I realize that the title of this post may be a little misleading, but honestly these fishing tips are are not that “Crappie”. After sunfish Crappie would probably be the second best fish for beginners to start fishing for. They grow a little larger and offer a little more substantial fight than the average Bluegill. Definitely a good choice for a beginner angler. Crappie can be found in many of the same locations while Bluegill Fishing or Bass fishing so you may even catch one while on the pursuit of another species.
Crappie Fishing Facts
Crappie are members of the sunfish family but can grow slightly larger than the average Bluegill. In general they do not grow much larger than 16 inches long and no larger than 5lbs. As Juveniles they feed on insects or other smaller invertebrates, but as they grow they begin to feed on Juvenile bass, sunfish, trout or anything they can fit into their smaller sized mouths. They have a life span of around 8 years and spawn from April to June.
They are a light yellow to a lime green color with bands or random back spots throughout their body. They also have a rather large tail which is good for short bursts of speed when needed. Use smaller hooks while pursuing Crappie as they do not have that large of a mouth.
Some consider Crappie to be one of the best tasting freshwater fishes. Unfortunately their untastefull name must persuide anglers from deciding to bring them to the dinner table.
They are known to head towards deeper water during the warmer months and can be found from depth of 6 to 15 feet of water. Many anglers hug the shore line while fishing for Crappie.
How to Catch Crappie
Below are a variety of Crappie fishing tips that can be used at various times of the season and in a variety of weather conditions.
Many anglers feel as if Crappie are most active during the night hours and will not head out until dusk to fish for them. I myself have caught them at various times and on various weather conditions. They do seem to be more active on overcast days however.
One popular technique used to catch Crappie is a technique called Spider Rigging while trolling. This involves setting up numerous fishing rods around a boat and then trolling at a slow pace. Tackle call planers are used to keep the lines from crossing. Spinners or small lead headed jigs can be used as bait while spider rigging.
I have had much success using dry or wet flies in shallower waters catching smaller Crappie. Purple’s and Yellows seem to be effective colors to use, but it really varies on the day.
While trolling I often get the most strikes when I am between speeds 3 and 5 of my minn kota trolling motor. The top speed seems to be to fast and anything slower than speed 3 I start getting snagged on the bottom. Speed 4 on the minn kota Motor is generally my sweet spot when fishing for Crappie.
Some anglers will use artificial lights at night to lure in Crappie or use a glow in the dark type of fishing line to attract Crappie to their bait or lure. I have never tried either of these techniques but they might be worth giving it a try.
I would recommend not to use anything larger than 10lb test as Crappie have fairy good vision and could probably spot and be spooked by a larger weighted line. I also would experiment with a variety of color jigs to see what they are most actively striking for a particular day.
Having a good depth finder is also a good tip while crappie fishing as they are know to hide out in underwater brush that may only be detected by a good fish finder.
Using chum where permited from ground up Bluegill or other similar species of fish will do wonders to attract a large school of Crappie near your boat or current fishing location.
What is the Best Bait for Crappie Fishing
In general I use smaller tackle while on the pursuit of a large crappie. Small spinners or crank-bait can be used. Probably the most used while fishing for crappie is the “Crappie Jig” which is a jig with a small weighted head followed by either a piece of rubber or strait hair. Small plastic worms are also effective. Real worms or grubs can also be an effective bait to use. There are a variety of Crappie fishing tips I can offer you, but having the right bait is always a necessity.
Where to Catch Crappie
Crappie can be found anywhere in the United States and behind Bluegill are one of the most common freshwater fish species.
On any lake they can found in 5 to 20 feet of water generally dictated by the current water temperature. In warmer months they can be found in the deeper areas of the lake or pond. Like Bass, Bluegill and Pike they can be found in the weedier areas of the lake. Look for Lilly-pads, overhanging brush or trees, milfoil or anything else that can provide some shelter.