Now I've got one, too, and it's backed up by sound science and laboratory results—the size of the crappies you can catch is relative to the size of the baits you offer them!
Actually, it's something I learned from Oklahoma professional crappie guide Todd Huckabee. While crappie enthusiasts have traditionally favored small baits in the 1/32- or 1/16-ounce range, Huckabee proved to me that bigger slabs often respond better to bigger baits.
After plenty of trial and error, I now profess that to be fact, and I lean more toward jigs in the 1/8- to 3/8-ounce range.
It makes sense that larger fish would rather eat one big minnow or critter than a bunch of little ones, and the fewer times per day they expose themselves to anglers because of their appetites, the better chance they have to grow old and fat.
It is also true that bigger, denser lures transmit more sound when they bang into cover or bounce off the bottom, which, in turn, makes it easier for the crappies to find them.
Bigger baits make an angler more efficient because your bait gets down to the fish faster. As an angler, I feel like I have better control and sensitivity with a larger jig. I know what it's doing, where it's located and when it gets bit, even in windy conditions. All that data is much harder to process with small baits.
I also think my percentage of fish to the net increases with larger baits. There's simply more hook to drive home and to hold that fish.
The only drawback to using larger jigs is that they are more prone to snags. However, you can neutralize that concern to a large extent with Do-It Corporation's Bat Jig, which features a smaller hook gap that makes it more snag-resistant. I also like Hutch Leadhead jigs and Do-It's teardrop style with the wire keeper in 1/4- to 3/8-ounce. The heaver jig allows me to shake or “pendulum” the lure in an up and down motion if the hook point contacts wood.
Do-It Bat Jig
Do-It's teardrop style jig head.
Each of those head styles works well with plastic tails like a 3-inch Berkley PowerBait Twitchtail Minnow or a Berkle Powerbait Ripple Shad in the 2- or 3-inch size. If the fish seem a little lethargic and are striking short rather than whacking your jig with vicious intent, the larger plastic tails can be used on “lighter” jig heads.
Berkley Twitchtail Minnow
Berkley Ripple Shad
Of course, there are always a few exceptions to any theory. Cold fronts and negative fish might alter my presentation. But as a general rule these days, size does matter.
Go big and go home with the catch of the day!For more great daily content and fishing tips, check out Tommy Skarlis on Facebook