8 Best Crappie Jigs (Profiles) To Catch Fish Now!

Crappie Jig selecting the best! right crappie jig, what crappie jig works best,

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Everyone Has A Favorite Go To Crappie Jig in Their Arsenal!

 When choosing my 8 best crappie jigs (Profiles) to catch fish now, please realize that I know that all jigs catch fish.  I’ve watched crappie completely ignore minnows on our new electronics and yet less than a foot away eat the ugliest jig you could imagine.  Crappie jigs have been around ever since the good ole days of the split tail grub and beetle spin (which still catch fish by the way) but now we have an unlimited option of styles, sizes, and colors!


The List Of Crappie Jigs Is Infinite!

To this day I vividly remember the excitement of getting the Bass Pro Shops catalog in the mail and taking it to school with me.  I would stuff it into my zip up binder and sit in the back of the class pouring over the crappie section.  Several pages showed beautifully photographed jig sets of every color imaginable.  Some had tube jigs spilling out of a bucket and the colors would mesh together and trigger that “I’ve got to have that” reaction intended.  Flip the page and the curly tails in the 1001 piece set took over the excitement.  Another page flip, and hair and feather style jigs would get your attention… What’s a kid to do?  A time or two I had to bring the catalog up to the teacher and wait to get it back at the end of class.



Today There Are More Small Companies Creating Their Own Jigs Than Ever Before!


Back in the 90’s there were only a handful of companies that had a monopoly on the crappie fishing industry.  Some anglers knew how to pour their own jig heads, but prices were so low at the time that most never bothered.  I remember pouring over a thousand myself and not using half of them.

Today though, through great companies like DO-It and Netcraft, we have access to the exact same tools to create any crappie Jig imaginable.  I live in a small rural community, and I can name at least five companies within an hour of me that sells crappie accessories including jigs on the market.  Eventually (I believe soon) the market will flush out several of these companies due to rising costs, overcrowding, and other free market forces but that’s just the nature of the business.  


What I look At When Determining My 8 Best Crappie Jigs (Profiles) To Catch Fish Now!


Today jigs are copied, replicated, and then repackaged with neat sounding colors but tend to follow along the line of a dozen or so specific profiles.  I’m going to weed through them and help you determine what the best profile is for the current season you’re in when reading this.  I have well over 30 years of experimenting with every jig on the market.  I understand the pros and cons of each style.  

First off, the jig profile is dependent on the conditions. Are you vertical jigging for the day?  What if you’re casting to the fish? Are they deep on a current break?  Or are they spawning in a foot of water?  All of these factors set the stage for determining 8 Best crappie Jigs (Profiles) To Catch Fish Now!  Color is completely dependent on the lake and time of year and therefore we will not go into that in this particular article.  So, without further ado here they are…


8.) Stinger Style Jig

Best Scenario’s I’ve found to be:

  • Winter Vertical Jigging With No Current
  • Smaller Size Crappie Population
  • Post Frontal Conditions


The stinger style jig is most likely named after the similarity between the jig profile and a sting ray.  It typically comes in a tube style head that’s not hollow and then jointed by a long tapering tail.

I’ve caught a lot of fish on this little guy.  Often times in the late summer or during the coldest days of winter the fish want something held in place with no movement.  The small profile is attractive to fish after a harsh cold front as well.  I’d likely choose another option if I’m targeting large crappie that are wanting something with a little more flash and in a larger 3″ profile.



7.) Split Tail Style Jig

  • Winter Vertical Jigging With No Current
  • Smaller Size Crappie Population
  • Post Frontal Conditions
  • Under shallow docks (dock shooting)


It all started with the split tail beetle spin…and boy did it catch a lot of fish!  Since then modifications have been made but the concept remains.  I believe there are times where they will hit a stinger style ok and a tube style ok but will absolutely crush a split tail.  I fish them the exact same was I would a stinger and tube!



6.) Feather Hair Style Jig

Best Scenario’s I’ve found to be:

  • Hot Summer Days Under A Slip Cork
  • Vertical Fishing Stumps


I have to admit this was the toughest jig for me to get on board with when I first started fishing and now, I know why.  Before I could afford a boat, I was limited to bank fishing where I’d cast out and let the bait sink to the bottom before I would retrieve it.  While some fish can be caught there are much better options for that style of fishing. The feather hair jig shines the most when it can sit in one spot suspended allowing the hair to flutter in the water.  When targeting the largest fish in the lake I don’t think you can go wrong with a hair style jig.  I would just avoid it when the fish are wanting erratic action.



5.) Paddle Tail Style Jigs

Best Scenario’s I’ve found to be:

  • Fishing Under a Slip Cork Around Stumps
  • Casting and retrieving in shallow water
  • Clear Water


While not as detailed as bass fishing paddle tails, the crappie ones can be really effective when the fish are acting finnicky forcing you have to cast too them.  The paddle tail is what the crappie will focus on when being drawn in so it’s important that the tail matches the color the fish are feeding on.  Expect large Slabs during the pre-spawn period when crappie are eating all they can before dropping eggs.  Leave these at home when the fish are deep and only want a vertical presentation since the tail will be of little use to you.


4.) Tube Style Jigs

Best Scenario’s I’ve found to be:

  • Spawning Crappie in shallow water beneath a slip cork
  • Under shallow docks (dock shooting)
  • Tight Line Casting Post Frontal Conditions


In the early 90s everyone threw a tube jig!  It became all the rage because of the slick action and the new concept of splitting color combos between the head and tail.  Red and Chartreuse was all of a sudden, a household name and bait shops everywhere would stock them to the ceiling to try to keep up with demand!  I think the one the best ideas about this style bait is that I could often times fish an entire day with only a couple of baits.  I would stick a tube style jig head into the body (thus hiding it) and cause minimal damage with each fish!  I would only avoid this bait when fish want a small profile paused in their faces.


3.) Minnow Stingers

Best Scenario’s I’ve found to be:

  • Winter Vertical Jigging With No Current
  • Dead floating under a cork
  • Vertical Fishing Docks and Dock Shooting


Similar to the stinger style jigs, the minnow stinger has the long tapering tail but instead of the tube style head it looks more like the body of a minnow.  I catch a lot of fish on this style.  There are countless color combos helping you to narrow down what the fish are looking for.  If you find yourself in a stained water situation, I’m not sure you can beat this particular Jig.  While it works in the spawn, I believe there are better options.


2.) Curly Tail Style Jigs

Best Scenario’s I’ve found to be:

  • Slip Corking
  • Cast and Retrieve
  • All Phases of the Spawn
  • Dock Shooting


Take every jig ever made, every fish ever caught on those jigs, combine them and I believe you will still not come close to the amount fish caught on the curly tail jig.  After the beetle spin someone very smart came up with a round tail that would taper as it got down to the end creating incredible underwater action.  The fish had never seen anything like this before and fish sacks were filled to the brim. 

I specifically remember one summer at Rend Lake.  The crappie bite had been excellent up until July.  A dozen or so fishermen would line the banks around the bridge closest to the west side of the lake, cast out and grab a nice limit before lunch time.  Something happened after that, and nobody could catch a fish.  Soon after the bank was like a ghost town though I was too stubborn to give up.  About a week in and I noticed a gentleman about 30 yards down from me catching fish every cast.  I would slip down towards him after every couple of casts trying to figure out what he was doing.  Finally, I got close enough to see that he was casting just a plain white curly tail.  As soon as my grandfather had caught his limit of bluegill we went to the local shop and picked up a couple of packs.  The next day I was right back to catching them!  I believe in them so much so that we carry our own line up with Shelton’s Curly Tail.  You get the best value for your money as we stuff these packages full!



1.) Homemade Buck Tail Jigs

Best Scenario’s I’ve found to be:

  • Absolutely Deadly In Winter and Summer
  • When You’re After Trophy Size Crappie
  • Slow Trolling
  • Dead Sticking Under A Cork
  • Vertical Jigging


If you’re fortunate to know someone who’s great at jig tying and uses hair from fallen deer, then you need to become their best friend!  Besides from being able to catch as many fish on it as you wish so long as it’s not lost, you can get any color combo imaginable.  Deer hair also has one distinct advantage…It’s hollow and therefore takes on a life of its own under water.  Big fish simply can’t resist it.  The only time I can think of that I would avoid using it is when I’m casting and retrieving around structure on a tight line.  I don’t want to lose these, and the action is made more for a vertical presentation.



Concluding my 8 best crappie jigs (Profiles) to catch fish now article.


I hope I’ve helped simplify your decisions when stepping into the open minefield of options when trying to choose the right jig.  Any jig can work on any given day, but I assure you that if you stick to this list, you will significantly increase your chances of catching a limit of papermouths on your next outing.  

In my next article I will discuss Jig head pairings, and how I go about choosing.

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