What’s sexy in crappie fishing? It’s not terminal tackle that’s for sure. I mean how can any crappie angler get excited about jigheads or pre-rigged rigs.
Actually figuring out where to begin is the biggest challenge. Jigheads lead the way in terminal tackle popularity when it comes to crappie fishing. It’s amazing how many different styles, shapes, jig hook sizes and designs are available.
Few crappie guides are on the water more than Lee Pitts. Pitts (www.pittsoutdoors.com) uses numerous jigheads on guide trips rigged with soft plastic lures. The Bobby Garland Crappie Baits (www.bobbygarlandcrappie.com) pro uses the Mo’Glo Jigheads, Overbite Sickle Heads and Head Dockt’R Shooter jighead when fishing.
“Normally when I’m using a Mo’Glo jighead it’s on cloudy days or when I need a lure with a little extra color to draw a strike from a crappie. As for a trailer on the Mo’Glo jighead, I usually mix or match the color pattern with the jighead. Every day it seems like you have to experiment to see what color patterns they want to bite,” said Pitts.
Pitts will switch to the Overbite Sickle Head when fishing for pressured crappie or crappie that are not actively feeding aggressively. He believes the sickle style hook puts the odds back in the angler because of the design even with the lightest bite. “Crappie just can’t spit out a sickle style hook because of the design and super sharp hook point,” said Pitts.
One other jighead Pitts uses is the Head Dockt’R Shooter. “I love the Head Dockt’R Shooter jig head. You don’t have to super glue the soft plastic to the jighead when shooting docks, because of unique collars built right in to the jighead shaft. I like to use a Baby Shad or Slab Slay’R because of the compact size,” said Pitts.
PICO Lures is another company with several jigheads designed for crappie fishing. Owner Mitch Glenn noted there’s a PICO jighead for every crappie catching technique. “We produce a wide range of jigheads so crappie anglers can pick and choose which one is going to be best for them,” said Glenn.
“Our Painted Wedge Heads is a jighead designed to run straight, balanced right and perfect for moving lures like our Curl Tail or Pointer Shad soft plastics lures. While our Weedless Ball Head jig is more for just getting down into the thick of brush or wherever the crappie are buried into. Plus you can take a pair of pliers and un-twist the wire and make it into a 3-way weedguard making it even more snag-proof,” said Glenn.
Of course PICO Lures (www.picolures.com) also has an unpainted ball head jig that can be fished numerous different ways, but with bigger hook sizes. Another jighead style PICO Lures has is a Minnow Head. It’s a swimming head with raised eyes built into the head that anglers like to paint and dot the eye. PICO Lures also has a line of Tube Inserts that feature larger hooks for a better hook set and increases the action with a lighter weight Tube Insert.
“Jigheads may not be the sexy thing in your tackle box. I know it’s easy for anglers to overlook jigheads because other anglers just want to talk about color patterns or soft plastic lures, but you have to have the right jighead before anything else matters,” said Glenn.
Another favorite jighead is Mr. Crappie Sausage Head (www.mrcrappie.com) by Strike King Lures. “The Mr. Crappie Sausage Head is designed to pull through the brush. Every time either side comes in contact with cover or structure the jighead design kicks the hook away from getting hung up. Plus the Sausage Head’s design keeps it from rolling and you get a perfect hook set,” said Wally Marshall.
Marshall aka Mr. Crappie acknowledged his favorite size was 1/8-ounce, but uses the 1/16-ounce Sausage Head when casting or shooting docks. As for lures, Marshall fishes with Mr. Crappie Crappie Thunder or Jokers in heavy cover and ShadPole or Slabalicious when casting a Sausage Head jighead.
Pre-rigged terminal tackle is often overlooked when it comes to going crappie fishing. Several companies offer pre-rigged rigs to make crappie fishing easier. One popular rig when it comes to vertical trolling deepwater crappie B’n’M Poles (www.bnmpoles.com) Capps & Coleman Trolling Minnow Rigs. They are individual pre-rigged rigs featuring two #2 Eagle Claw hook and single lead weight. PICO Lures has the Texas Trailer that allows anglers to troll two lures at once. While Mr. Crappie (www.ttiblakemore.com) has the Slab Daddy Supper Rig that’s a open wire rig featuring a Slab Daddy on each end of the wire or the Mr. Crappie Slab Stack Rig that combines a Slab Daddy Jig and a StandOut Hook for multiple lure presentations on one line from the fishing rod.