Buying tackle was simple before tournaments made crappie fishing such a specialized sport. In the old days panfish tackle was a bucket of minnows and a tacklebox full of hooks, sinkers, and bobbers were all you needed to catch crappie. Stocking your tacklebox today has become more complicated because you have to choose from a vast of assortment of designs, colors and sizes of lures and an array of hooks, sinkers and even bobbers.
Stocking Up On Panfish Tackle
If you want to stock your tacklebox like the crappie pros, you should start with several jigs in different colors and styles. Stock up with hair jigs, 1- and 2-inch plastic tube baits, twister tail grubs, 2-inch paddletail swimbaits and horsehead jigs. Select jigs in basic colors such as fluorescent shades or red-and-chartreuse for fishing stained water or dull hues such as motor oil or clear/metal flake for clear water. Other basic colors to stock up on are white, black and yellow.
Jigheads For Panfish
Load your box with an ample supply of jigheads in different sizes and colors. The four sizes most of the pros use are 1/32, 1/16, 1/8 and 1/4 ounce. Stock two to three dozen of each size painted jigheads in fluorescent shades of green, orange and red.
Other artificial lures you should stock in your box include small crankbaits and hairpin spinners. In-line spinners such as the Mepps Aglia are also great crappie catchers, especially if you live in the Northern states.
Panfish Tackle For Live Bait Fishing
Your live bait arsenal for your tacklebox should include an assortment of hooks, sinkers, bobbers and double-hook rigs. If you fish with 1- to 2-inch shiners make sure you have plenty of number 1, 1/0 or 2/0 light wire hooks. Stock up on a variety of barrel swivels, egg-shape sinkers from 1/4 to 1 ounce and smaller spilt-shot sinkers ranging from bb-size to number 3 for trolling or spider rigging. Your bobber selection should include Carlyle-style (spring-lock) floats and various balsa wood models with bobber stops.
Knowing How To Use Your Panfish Tackle
A well-stocked tacklebox definitely gives you the tools needed to catch crappie, but you still have to know how and when to use each lure or live bait. The quality of an angler is not measured by how many lures he has or how big his tacklebox is. Knowing the water you are going to fish will help you stock the right lures and prevent you from buying others that just end up cluttering your tacklebox.
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