Bobber Jigging For Crappie

bobber jigging for crappie

Crappie Fishing with a Bobber and a Jig

How to Bobber Jig for Crappie

  • Bobber jigging for crappie is a simple presentation for many different scenarios.
  • The bobber jig rig is a simple bobber attached to the line above your jig.
  • The bobber can be a slip bobber or a stationary bobber attached to the line.
  • You can bobber jig in deep water or shallow for crappie.

Springtime Bobber Jigging for Crappie

Springtime is here and the crappie are on the banks. Most people will employ the ever-popular minnow and bobber. There are those however that prefer to use artificial only presentations and for those, this technique could be of interest. Early spring is a great time to be on the water in search of crappie. Crappie like thick brush. This brush can be hard to present a crappie jig effectively, without hanging up. These brush piles can be tough to fish but they also tend to hold a lot of crappie because it is so hard to fish and many anglers will not risk hanging up to fish the thickest part of the brush. This leaves behind a gold mine for the bobber jiggers.

hair jig for crappie
Hair Jigs For Crappie

Many of you have probably heard of or read about the float and fly technique, a great presentation for lethargic smallmouth bass when the water is cold. This same method is deadly on springtime crappie whether they are active or not. Tie a crappie tube or grub below your favorite bobber at a depth that fits the situation. Usually in the spring the crappie can be found in one to two feet of water unless a cold front hits and backs them out to a little deeper water. You might have to use a slip bobber in this situation but it works just the same.

Deep Water Bobber Jigging

When bobber jigging in deep water you should pull the bobber toward you then allow it to sit. The first sign of a bite set the hook as the crappie will spit the jig quick if it doesn’t taste right. This is one time you should not wait until the bobber goes under to set the hook like when fishing live bait. This method works great but this article is directed more to the shallow crappie in thick cover. Slip bobber jigging is another presentation that deserves its own article to fully explain it and I will touch on that in the future when the crappie begin to suspend in deeper water. For now let’s talk about bobber jigging in thick shallow brush.

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Crappie Bait Swimbait

Bobber jigging for crappie can help you catch a limit from heavy cover. Normally the jig is set only one to two feet from the bobber. When the crappie are moving up they are usually in water this shallow but even if they are four to six feet deep they will come up and get it as long as the color and size is right which is very important. There are two things that determine the size jig to use. Water temp and the size of crappie your lake produces or the size crappie you re fishing for.


Color Is Important

Your crappie jig color is important and certain colors seems to work better on certain lakes. You probably already know what color works best on your home waters and if not just experiment to find that magic combination. On one of the lakes, I fish red flake body with chartreuse tail is the ticket. Sometimes it’s a tube and sometimes it is a curly tail. It all depends on what the crappie want that day. Usually the tube works best when the fish are a bit sluggish after a cold front while the curly tail grub works best when the fish are active.

Bobber Fishing for Crappie

The beauty of bobber fishing for crappie is the ability to place your crappie jig smack in the middle of the thickest brush, but from a distance. The amount of water that covers the brush determines the depth you should set your jig or tube. You want your jig above the brush without getting hung up. Crappie will come up and strike a well placed jig especially when it’s jigging in the same spot for several seconds. Bobber jigging for crappie is a way of fishing where you can stay back away from those shallow crappie that can be easily spooked. Especially in shallow water.

Never shy away from that thick brush pile where you know the crappie are hiding. Learn bobber jigging for crappie and you can fish it all. Another great thing about fishing the bobber jig for crappie is you won’t need a lot of expensive electronics. You would not see the crappie anyway in the thick brush.

bobber jigging for crappie crappie
Bobber jigging is a great way to fish thick brush. Ken McBroom

Fish The Holes

My favorite way to bobber jig is to cast or swing the jig into a hole in the brush. Let the jig soak in this hole for a few seconds. Many bites come on this pause, especially if the color is right. After a few seconds you should twitch the bobber ever so slightly. Many times the crappie will strike immediately. If the fish are sluggish leave your jig for up to a minute before moving to the next hole. No need to reel in and cast. This rig allows you to pull the jig out of that hole and place it in another. By pulling steady the jig glides up and over the limbs. This allows you to set the jig in another hole where you can begin the twitch pause sequence again.

This technique is very effective for springtime crappie and can help you catch crappie that other anglers may not have even tried for. Presenting your jig from a distance is key when the crappie are so shallow. The bobber allows you to present your jig vertically and keep it there indefinitely allowing for a slower presentation. Fishing your jig from one hole to another takes practice. It can be mastered in time. Another great thing about this rig is that you can use a very light jig head.

Secret Weapon Of Bobber Jigging

Springtime crappie fishing is a popular pastime in the midwest and the lakes can become fairly crowded with crappie anglers. Bobber jigging for crappie can be your ace in the hole. You will catch crappie from near impenetrable brush that has been pounded by other anglers. Learn this technique this spring and you will catch more crappie.

Best Crappie Jig For Bobber Jigging

You might think that a crappie jig is a crappie jig. Not all jigs are created equal when you fish for crappie with a bobber and jig. Choose a jig that falls fast. You want it to fall fast into the thick brush so that you can place it into small openings and it falls straight down. When crappie are guarding their territory you will not need a lot of action in your bait to get strikes. A light twitch of your rod tip is all you need to entice a bite from a spawning crappie in the thick stuff.

If you do find that you need to impart a little action to your crappie jig a simple marabou jig works great. The marabou will undulate even when deadsticked. You might need your jig to be right in front of the crappie to get a bite but when you find the right brush pile that shouldn’t be a problem.

Check Out

Bobber Fishing: The Slip Bobber Rig

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About Ken McBroom 306 Articles
Ken McBroom is an accomplished outdoor writer and photographer. Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed him many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live and work and experience the last frontier. Married now with two beautiful children, Ken now calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American outdoor traditions and the lifestyle it offers.