Bait fish are a very important part of crappie fishing. In fact crappie minnows make up more then 50% of all crappie baits. Technically, minnows are members of the cyprindae family, the largest fish family in north America. Some of the 200 species in the U.S such as the grass carp and gold fish which grow very large. The majority of the of crappie bait fish such as shiner minnows, daces and chubs seldom grow to over 4 inches in length. The species that most anglers use as crappie bait fish are golden shiner minnows and fathead minnows as shown here.
All crappie baits are not created equal. The crappie baitfish that are considered very hardy fathead minnows, mud minnows, and goldfish. Crappie baits that are considered moderately hardy are young bluegills, creek chubs, hornyhead chubs, southern red belly dace, blacknose dace, and blunt nose minnows. Somewhat hardy crappie bait fish include golden shiners, common shiners, red shiners, and banded kill fish. Fragile crappie bait fish include emerald shiners, small gizzard shad, threadfin shad, and spot tail shiners. The best type of bucket to use for your crappie bait is a styrofoam is a much better insulator so therefore tends to keep your baitfish water cooler. The ideal temperature to keep your crappie baitfish is between 55 to 65 degrees.
Two typical crappie fish rigs that are commonly used with a cigar float crappie rig, and pencil slip bobber crappie rig. The cigar float is set at a fixed depth while the pencil slip bobber crappie rig is set to certain depth using a bobber stop, both are commonly used to catch crappie.
Two make a cigar float crappie rig or a pencil shaped slip bobber rig is very simple, and both are commonly used with crappie bait fish as live bait. To make the slip bobber crappie rig tie a number 12 to number 4 long shanked crappie hook on your fishing line. next slide your cigar on the line the depth you want to fish and put the stop in place. next put a small spit shot on the line about 3 to 4 inches above the hook. To Make a pencil shaped slip bobber crappie rig to be use with crappie bait fist slide your bobber stop up the line at the depth you want to fish for crappie. next slide the pencil shaped slip bobber up the line. next tie a number 12 to number 4 long shanked crappie hook on your line, and last put a small spit shot sinker on your line just above the hook about 3 to 4 inches. You can learn more about crappie fishing at tacticalgearexpert.com.