The Crappie Candy is not just an awesome fly for catching crappie on the fly, but is also a favorite pattern for targeting shad on the fly as well. In my version, I omit the marabou tail found on the original and replace it with kip tail. I like to tie it with bead chain eyes as I can fish for shad with it using a polyleader or sink tip line, and if the bite is slow early in the season, I can tie a float on to my leader two or three feet above the fly and work over and around structure for crappie and bluegill. When targeting pan fish with the Crappie Candy, my favorite option is to use the fly as a dropper on a hopper-dropper setup. I tie a small, bright colored popper on as my hopper and either swing the tandem rig over or near structure. If you will only be targeting shad with the Crappie Candy and will not be targeting crappie, I would tie this fly pattern with 5/32 hourglass eyes to make sure the fly gets down in the shad’s face quickly.
This fly is definitely a St. Johns River Favorite shad fly.
Crappie Candy Fly Pattern:
Hook: Size 8-10
Thread: 6/0 Uni Thread
Tail: White Kip Tail
Throat: White Kip Tail
I like to tie this pattern in orange, pink, yellow, and chartreuse. The tail can be tied in to match the color of the body as well. However, keep the throat white as that simulates the light underside of most minnows.