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 essentially raise your pole up and down repeatedly pausing then letting it drop down. This makes the fish think that it’s live bait that’s 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 quite 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 is even more important than the size. It all depends on a few factors of what colors of ice fishing crappie jigs to use.
1. Color Of The Water
If you’re fishing in dark/murky water then 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 not much snow or clear ice go with the 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 with 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 major brands that catch those crappies in a snap.
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 75pcs starter kit with an assortment of ice fishing lures and jigs. Various colors and sizes come in this package — another great pack of ice fishing crappie jigs for the beginner.
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 fight 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!