The winter season is one of my favorite times of the year to go fishing. The routine of packing all my fishing gear up and heading to the lake relaxes me. One of my favorite fish to catch is the crappie, and my favorite way to catch them is with ice-fishing crappie jigs.
Crappies are usually just a little bigger than panfish, and they taste oh-so-good. Just gut’em scale’em, and throw ’em in the frying pan! I love catching my limit of these suckers every chance I get.
Why Jig For Crappie In The Winter?
In the winter, the crappies tend to congregate together. This makes them much easier to catch than in the summer fishing season. Also, in the winter, the crappies like to stay on the bottom of the lake and in the weeds like a bass.
There are many ways to catch crappies, but when ice fishing for crappies, it’s best to go with jigging. That’s because of the crappies being on the bottom of the lake where jigging is most effective. Jigging is the most popular method of catching crappies through the ice. This is because you can’t cast when ice fishing unless you are incredibly talented.
When you vertical jig, you raise your pole repeatedly, pausing, then letting it drop down. This makes the fish think it’s live bait swimming naturally in the water. Just drop your jig close to the bottom, trying not to go all the way to the bottom because this could stir up the sediment causing the crappies to scatter. You don’t want that to happen. You want them to all stay in a school.
Keep jigging it up and down, pausing in between until you snag one. When I ice fish with jigs using the vertical method, I use an ice fishing pole without a reel. You can jig through the ice with a reel attached, but it’s not needed for this method of fishing.
Ice Fishing Crappie Jigs – What To Look For?
==> The size of the jigs should be pretty small. Bigger jigs will hinder your activity a little bit. The size I prefer to use is 1/64 to 1/16 oz. Range. The crappie’s metabolism slows down in the winter months. As a result, the crappies slow down as well. The crappies will be attracted to the smaller jigs, and they will tend to strike faster and easier.
By using the smaller jigs, the crappies won’t get so riled up so easily. This keeps the crappies grouped in a school so that you don’t have to drill more holes looking for the fish.
==> The colors of the jig are even more important than the size. It all depends on a few factors: what colors of ice fishing crappie jigs to use.
1. Color Of The Water
If you’re fishing in the dark/murky water, you would want to go with bright colors. Colors that give off a glow effect:
- Yellow etc.
If the water is clear, you want to pick:
- Shiny Metallic
2. Depth Of The Water
If you’re fishing in deep water, you are going to want to with brighter color ice fishing crappie jigs that glow. A metallic finished jig could work as well. It gives that glimpse of shine the crappies like to see.
The deeper you go, the brighter the colors should be. So when using ice fishing crappie jigs, you probably want to go with the brighter colored jigs because you are fishing more towards the bottom of the lake. The bottom is where the water is darkest.
3. Thickness Of The Ice
If the ice is thick, you want to use the brighter-colored jigs. If the ice is thin, go with the more dull colors. Also, how much snow is on the ice will make a difference. If there’s a lot of snow on the ice go with brighter colors. If there is not much snow or clear ice, go with dull colors.
That gives you an idea of what colors of jigs to use and under what conditions to use them. You use bright colors for dark situations and dark colors for light situations.
This is not set in stone. Some days the fish might contradict the norm. Just experiment and try different colors in certain situations, and you will find the right color jig you’re looking for.
Recommended Jig Brands
I put together a list of ice-fishing crappie jigs I like to use when I’m out ice fishing. There are five different significant brands that catch those crappies in a snap.
1. Marabou Chenille – Night Fishing Lures
These jigs glow in the dark and are for night ice fishing or can be used on cloudy days and if the water is dark and murky. With this offer, you get a 6pk which you can mix and match different colors of jigs and try out. Great for the beginner in
Tailored Tackle has a 75-pcs starter kit with an assortment of ice fishing lures and jigs. Various colors and sizes come in this package — another excellent pack of ice-fishing crappie jigs for the beginner.
3. Kenders Outdoors Ice Fishing Jigs
This Kenders Outdoors kit comes with a vast assortment of ice fishing jigs 75pcs and a waterproof carrying case to boot. Pick this one up if you’re ready to do some serious crappie fishing!
Ice-fishing crappie jigs are numerous in size and diverse in colors and variations of colors. There is a lot to choose from. In the end, you have to try different ones out with varying situations of ice fishing to find the right fit for you. Every new day ice fishing for crappie with jigs can be a challenge, but to me, that’s the fun of it. Now, take what you have learned today and get out there and catch your limit of crappies. See ya on the ice!
If you have a question or comment on this article or anything fishing, leave them in the comments below. Thanks, and remember… You can Catch Your Fish And Eat’em 2. Happy Fishing All!
Cory is a content writer-editor and founder of Tackle Box Talk. Favorite Quote: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."
7 thoughts on “Ice Fishing Crappie Jigs – Which Ones The Right One?”
Nice post, Have always thought that panfishes are bigger than crappies. I have also come across it that crappies are easy to catch in the winter than summer so I can’t agree less with you.Ice fishing is good most especially in winter and I think all crappies jigs you mentioned are really good.
Wow Cory I didn’t know that the type of fishing lure needs to be a specific color depending on the color of the water. This is very insightful. Actually, I’ve always wanted to go fishing around my area. I’m currently living in Okinawa, and I see a lot of people fishing around dawn or nights. What should one beginner start in terms of gear, if they’re thinking about starting fishing?
I would get yourself some warm clothes to start if your ice fishing. Other then that make sure to have a sturdy rod reel combo. Plenty of different colors and sizes of jigs depending on the species of fish you are angling for. A five gallon bucket always comes in handy. Just have fun with it that’s the main thing!
I enjoyed your article, and learned quite a bit. I have never been ice fishing, but have always wanted to try it. I am glad I found your website and this article because I am a complete beginner and really never gave the color of the jigs much thought. You have explained how important the color of the jigs are, and I am excited to go out and try some ice fishing. I like the Tailored Tackle, because it is an assortment of 75 pieces.
Hi Cory; I learned something about fishing from your post today. When ice Fishing, is it real Ice you are using? Is the Ice Jig used for Bait to catch the fish? By looking at one of your displays, I assumed that those are used for bate to attract and catch the Crappie.
Is the Crappie catch able during some other seasons of the year? In my limitation, I believed the lake would be frozen during Winter. I see now that I am wrong.
You are actually fishing on a frozen lake when your ice fishing and the jigs are used instead of live bait to catch the fish. Crappies can be caught all year round.
I’m new to ice fishing, but I would like to know, How long does it take for you catch Crappie? Do you have to have a special type of pole or reel to use? How would you know where to fish for these type of fish?
I heard ice fishing can take the stress out of your life and get you more connected with nature is that true? I tried my hand at fishing for blue gills and came up short due to horse Fly bites OUCH! But the experience was good for a newbie like me. Could you offer any tips to catching Small Mouth Bass and Walleye as well?