If you’re just barely getting started with crappie fishing, then it probably didn’t take you long to realize that there are all kinds of baits that you can use for this type of fish. Depending on the time of year, they will bite at just about anything. This includes worms, minnows, lures, jigs, you name it, they will bite on it. Of course, there are quite a few of us anglers that swear by using live bait for fishing for crappie, and for good reason: the crappie love it.
But of course, there are those days where the crappie just don’t seem to want to bite, and it’s at those times that you probably should consider varying up your arsenal. Since crappie seem to do so well with live bait, have you ever considered using crickets? It’s not as crazy of an idea as you might think. Here are some points to consider:
Here are some good hooks for crappie fishing. size 8-12 are great!
Do Crappie Eat Crickets At All?
Of course, some people wonder if crappie will even eat crickets at all. The answer to this is yes, as long as you present it right. Most of the time, the best thing you can use to fish for crappie would simply be a small fisher species, but fascinatingly crappie do, indeed, eat a variety of small insects and larvae. They aren’t picky at all, and they will generally eat what’s available. Of course, it still seems that crickets are overlooked as fishing bait.
It would appear that this is because they are not as readily available as grasshoppers simply they don’t seem to be as durable. However, you can even do ice fishing if the only thing you have is crickets.
The Best Time of Year to Use Crickets
The best time to use crickets for crappie bait would have to be in either spring or summer. Some anglers will even try using them in the fall months, but the crickets are usually not around as much at this time. Hands down, the best time to use crickets would have to be during the spawning season of the crappie, simply because this would be a time when crickets would even be considered a delicacy to your crappie.
Generally, if you try to fish for crappie by the shore with your cricket during this time, you really can’t go wrong. Crappie just before and during their spawn period will just about lunge at anything.
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How to Properly Bait Crickets
Of course, the first thing you need to do is learn how to properly bait the crickets. It can be a bit tricky, but first of all you should pierce the crickets, but you should be careful where you pierce them at.
You should hook your cricket through its thorax, which is just behind their head. Don’t panic if they die fairly quickly after piercing them; most of the time that crappie will still go after them anyway. Of course, fish are surprisingly able-bodied little creatures.
There are some times where they can actually detect if you are using a dead bait. This is probably why using crickets as bait for crappie and other breeds has encountered some stigma. However, if you want to be picky about this, there are some other alternatives that will keep the crickets alive longer. First, you could use a special bait thread that will only wrap the cricket in place and you won’t have to hook it. You also could take some bait thread and simply just loop it around that way as well.
How Do You Get Crickets?
Now that we’ve fully determined that yes, crappie do indeed eat crickets, you are probably wondering how to get them. You have two options: you can either acquire the crickets at a bait shop, or you could just get them yourselves.
Although it’s definitely easier to get the crickets at the bait shop, (or pet shop) some individuals get a lot of thrill out of hunting for their bait as well. If this seems strange to you, just consider how some people are always looking for techniques to find minnows just as much as they are trying to land that perfect fish.
Thus, one of the ways to get crickets is to set traps for them. People often do this by either trying to catch them by hand or by crafting a small bait net trap for them. If you elect to make a trap for your bait crickets, one way to do it would be by making a bait composed of granulated sugar and some unflavored bread fragments.
Of course, it helps if you know ahead of time where the crickets usually congregate, but then you could simply sprinkle this mixture in that area. Cover it up with a large, single piece of newspaper, and make sure that you do so at dusk. The next thing you should do is have a jar ready in order to sweep your crickets into. Poke a small hole in the jar and you can continue feeding them this concoction of breadcrumbs and sugar until you are ready to use them for bait.
Using Crickets: Fishing For Crappie the Right Way
Of course, when it comes to fishing for crappie, there is no “magic bullet” bait that will work every time. They are just like any other fish; sometimes you will be able to catch and sometimes you won’t. However, when using crickets, there are definitely strategies that you can use to increase your odds of catching them.
Besides only using crickets during the spawning season, you will definitely want to fish right off the shoreline because that’s usually where the crappie will be found. However, there is more to it than that. You will also want to be very specific regarding your bait, and get it down to the exact water depth. You can usually do this by going with a hook size that is a bit larger, between a size 1 to size 3. Finally, since you are specifically fishing for crappie, you might also want to consider using a single-split shot, simply because that will help to avoid having other types of fish trying to steal your bait.
Like I said, fishing with crickets can be a bit of a challenge, but if you really want to sink your teeth into something bait-wise, this would be one way to go. Either way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with diversifying your fishing bait choices so that you can catch more of these crappie.