Did you know that it’s possible to fish for crappie even during the cold winter? While it’s a bit difficult given the freezing winter temperatures, it’s still possible to get a bite with the right techniques and equipment. You’ll be able to find winter crappie way into the deep waters, which is why you’ll need the best lures like jigs.
And since crappies are sight feeders, you’ll want certain colors of a jig. However, the color you use varies on the state of the water AND the weather. So what’s the best color jig for winter crappie?
Read on as I talk about jig colors!
The Best Color Jig For Winter Crappie
Crappies are a favorite catch among many anglers, and you can catch a lot of them during ice fishing. They are still fairly possible to catch, but require different methods due to change of temperature.
One of the crucial factors to consider is the color jig, as crappies have amazing eyesight. But don’t think that the color you see will be what crappie see underwater! There are several factors to consider as you look into the lure color, such as:
Light and Water
Fish will see different jig colors depending on the depth they are in. Color is highly affected by light and it may or may not be seen by your crappie.
Usually, shallow waters will have more light, so the deeper you fish, the less light will be available. So if you want to attract crappies with various colors, you have to imagine what fish see.
Consider the first ten feet of water below the ice, this has the most light during the day.
Because of this, you can use dark jigs in brown or black, which will be easy to see as the light filters through the ice. But in the shallow waters, crappies can also see brighter colors like orange and pink. You’ll do best when you use a dark jig with a bright-colored tip for better effectivity.
What about if you went deeper? As you go even deeper, maybe up to 15 feet underwater, the light will reduce significantly. You’ll lose any contrast factor with light filtering through the ice.
As a result, brighter colors become even more prioritized. Opt for jigs in yellow, white, orange, or chartreuse. They are highly visible to crappies and you’re more likely to draw them in.
Take note that bright colors can reflect light well, so the lighter the color, the more light it can reflect. Meaning, white jigs reflect most light, so your best bet is to use white jigs.
What if you go even deeper and beyond 15 feet? There will be very little light available to the point that even neon colors aren’t visible to crappies. And while it may be counteractive, the optimum colors in such low-light conditions are dark ones.
You are best off with using black, brown, green, yellow, or purple colored jigs. But the most noticeable color is blue, so you can try blue jigs with contrasting heads of green or yellow.
Besides taking the light and color based on water depth, you should factor in the weather and conditions above ice! After all, heavier snow on the ice can impact the light that comes through and meets with the water.
Heavier snowpacks will reduce the amount of light that gets through the ice. And if there is minimal to now snow on it, then the more light gets through. Because of this, you need to adjust the depth range a little bit, depending on the snow’s factors.
For example, if it’s an exceptionally sunny day with no snow on the ice, you can work with bright-colored jigs even as you go up to 15 feet deep. But anything deeper than that will still require deep water colors.
Besides this, you also have to take account when you are fishing. If you fish at night or dark, cloudy days, there is little to no light getting through. So you’ll have to go for deep water colors regardless of the depth.
Look into the water conditions and color as well. In clear and warm waters, you’re better off with shallow water colors like dark ones.
But in stained waters such as coffee colors or tannic acid that still have bright-light conditions, go for contrasting lures and mid-level colored lures. For stained waters with low light or with heavy algae bottoms, go for deep water level colors.
Why Contrasting Colors?
There is no one best color jig for winter crappie. It will wholly depend on uncontrollable factors. You shouldn’t head to the ice with just one color jig or lure and expect it to work every time!
That’s why I highly recommend that you bring in various colored jigs with solid and varying bright colors, as well as bright tips to tie in various combinations to see which produces the best results.
Remember, you are focusing more on visibility here, which is why one needs to focus more on contrasting colors. After all, you don’t usually see things that come in just one color, but in contrasting colors, like the baitfish! Because forage fish aren’t just one color, it makes sense to use lures that come in contrasting ones.
If you want to learn more about investing in the best color jig for winter crappie, this video can show you extra info:
Wrapping It Up
Lure color is a crucial factor when you want to attract crappie, especially during the winter when they are in deeper waters. However, that’s not the only thing to consider as you should also look into your technique and way of casting. When combining a good color jig and technique, you can catch even more winter crappie.
I hope that this article on the best color jig for winter crappie helped you out! Now go check out what color jigs you should get for your next fishing trip.