Most people make this out to be a complicated process its not. The most common lure for crappie that most people select is the one that they have caught fish on. They won't change they won't change they won't change for nothing, and it's all because they got confidence in that bait. Well the one thing that seems consistent is, if they have ever caught a fish on a certain lure, that's the "Lure of Choice","the best crappie lure". And, if they had a good day, it's like pulling teeth to get them to try a different lure. Ok, lets talk about the lures I use and why.
My favorite crappie lures for casting are swimming grubs or twister tail type baits. These baits work great when shooting under docks, which is one of my favorite techniques for Smith Mountain Lake. Generally, I use this bait the most during the Spring in the shallows or when the fish are holding in water six feet or less.
Fishing the docks for deeper fish (8 to 14 ft) requires a little different technique and bait. I alternate between tube jigs lures and marabou jig lures. It is also important to match the jig head with the speed and depth that you plan to fish. I have found that when the fish are not that aggressive, a slow falling lure works best. The only time I use a heavy lure is when my target is small and I have to get the bait in that target area quickly. For example, (deep lay downs).
When selecting a jig weight, I start with a 1/16 oz and move the weight up and down until I determine which weigh keeps me in the strike zone the longest. Many people ignore line weight and that's a major factor in how your lure performs. The rules of thumb for selecting line weight should be based on the structure around you, using the lightest line possible. Line of choice for me tends to be lines with a diameter of 4 lb or less. That's my starting point to determine how deep and where the fish are located when using jigs. I carry multiple spools with different weighted lines so that I have the option to switch line weights.
I have found that Basspro.com has the best selection as well as prices on Jigs, Depth finders, and slip bobbers as well as all other tackle. I ususally order online but I do enjoy browsing the store in person.
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