10 quick bait tricks to improve your crappie catch

No matter how good (or bad) of a fisherman you think you are, there is ALWAYS something you could be doing to get better. It could be a drastic new technique, or a little trick that makes all the difference.

Today, I’ve put together 10 quick tips you can test — any or all of which could increase your catch count — dramatically.

Whether it’s a bigger average size you are looking for… or whether you want to catch your limit more consistently, these sneaky tactics can help you get an inside edge on everyone else.

Before I get started, did you hear about a crappie fishing presentation I created?

It talks about an amazing secret I discovered a few years ago which a lot of guys are using now.

Straight outta the backwoods!

Old School Crappie Fishing Secrets From 12 Backcountry Crappie Masters!

Here are just 3 killer tactics they’ll show you, out of hundreds!

* How to doctor up any bait (or jig) so it creates a crappie blood lust. It causes crappie to lock on to your bait and HAMMER IT… even if you are fishing next to an expert! (This unique biological trick is so simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it first

* How to use a pill bottle and a common household item to make “catnip for crappie”… and doctor your baits with it! (Steve got the base formula from an old guy who used it to catch 78 crappie compared to Steve’s 26! Steve has since perfected his homemade “crappie catnip” formula…)

* A special herb to tip your hook with that surrounds minnows with an irresistible smell, attracting hundreds of crappie! (I’ve actually seen crappie ignore regular minnows, to attack a minnow with the “smell”)

…and much, much more!

It’s all here:

Old School Crappie Fishing Secrets From 12 Backcountry Crappie Masters!

Now, let’s dig into these 10 little crappie fishing bait tips…


Live food generally means more protein and more energy and with crappie if it they can fit it in their mouth they will generally eat it.

When it comes to live baits there lots of types like insects and their larvae, reptiles, invertebrates, amphibians and of course the obvious one: other fish.

Of course I am one of those guys that if I can get it on a hook I’ll give it a shot, just think about how it might look in the water. Not that I’m suggesting anything but even the cotton from a cigarette butt works from time to time.

Also I’m not a biologist so I will group some types of live bait into a category that I think work but not necessarily a category they belong in.

Insects are those creepy crawly bugs that are big enough that you wander if you step on it, it might push back, this includes spiders although they don’t like to go onto a hook and don’t always work out so well. If you choose a spider pick one that doesn’t bite.

For the most part I use large winged insects on small hooks. This can be tricky as well because most of these insects have a couple of problems. First you got to catch them, get them on the hook and lastly they come off the hook easy so be ready.

Mealworms and maggots work great to tip a jig with or ice fishing.

Small lizards and snakes are not common in many bait stores but can work magic in the right location. These squirmy creatures can provide lots of action and when hooked properly seem to live a long time, not to be super cruel but these guys do need air from time to time.

Invertebrates like worms and leeches work really well in dark to clear waters but beware leeches are not allowed in many bodies of water. This is for good reason. If the waters to not already have a balanced system that can support leeches introducing them can decimate the entire eco system.

This goes for all live baits be sure and check that you can use them where you are fishing or the next thing you know you will be fishing for goldfish instead of crappie.

Worms provide lots of protein for fish and will act lively for long periods.

Hook a leech through the mouth but hook a worm in a way it won’t get stolen without a bite on the hook.

Frogs and toads also work really well because they are often a source of food for crappie already. Tadpoles as well as young critters work well. I find that once they are bigger than a quarter or a 50 cent piece they start to attract other fish.

Minnows work well stick with lively fish that are small to medium sized. I like to hook these minnows right behind the dorsal fin just below the bone. When hooked just right and hung below a bobber you will find your bobber moves around a lot, so much so that you really have to keep an eye on it to keep it out of cover or you’ll never get your hook back.

I find that a healthy two inch, minnow will work very well for most crappie.

When you get your bait be sure to ask what they are biting on recently and if they don’t know be sure to get varying sizes of minnows.

With all live baits I use them on a bobber, dragging your live bait through the water just kills them quicker.

Do not use a bobber that is a gallon jug, those are for catfish, pick one that will just support your bait or just give you an idea of what your line is doing. With many baits I’ll use a small stick style bobber or a small one inch or less round bobber.

As for depth you need to know the cover that they are hiding in and fish six to twelve inches above that.

Also if you are not going to catch your own bait use a bait supplier that is close to where you are fishing.

Avoid some of the larger outfitters for live bait as they might import many of their baits or if you use their baits make sure the bait is healthy and allowed where you are fishing.

I like the small mom and pop bait shops because chances are their kids or some local school kids caught the bait right where you will be fishing. Local bait means that you have what the crappies are already eating so you now have the simple task of making it easy for them to eat.


And, before I sign off for the week, I’ve gotta say one more thing.

“Thank God for the weekend.” I had enough of work so I’m going to grab my pole, my tackle, throw the dog in the truck and head off to the lake for some quality fishing time.

Till next week…

Gone Fishin’

Bob Cross

P.S. Oh one more thing… you gotta check out what Satch Molsby caught with one of the bait tricks in the course…

He lives in Lumberton, Mississippi. Check it out here:

Old School Crappie Fishing Secrets From 12 Backcountry Crappie Masters!