I am always trying to make a decision whether to use live bait or artificial bait when fishing for crappie.
Well the answer everyone should tell them selves to be effective you are going to use both.
In fact, on many fishing trips both artificial and live baits are on the same crappie rigs.
This is the best of both techniques.
My article is going to concentrate on what crappie live baits are best for different situations.
Crappie minnows you will get a lot of controversy here so I am going to tell you what crappie minnows work best for me, but I will also identify other types because every fishing location is different when it comes to crappie live bait.
The "shiner minnow" is my favorite minnow to use, the smaller the better.
Use 1 ½" length or smaller minnows.
Many crappie anglers would argue that bigger is better, but the truth is I like to catch fish and I am not interested in only fishing for the large slabs.
If you were in the large slab categories of fisherman then I would say bigger the minnow bigger the crappie (but much less on the crappie bite) I just love to catch fish.
Know the reason I like the shiners whether using small or large minnows is they reflect light like small mirror in the water.
Crappies are easily attracted to changes in light patterns and these little babies will do if for you.
Many times, they are attracted more to the light changes then the bait it's self.
I also do a little doctoring to live bait and artificial baits for crappies.
Another good minnow to use is commonly called the "Missouri minnow".
Chop an onion into very small pieces and put them in a small container, (something like a little pill bottle) tip the end of your hook with a small piece of onion after you hook your minnow through both the lower and upper lip.
You will be surprised how this helps you out attracting the crappie to your bait.
Not to get off the subject if you are using jigs put them in the small container with the onions and shake it up, then use your jigs.
These are the best crappie live bait Worms that I have used.
I am not much for using worms to catch crappie, but one worm I have had good luck using has been "what is commonly called an "angle worm" You know those little critters that crawl all over your sidewalk when it rains.
One of the most disgusting but most effective live baits for crappie is the "maggot" Don't let your wife tell you about the following little tip she might throw you out of the house!) Catch your self a mudfish or carp and cut out a large piece from behind his head.
Burry the carcass an inch under the ground.
7 days later dig him up.
(Know here's the disgusting part pick the maggots off the carcass and place them in a glass jar.
And some white cornmeal into the jar.
Now place the jar in the freezer for three weeks.
(Don't let your wife know what's in it or it will be gone! Just kidding.
) After three weeks take the maggots out of the freezer the maggots will be huge! Fish the maggots using a #4 gold hook with no bobber.
Let the bait fall to the bottom slowly and wait for the fun! It won't take long.
Maggots are one of the best crappie live baits I have ever used but I don't use them much because of obvious reasons.
Well, that about does it for my crappie livebait tips.
Have fun and good fishing! And GOOD Luck!