Leave the live bait at home. The first choice for most crappie anglers is some type of live bait, whether it be a minnow or a maggot. Although quite effective, fishing with jigs is a much better approach for landing crappie after crappie. Jigs offer two advantages over live bait. The first is that you can stock many color and size variations of jigs whereas bait you have what you have. The other benefit to jigs is that they are more easily fished in deep cover, in and around where crappies are.
Think outside the box. Jigs and live bait are great but there are many other types of lures that work well for crappies. Do not limit yourself and depending on where and how you are fishing you may need to switch it up. Small spinners work well if your shore fishing and spoons are great for getting in front of crappies in deep water more quickly.
Lures and fishing tactics matter little if you don’t have good water to fish and a way to find the crappies. Using local resources like tackle stores and joining communities on social media all aid in gathering advice on good fishing spots. FISH THIS regularly adds new hotspots for a variety of species and is a great resource. Once you have some water to fish, a fish finder is a must. Crappie school around underwater structures and having a fish finder and knowing how to use it will up your catch.