Crappie are fairly active year round, but fall and spring offer the hottest fishing. The warming spring water temperatures triggers a feeding frenzy among fish. Before spawning (when the water is about 48-51 degrees), they move into more shallow and feed aggressively. This is also known as the pre-spawn period. The shoreline area is where most crappie move into for cover such as shallow coves or fallen trees. The females will lay their eggs there and then move into slightly deeper water while the males hang around the shallows and guard the nest. If several smaller fish are caught while fishing in the shallows, try moving to the nearest drop-off and you may find some larger females feeding.
These pre-spawn and spawn periods of spring usually offer the best crappie fishing of the year. In the fall, the cooling of the water also offers excellent crappie fishing. When that warm summer water begins to cool down, the crappie begin feeding in order to fatten up for the winter. Schools of large crappie can easily be caught during this, let’s get fat time!
Tips On Finding Good Fishing Locations
Crappie are fish that love structure, so those areas which offer prominent cover will be the key to catching many large fish. These structures include stumps, rock piles, fallen trees, shallow coves, and submerged tree branches or brush. All of these will prove to be favorable spots, so be sure to cast your hook there. An old custom of many anglers is to sink Christmas trees, tires, old bushes and even wooden pallets to help create homes for big crappie.
Fishing For Crappie With A Jig
When fishing in submerged cover, vertical jigging is a good method to use because a jig dropped into brush and lightly jerked will produce a lot of good size crappie when the conditions are right. A small spinner being swam through the stumps, and fallen trees or cover areas would also be a great way to find some nice crappie the hook. Once you identify the depth that most of the fish are staying at, it’s a great idea to suspend a jig, minnow or live worm at that depth while under a small bobber. To keep your bait at the desired depth for a longer period of time, this is a very effective way to do so.
Fishing For Crappie With Lures
If you choose to go crappie fishing with lures, be sure to pick one that has an appeal to crappie. Meaning one that could pass for their particular choice of food, such as minnows, small crayfish or any type of insect. Coloring is important because crappie have very keen eyesight; therefore, choosing fishing lure colors that correspond with the surrounding conditions, is a smart idea. For clear waters, use fishing lures such as gray or silver and at night, try the blacks or dark blues. On the hand, on sunny days cast out the brightest color lures or hooks (Easy Bait Hook) that you can find. There is certainly no wrong way to hook a nice crappie but feel free to experiment with different methods, which you may find to be a favorite way to catch more crappie.
Using Minnows As Live Bait For Crappie
What kinds of live fishing bait do crappie feed best on? Well, getting straight to the point, one of the favorites and widely used by crappie anglers are minnows. Yes, a prime meal for crappie is a minnow and they find them too difficult to pass on. Small minnows ranging from 1 to 2 inches are the best to use during the cooler months, while the larger sized minnows could be used during the warmer months of spring and summer.
Using Worms As Live Bait For Crappie
Another favorite and absolutely amazing fishing bait for crappie, is the good old humble worm. Small blood worms, earthworms, meal worms, night crawlers and red wigglers are all excellent live fishing baits for catching crappie. If necessary, when the crappie are short biting, pinch off a portion of the excess worm from the bottom of the hook. A good alternative to that is to use the best fishing hooks for live worms, such as the New Easy Bait Hooks by Off The Hook and also know as “The Fish Hook With A Twist.” Simply put, as you learn more about fishing with live worms, you will notice that worms are the best fishing bait for catching any and all species of fish. Live fishing worms are a number one source of food for fish!