Bobby Murray loves a hot crappie bite, and he likes to be ready to maximize every opportunity he gets. Suffice it to say, he has plenty of tackle bags to carry all the hardware and baits he needs, but Murray has developed a simple but effective system for keeping key items at close reach.

Starting with a spinnerbait box, he inserts a fitted block of Styrofoam with holes cut for plastic craft tubes (available at Hobby Lobby and other craft stores). The tubes hold prerigged jigheads and baits of various configurations, along with spare heads, bobber stoppers and beads.

“Crappie are a schooling fish, and usually when you find them it all happens in a hurry,” Murray said. “You want to make sure you have different-size jigheads, colors and plastic bodies so you don’t have to be rigging. Everything’s already prerigged so if you bust one off all you have to do is tie one on and you’re back in the water quickly.”

Convenient, compact and low cost, this centralized tackle system prevents excess downtime spent looking for specific items.

Noting that a crappie bite can fizzle as quickly as it starts, Murray said the old adage that advises to “make hay while the sun shines” works with crappie.