With tackle stores full of a thousand sizes, shapes, styles and colors of crappie jigs and fishing equipment, you could spend days or weeks just trying to figure out what to fish with. Or you could just let Bobby Phillips tell you his favorite go-to gear, and copy this veteran guide’s success.

“On the river, I have two favorite hair jigs, the Black Lake Tackle 120+ (gray, red and chartreuse) and the 180 (gray and white) in two sizes, 1/32nd and 1/16th ounce,” Phillips said. “Sometimes size does make a difference, and usually the heavier jig is used in deeper water or thicker tops, especially if there is a little hint of current.”

His top choices for plastic are the Triple Threat red head, blue body and chartreuse tail jig; the Stinger Shad in popsicle pink, purple and chartreuse and Bobby Garland Baby Shad in baby crawdad and bluegrass. 

He never puts a jig in the water without a white or chartreuse crappie nibble. In fact, he buys those by the case.

A lighter action rod with plenty of backbone like the Jenko Wohali with a rear seat for the reel is his favorite rod. He fishes with fly reels only, and his favorites aren’t even in production anymore. But today’s reels like the Pflueger Summit or Monarch are the closest match to his old favorites. He spools them with Izorline Platinum Hi Viz 6-pound test, tipped with a 4-pound, 18-inch Cajun Red Cast line leader.