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Do you want to take more crappie home? Would you like to return home with a cooler full of crappies? Crappie is a fish in the sunfish family that can be found in many areas. It is tasty and puts up a good fight despite its size. If you would like to learn how to catch more crappies, then we shared crappie fishing tips to help you get more crappies on your dinner table.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Catch Crappie
- 2 Crappie Fishing Setup
- 3 How To Catch Crappie From The Bank
- 4 How To Catch Crappie In Winter
- 5 How To Catch Crappie With Minnows
- 6 How To Catch Crappie In Winter
- 7 How To Catch Crappie In Summer
- 8 How To Catch Crappie In Fall
- 9 How To Catch Crappie In Texas
- 10 How To Catch Crappie At Night
- 11 How To Catch Crappie In Florida
- 12 How To Catch Crappie From A Boat
- 13 Crappie Fishing Tips
- 14 Crappie Gear
- 15 Best Bait For Crappie
- 16 Best Crappie Lures
- 17 The Bottom Line
How To Catch Crappie
Trolling can be used to catch crappie. Many anglers use trolling to catch a variety of fish. When trolling you attach your line with the bait to the back of the boat. Move the boat slowly and when you get a bite, quickly reel in the fish.
When trolling, look for underwater structures like drop-offs, and ledges that may hold crappies by using your fish finder. Deeper water with trees hanging over the water can also be an area where crappie may reside.
2. Vertical Jigging
Vertical jigging using live bait or lures can also be used to fish for crappie. When jigging, you drop your bait to the bottom, and when it hits the bottom, quickly pull the bait upward and then let it sink back to the bottom. This upward and downward motion will get the attention of crappie which will most likely strike the bait. Jigging can be upward and downward (vertical) or side to side.
3. Night Fishing
Night fishing can also be used to catch crappie. Most fish actively feed at night because their predators are not out in search of them. This allows these fish to be less wary and this can work to the advantage of the angler. Many anglers state that night fishing is more productive than daytime fishing.
You can cast for crappie. Casting is one of the popular fishing methods used by anglers to catch many species of fish. Lightweight fishing rods are usually used to cast for crappie.
5. Fly Fishing
Fly fishing is another fishing method that anglers use to catch crappies and other fish. It is more challenging to catch fish by fly fishing, but if you have honed your fly fishing skills, then you can give it a try. Wet or dry flies can be used but they must mimic the prey that crappie goes after like minnows.
Crappie Fishing Setup
Crappies can be caught on regular fishing gear. You don’t need any high-tech gear. A light spinning rod and a 1500 to 2000 series spinning reel paired with a 6-pound test monofilament test line will work fine for crappie fishing.
How To Catch Crappie From The Bank
When fishing crappie from the bank, you can use a crappie jig. Simply cast a crappie jig and let it reach the water column you want to target for fish. Then slowly reel it in. This fishing method allows you to cover a lot of water and is very effective when fishing for crappie.
Using a jig is an effective way to fish for crappie. Fishing for crappie early morning and late evening are the best times to target them.
How To Catch Crappie In Winter
When fishing for crappie from the bank in spring, look for shallow bays that have weeds. They are often found in areas with weeds that warm up quickly in the sun. Crappies will be preying on shad and minnows to put back the weight they lost during the winter. Cast in these areas for crappie. Harder bottoms with sand or gravel are also prime areas for targeting crappie.
How To Catch Crappie With Minnows
Live minnows work well when fishing for crappie. Using a rig with minnows is very effective when fishing for crappie with minnows. Thread the minnow on a small hook and cast it into the water. The minnow will swim around which will get the attention of the crappie enticing it to strike.
Additionally, you can also suspend the minnow under a bobber and watch for any signs that the crappie has taken the bait. When fishing for crappie with minnows, look for areas where crappie will be hanging out.
Logs, fallen trees, weeds, and submerged brush are some of the areas crappie will be around. Cast into these areas and let the minnow sink to the bottom. After the minnow hits the bottom, wait for the strike.
How To Catch Crappie In Winter
During winter target areas with docks as crappie will be found there seeking cover. They will use the structure to take cover as they wait to ambush prey as well as protection from predators. Jigging is the best way to fish for crappie during winter and jig very slowly as they are not fond of fast movements.
How To Catch Crappie In Summer
When fishing for crappie during the summer, look for areas with rocks, docks, weeds, fallen trees, logs, and bridge pillars. Crappies will be found there using those structures as cover. Target them early morning and late evening when they are around these structures preying on baitfish.
How To Catch Crappie In Fall
During fall, crappie will be preying on shad. They usually target large schools of shad in backwaters and shallow coves. If you find schools of shad, then crappie will be in that area waiting to prey on shad.
How To Catch Crappie In Texas
When fishing for crappie in Texas, look for structures such as rocks, docks, wrecks, fallen trees, and logs. Minnows and jigs are some of the best baits and lures to use when fishing for crappie in Texas. Crankbaits, spoons, and spinnerbaits are also used when fishing for crappie.
How To Catch Crappie At Night
When planning to fish for crappie during the night, it is important that you do your scouting during the day to mark the areas you want to fish at night. Crappies, like many fish, are more active during the night feeding on prey.
Use good lighting when fishing for crappie at night and fish around underwater structures such as docks, bridges, rocks, wrecks, logs, and fallen trees although they will be found in shallow waters. Baits and lures such as jigs and minnows are used when fishing for crappie at night.
How To Catch Crappie In Florida
When fishing for crappie in Florida, look for underwater structures that crappie will be using as cover. Some of these structures are wrecks, rocks, docks, logs, and fallen trees. They will be found, most of the time, in shallow water.
Jigging, and trolling slowly are some of the fishing methods used when fishing for crappie in Florida. Minnows, small jigs, and bobbers are used when fishing for crappie in Florida.
How To Catch Crappie From A Boat
When fishing for crappie from a boat, the key is to find where they are hanging out. If you have a fish finder or a sonar device, you can pinpoint their hideouts. Look for structures that they can use as cover such as wrecks, weed beds, logs, dock pilings, piers, and fallen trees. After locating a possible cover for the crappie, you can drop jigs rigged with minnows to entice strikes or cast for the crappie.
Crappie Fishing Tips
1. Crappie is a schooling fish. If you catch one, just know that there are many nearby. Quickly set your bait and go again. However, you will have to always look for these schools as they don’t remain in one place.
2. A great way to find schools of crappies is trolling. Look for structures, sharp edges, and drop-offs with your fish finder. If there are trees hanging over the water, check if is deep water.
3. Jigging lures or live bait works well in deep waters.
4. Fishing for crappies at night can be very productive as the light you use will attract minnows and they are food for crappies.
5. When crappie are suspended in deep water is the best time to implement vertical jigging. Vertical jigging is also great for ice fishing.
6. Many anglers tip their jigs with bait to give it a scent. You can use natural and artificial bait.
7. A slip knot will get you more crappies. Just tie the lure on but make a loop rather than tightening the line down to the eye. This allows you to add more action to the lure.
8. If you use crankbaits, you will have to get it down to deeper water with weights. Crappie doesn’t usually feed on the surface.
9. Although crappie is a schooling fish, they school by size. If you catch a crappie, there will be many more around. However, they will all be about the same size as the one you initially caught.
10. The best crappie fishing time of the year is the pre-dawn period coming in late winter into spring which is also the beginning of the crappie fishing period.
11. You can find crappie in shallow waters during the warm days of spring.
12. In the summer as the temperature peaks and the water column stabilizes, you can find crappie in the weeds.
13. In fall, crappie begin to migrate toward deeper water prior to establishing a pattern for winter.
14. Be on the lookout for moving water in spring. The inlets will be warmer and the moving water provides oxygen. This is even more crucial in the ice belt after winter in which oxygen and other resources were depleted.
15. Crappie spawn in mid-May and June. Before this period, crappie is focused on food and warmth; not reproduction.
16. During the actual spawn period, crappie is not focused on food and this will make fishing for crappie more difficult. Hence, you will have better chances of getting crappie by fishing for them before the spawning starts.
17. Use a spring or slip bobber with a small jig or hook. A minnow or worm can be the bait and cast along the shallows.
18. After the spawn phase is when summer crappie patterns change as they are done with reproduction and the water temperatures begin to warm up.
19. Crappies spread out in the post-spawn stage. They will spread throughout the water making it difficult to locate them. They will not be congregated in the shallows or basins like during other times of the year. They often relocate to weed lines or in timber.
20. Due to their behavior post-spawn, you will have to cover a lot of water to catch crappie.
21. Trolling is one way to target crappie. When trolling, don’t let your line go too deep. Keep it just a few feet above the bottom and go slow.
22. When trolling, use a light split shot or not use a weight. On the snell, you can troll with plastic or worm.
23. In the summer, you can cast for crappie if you locate sunken structures near the shoreline.
24. In fall, water temperatures start to get colder which will cause crappie to change their patterns. They will go to deeper water. You will have to fish slower with more finesse baits as crappie metabolism slows down. A slow fall rate might lure crappie to rise up and investigate your bait.
25. Ice fishing crappies also come with their challenges. You will find schools of crappie deep and feeding on zooplankton. On the ice, when you see zooplankton, there will be crappie there feeding on them.
26. In lakes covered with thick ice and snow, crappie will migrate the basins, feeding on plankton and moving around in the area.
27. When ice fishing for crappies, they are easy to detect. As they are suspended in search of food, they give away their location.
28. When ice fishing for crappies and come across a basin, if it is warm, punch many holes across the bowl as you possibly can. This allows you to follow the migrating school of crappies as you target them.
1. Lightweight rods
2. Light lines with 4- to 6- pound test.
3. Small hooks
Best Bait For Crappie
Minnows are one of the popular baits used by anglers for fishing.
Worms are very effective when fishing for crappies.
Leeches are also good bait for fish and crappies are no exception.
Grubs are also used as bait for fish including crappies.
Crayfish is used as bait for fish by anglers including crappies.
Crickets are very effective in fishing for crappies.
Shad is a major food source for crappies all year round and is a good bait.
Caro is also used as bait for crappies.
Best Crappie Lures
Crankbaits are very effective lures for crappies.
Jerkbaits work well for spring crappies.
Spoons are very effective for crappie fishing in deeper structures and cover.
Jigs and plastics are some of the popular ures used by anglers for crappies.
The Bottom Line
Crappie is a North American freshwater fish that is abundantly found in most parts of the north. It is considered a tasty fish as well as a sports fish. To be successful with crappie fishing you have to understand its seasonal patterns that will help find and catch them all year long.
Crappie fishing tips like bass fishing tips, sauger fishing tips, or perch fishing tips can be learned, practiced, and get good at it. In this article, we shared some crappie fish tips to help you learn how to catch more crappies and take them home the entire year.