The Perfect Jig for Spring Crappies

Northland® Fishing Tackle’s Tungsten Crappie King Jigs bring expertly-designed, faster-falling baits for crappies in transition.

BEMIDJI, Minn. (February 26, 2024) – Angler are already on some awesome crappie bites in the south and mid-states. An early ice-out appears not only possible, but already happening in the southern latitudes of the Ice Belt.

Yep, best get your spring panfish gear in check. Besides prepping rods, reels, maybe spooling on some new line, make sure to assemble a tackle kit that’s sure to catch crappies at all depths as they transition from late-winter haunts toward spawning grounds.

While lead jigs have done the trick for years, tungsten is thing this spring – most notably Northland’s new Tungsten Crappie King. Available in two sizes—1/16 oz. (#8 hook) & 1/8 oz. (#6 hook)—for versatility intercepting crappies as they start migrating from deeper basins, to mid-depths, and then into shallow-water bays, coves, and other spawning areas. There’s no depth during the spring crappie migration that Tungsten Crappie King Jigs haven’t caught fish—at least according to the following panfish experts…


Bro: The ‘Perfect’ Crappie Jig?

Longtime fishing guide and panfish aficionado, Brian “Bro” Brosdahl, calls the Northland Tungsten Crappie King Jigs “perfect”.

“The first thing I like is the fast fall to get the bait repeatedly in the strike zone, no matter what depth spring crappies are in, which can be painfully slow with small lead panfish jigs. Secondly, they have a quiver action. It’s easy to make ‘em shimmy, which in my experience, gets more bites,” relates Bro.

Plus, Bro says the new tungsten micro-jigs simply fish easier and better than their lead counterparts.

“Get a little wind and you can still cast these jigs straight. They cast much farther than lead and you have better control and sensitivity when using light line. Another benefit of being able to maintain a straight line to the jig is you feel bites better and hooksets are solid.”

Bro also nods his head to the new Tungsten Crappie King’s head shape.

“Northland spent a lot of time getting just the right jig head shape. While it does have a vertical line-tie, the flatter head tips a bit when you work it—plus you get the big red eye—which make crappies bite.”

“Fishing plastics is great for crappies on the feed, but if I think live bait is the ticket in the spring. I’ll dorsal- or nose-hook a crappie minnow. Or a couple waxies are deadly—one threaded up the hook shank and another flopping off the back—for light-biting crappies and big bluegills.”

Technique-wise, Bro says he generally pitches the jig without a bobber, but also uses a slip or fixed float at times.

“As crappies start moving from deeper water toward weededges and flats, standing vegetation, etc.—and then in and out depth-wise depending on weather—and then into shallow, spawning areas—the Tungsten Crappie King works, whether you’re using electronics or not.”

Transitionally, Bro adds that crappies will move into hard-bottom bulrush and pencil weed beds when water temps reach the upper ‘50s, and he likes the Tungsten Flat Fry Jig under a slip float, no weight, no swivel. “The ‘rushes up north are often tangled with canary grass, brush, maiden cane, etc., so I want to avoid snags. The tungsten jig itself is enough to make a slip float system work great without any additional hardware.”

Bro concludes: “If I’m going out with clients and they want to keep a few fish for the frying pan, it’s a no-brainer. The Tungsten Crappie King is exactly what we’re fishing to get the job done.”

Nelson’s ‘Go-To’ Jig & Set-Up

Northland Pro-Staffer, angling educator, and panfish expert, Joel Nelson, says the Tungsten Crappie King Jig quickly became his “go-to” jig for both crappies and bluegills after the first beta-tests many moons ago.

“For the most part, it’s replaced all the other jigs in my line-up. One thing I like is it fishes well below a pencil float without any need for anything but the weight of the jig. The jig keeps the float upright where it needs to be for bite detection, no crimping additional split-shots on,” notes Nelson.

In terms of dressing the jig for early ice-out crappies (and bluegills), Nelson starts with larvae left over from late-ice fishing, then switches over to the Tungsten Crappie King Fly bait-less as the water warms and crappies push into shallow spawning areas.

Nelson says part of his success fishing the Tungsten Crappie King Jig using the right rod, reel, and line.

“To make long casts with such a small jig and float, I like a 7’3” medium-light power, extra-fast action St. Croix AVID Panfish Rod, a 1000 size reel—and this is where I differ from anglers fishing light superline to a fluoro leader—I spool up completely with 4- or 6-pound Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon which doesn’t jump off the spool in a coiled spring like some fluoro.”








The Trampe Duo Talks Tungsten

Last fall, Tyler and Sara Trampe of Sportsman’s Journal first put Tungsten Crappie King Jigs to the test, plying crappies out of brush piles in 15-20 feet of water.

“The tungsten got down to the fish fast and the wider gap hook kept the fish on. They’re also super dense and easy to see on forward-facing sonar,” notes Tyler Trampe.

“So, as that first open-water appears this spring, we’ll fish these jigs as the crappies move from deeper to shallow waters, “continues Tyler.

Sara Trampe adds that they’re fans of soft-plastics whenever possible for faster fishing without constantly re-baiting.

“Tungsten is great to get down to the fish, but once there, we like a soft plastic with more appendages to slow the fall a bit when we’re working it. The Northland Impulse Mayfly is a good example.”

“When crappies are deeper after first ice-out, we’ll use forward-facing sonar and no float at all. Then, when they’re shallow in clear water—especially in sunlight—they can be a bit spooky, we can cast these jigs really far on 7-foot-plus extra-fast action rods and superline to fluoro leader under a float, keeping the bait just above their heads.,” concludes Sara.

About: Northland’s Tungsten Crappie King Jig

Bite-sized and still packs a heavy punch… Made from tungsten that is 30% denser than lead, this small package gets to fish fast. Once at fish level or above, anglers will feel more bites because of the hardness of the material, which telegraphs more sensitivity up the line, through the rod, and into the anglers’ hands.

Designed specifically for panfish anglers, the Tungsten Crappie King Jig is designed to fish fast, accept your favorite soft plastic, or live bait, and stay horizontal with its vertical line tie but still rock when twitched. It also features an ultra-sharp, perfectly-proportioned hook designed for the delicate mouths of panfish. It’s modified aspirin-head shape cuts through the water and the large, red 3D holographic eyes attract crappies from afar.


  • Fish-attracting 3D Holographic Red Eyes
  • Dense Tungsten Head – 30% more dense than lead
  • Premium, sticky-sharp small-format hook
  • Vertical line-tie
  • Available in 1/16 oz. (#8 hook) & 1/8 oz. (#6 hook)
  • COLORS: Black, Super-Glo White, Olive, Super-Glo Pinky, Bubblegum, Sunrise, Super-Glo Moonlight, and Parakeet

MSRP: $6.59 – 2/Card