent attractants like Crappie Nibbles. When the bite really turns on, bump up to 1/8 or even 1⁄4 oz for reaction bites on the fall. Top colors are:

  • Monkey Milk
  • Electric Chicken
  • Chartreuse Pepper

...basically anything loud and obnoxious! It kicks the feeding urge into overdrive.

6. Crappie Tube Jigs

Crappie Tube Jigs

No seasoned crappie angler's tacklebox is complete without a healthy supply of reliable tube jigs like these models. The tube's hollow body allows enhanced movement, vibration, and life-like baitfish cues. Thick silicone resists nicks and tears, retaining action longer than cheaper options. They're extremely versatile across seasons, but really shine for finessing neutral buoyancy around shallow brush piles and standing timber during spring.

I rig tubes using two primary approaches:

Texas Rig - Thread the tube onto the jighead weedless without any weight for free fall and hooksets unhindered by plastic. Allows enhanced sensitivity to light pickups.
Exposed Jighead- Push the tube up the hook shank leaving the jighead fully exposed for faster drops into cover and solid hook penetration on bites. 1/16 and 1/32 oz heads for shallow depths.

Top spring crappie colors include:

  • Chartreuse Pepper
  • Clear Glitter/Chartreuse tail
  • Blue Ice
  • Monkey Milk

Tubes tempt bites from subtle lifts and shakes through cover to ripping them back to trigger reaction strikes. It's a true finesse classic.

7. Bobby Garland Baby Jigs

No discussion of crappie tackle would be complete without mentioning Bobby

Baby Garland Crappie Jig

Garland's extensive line of seductive soft plastic lures. Two models in particular shine come spring. The 2” Easy Shiner mimics baitfish with a slender curly tail that flutters temptingly. While the Slab Slay’r features a paddle tail for maximum vibration. Between the two, I've got all scenarios covered.

Similar to the Southern Pro baits above, I rig these both Texas-style and with exposed jigs from 1/32 - 1/4 oz.:

Easy Shiner - Shallow brush and docks. Finesse fall and lift presentation.

Slab Slay'r - Burning banks, trolling open water, triggering reaction bites.

It's hard to go wrong with any of Bobby Garland's color selection, but my starting points are:

  • Easy Shiner - Monkey Milk, Electric Chicken
  • Slab Slay'r - Bluegrass, Chartreuse Pepper

There's no denying Bobby Garland's reputation for designing some of the deadliest crappie lures on the market. These two models should be staples in every serious panfish angler's arsenal.

8. Kalin's Triple Threat

Sometimes finicky spring crappie need a little extra nudge to inspire strikes, and that's when I break out the Triple Threat paddle tail minnows. True to their name, Triple Threats employ 3 fish triggering advantages in one tiny package - vibration, flash, and scent. The curly vibrating tail throws an alluring vibration. A concealed rattle amps up the audio attraction. And the PowerBait infused plastic emits appetizing scent.

The 2” size is optimal for tempting neutral pre-spawn crappie, while I'll bump up to 3” models once spawning activity kicks into high gear. Rig it on ‎1/8 OZ jigs based on desired fall rate and depth targeting shallow or deep structure. I also tip them with Crappie Nibbles or Gulp! Alive minnows when nada Ching the bites just won't commit. If one bait can pull finicky slabs out of their funk, this is it.

As for colors, think natural shad patterns for clear water, with brighter combos as visibility decreases. Confidence colors are:

  • Black Shad
  • Monkey Milk
  • Electric Chicken

...with UV reactive colors mixed in for added flash under low light conditions. The Triple Threat simply helps seal the deal when bites are tentative.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it - 5 dynamite crappie jigs spanning finesse tactics to reaction baits. As spring transitions to summer, remember that adapting presentations and lure styles to match the conditions and fish behavior is key to continued success. Most of these are affordable and easily found at your local Walmart or on Amazon. Our top 3 jig selection for durable fishing tournament quality jigs, we decide to go with two of our local producers G Daddy Baits and Constant Pursuit Outfitters! Our favorite hand tied jigs we have to go with Lone Star Crappie Jigs!

Lt Dan North Texas Fishing Guide

Don't be afraid to experiment with colors, profiles, terminations, and cadences until you unlock that magical combination. With the right approach and mindset, your next trophy slab is just a cast away. Now grab your ultralight spin tackle and let's hit the water!

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