Color can also be critical. Crappies are like teenagers, flitting from one fashion fad to another by the day, if not by the hour. Manufacturers respond by making lures in a rainbow of hues. Southern Pro Tackle, an Arkansas company that pretty much owns the market in crappie soft plastics, makes its 1½-inch Lit'l Hustler tube in an astounding 80 different color combinations. The red-and-white version that slayed 'em on Tuesday may not work nearly so well on Wednesday, when the fish jump all over a red-and-yellow style. I've never heard any rhyme or reason for this, but I do know that it happens. Trying basic shades first--meaning white, chartreuse, silver, or even black--is my rule. If that fails, then I can experiment with an insanity of colors. It's a good thing crappie lures are cheap.