Best Crappie Jig Colors: How To Choose?


The majority of fish have poor vision at best, and various things can cause them to bite. Crappie fishermen tend to always have a variety of colors on them. Being sight feeders, crappie will only strike at things they can see, so it’s important to keep that in mind. The water you’re fishing in will determine the best jig colors for crappie. How to pick the ideal jig color for catching crappies is explained in this article.

What Do Crappies Actually Eat

Small, silver- or gray-colored fish make up the majority of a crappie’s diet.  Of course, they eat a variety of foods.   But since that is the dominant forage, you should frequently try to imitate it.  

Crawfish, insects, worms, and many other strange things are also consumed by crappie. 

 Crappie is used for eating items with various colorations.

Crappie Is A Sight Feeder

Crappie is a sight feeder and seems to be more color selective than the majority of the fish I have targeted.

Having said that, you should also be aware that many of the oddly colored jigs you see in shops will actually appear as a gray or silver color when seen underwater.  In tainted and dirty water, this is even more true. 

If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself by adding some colorful, flashy lures to a big glass jar of murky lake water.

Crappie Can Be Very Finicky About Colors

Over the years, I’ve observed that crappie have extremely subtle color preferences.   As compared to your friend sitting next to you, one minor change in the color scheme can significantly affect how many fish you catch.  

Jigs are my favorite because crappies are so sensitive to color.  The jig head, jig body, jig tail, and hook color are among the four or more parts of your bait that you can use to adjust the color.  Try new things without hesitation.

Colors Of The Best Crappie Jigs: Chartreuse And White

When it comes to crappie fishing, the two colors that are almost never a mistake are chartreuse and white. 

These hues function well because they closely resemble the natural hues of the majority of forage in any body of water. Underwater, the ultra-bright green color of chartreuse tends to resemble the appearance of the baitfish in the area, despite the fact that it may appear to be a wild color on the surface. 

It’s important to note that this is true whether you’re fishing in clear or stained water. Most lure colors appear one way in crystal-clear water but in stained or dirty water, they completely change. One of the few colors that consistently attract crappie in almost all types of water is chartreuse. 

White is another hue that consistently draws fish in virtually any setting. Consider the various colors of baitfish that are present. Almost all baitfish have some white or light silver in their coloring, and it consistently works for almost all species, imitating the bait in the area. 

Additionally, white provides the greatest contrast when fishing in murky water, making it simple for sight feeders like crappie to focus on your bait. 

best crappie jig colors

Most Effective Jig Colors – Clear Water

While white and chartreuse are known to be deadly, there are countless other colors that the fish in your area might be drawn to. You should present your bait as naturally as you can when you’re fishing in clearer water where crappie can see it clearly. 

The best options for luring crappie in clear water typically include translucent colors, anything that looks natural, and colors that mimic the local baitfish. With the help of a glitter trailer or a mylar skirt, some anglers like to give their jigs a little extra flash.

Choose these hues for clear water:

  • Silver
  • Dark green
  • Brown
  • Glow
  • Clear 
  • White
  • Chartreuse

Most Effective Jig Colors – Stained Water

All fish have significantly reduced visibility when you are fishing in dirty or stained water. It’s best to use the more striking colors in your tackle box in these circumstances because even sight feeders like crappie have trouble focusing on bait. 

In these circumstances, contrast is crucial, which is why chartreuse is a great color to use when fishing. More contrast will be created by strong, solid colors as opposed to transparent ones, and both dark and bright hues appear to be effective. Jigs with two colors work well in murky water as well.

Pick a jig with these colors when fishing in these circumstances:

  • White
  • Black
  • Hot pink
  • Neon orange, green, or yellow
  • Chartreuse
  • Blue
  • Gold
  • Red

It can be useful to conduct a quick test with a variety of colors when fishing in stained or muddy water. Each of them should be rigged before being lowered into the water. It’s usually a good idea to start with whichever lure is the most visible as it sinks.

What Color Jig Is Best For Crappie During Spawn

Depending on their environment, crappies spawn in the spring and into the early summer. During the spawn, crappies are at their most hostile. The boldest and most vibrant hues typically yield the best results during the spawn. You’ll want to use colors like neon green, hot pink, chartreuse, neon orange, red, and gold when fishing the spawn. 

Colors Appear Differently Underwater Than On The Store Shelves

You may be wondering why on earth pink, chartreuse, and other such unnatural colors would fool crappie now that we have identified some good crappie colors.  Without delving too deep, the simple answer is that jig colors appear differently underwater than how you see them on the shelf.  In murky or deeper water, this is particularly true.

Much of what different colors look like underwater are different shades of white and gray.  Therefore, a lot of what different colors actually achieve for us is to give us a specific “shade” of a fish-like color that can be seen by the fish and still looks similar to what they are feeding on.

The color chartreuse is a prime example of a bizarre-looking color that works.  Have you ever wondered why green is such a common lure color?  It is partly due to the yellow tint that is typical of some sunfish, but it is also due to the lure’s “brightness,” which makes it stand out while maintaining a natural appearance. 

Underwater, the crazy yellow color changes to a more subdued fish-like color. Pink is no different.

General Color Selection Rules For Crappie

  • Use a color that is visible in the shade of the water you are fishing in.
  • Use hues that resemble the foods that crappie are already consuming.
  • Go very dark or very opaque bright in stained water. The better dark-colored jigs work, the more stained the water is. Also, despite appearances to the contrary, very vivid colors are effective in murky waters.
  • Use mostly natural colors in clear water. White, gray, brown, and yes, even emerald green.
  • In crystal-clear water, use translucent colors.

Subtle Variations Can Yield Results

Fishing jigs have one of the coolest features—the majority of them are made up of multiple parts, allowing you to replace specific parts as needed. In some waters, crappie seems to be so tuned in to color that even minor changes can have an impact. 

If you’re fishing a jig head with a trailer, a skirt, and/or some flash, you have at least three opportunities to combine and contrast various colors. A white-skirted version of the same rig may occasionally catch more fish than one with a glowing skirt.

Try to purchase jig parts in complementary colors that might blend well when combined when you’re out shopping for the various parts.

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