by Tim Huffman
Downsizing is the word that live imaging sonar has brought to the forefront. We’ve always known to use smaller baits when a strong cold front has given crappie a case of the lockjaw, but live imaging has also taught us there are other situations when crappie just want a small snack instead of a large dinner.
Jenko Fry Baby
The Jenko Fishing Big T 2” Fry Baby features a unique super-soft and durable plastic body. The soft plastic has a lot of action. The built-in garlic and baitfish scents add more bites. Shad bodies have been around forever, but this 2” body has a small profile that puts it in the downsize category for dropping down in front of a reluctant fish. 15-pack for $3.99.
1” Slider Grub
The next bait I’ve used to catch bluegill, but it fits into the downsize for crappie when looking for a short, full body. The Charlie Brewer 1” Slider Grub is a soft grub body with a vibra-tail action. Used on a light jig, it has a very slow fall. For live imaging, it can be used with a 1/32-ounce head under a larger egg-style weight. $3.54 MSRP for a 15-pack.
Beaver Bottom Bait
The 1.5” Beaver Bottom bait is the baby brother to the long-time 2” model. This bait can be used with the paddle tail, or the tail sections can be separated for a craw look. It’s designed to work with the tail flat for a lot of action, but on a recent trip to Truman, we caught a limit of crappie with the tail upright for a minnow look. It’s small, versatile and has tail action. This bait will work in any waters. The 1.5” 12-pack, $4.00.
1.25” Itty Bit Slab Slay’R
Here is a bait that has been popular for years in the 2” and 3” models, but the smallest Slab Slay’R is carving its own history. The 1.25” is a go-to for live imaging when you want slight to moderate tail action in one of several great crappie-catching colors. It’s proven effective and should be in your tackle box. A 20-pack is $3.99.