There are two species of crappie, called white and black. These species can be often confused, because they are similar, but the black one has the colors silver-green and it is deeper bodied. The white one has the same color that its name states. Water temperature can be a decisive factor when you are fishing for crappie. If you want to learn how to catch crappie you need to follow the tips below.
Did you know that if you see many birds picking up something from the water as food, this can be a good indicator that there are a lot of crappie in the area? But, the birds do not eat the big fish. Instead, they eat the same thing as crappie do, minnows, which are very small fish. Crappie can be one of the tastiest fish, but also one of the most fun to catch. These fish like to swim in warm water.
Below you will find a helpful list of ways to catch crappie. These are all low cost solutions of course. If you want to to increase your chances of catching crappie as well as all other fish in general then you should consider including a fishfinder in your fishing arsenal.
Crappie Fishing Tips – Our Top 4
1) Baits to Use
Crappies eat all sorts of things, like minnows, worms, insects and small crayfish. Anglers must have confidence in their baits and the easiest part is when the fish keeps biting the same type of bait. At the moment it stops biting, you should change your presentation. You could try a speed up, a slowdown, a twitch, etc.
Did you know that crappies have color preferences? It can be amazing how things can start working immediately after you change your jig’s color. If you wonder what color to choose for the jig when fishing, there is no preferred color for crappies, but you have to experiment to see which one works for a specific area.
2) Aim for the Structure Edge
Crappies can swim in large schools. The first thing you can do is to find a crappies structure and drop the line on one of its edges, after you bait up. If you are on a boat, you must anchor after you locate the structure. When you drop your bait, it must fall freely to the bottom. The interior of the structure should be avoided. If you do not fish for the edges and you choose the interior, your attempts may not be successful. Even if you catch something, you may not be productive.
3) How to Proceed
If no fish is biting, let the bait go up one foot, then another foot, until you have hits. Once fish start to bite, you must take notes about the depth at which this happens. You can do this by observing and keeping it in mind, or by writing it down. You can consider that the whole structure is at that level and go for its edges.
Some people may have never tried this, but there is a great method of attracting the fish in a feeding frenzy. You can take a dead animal that you may find on the road and hang it above the water surface in the preferred way. The area where you hang the animal must be one in which you have already caught crappie before.
Once the decaying process begins, the maggots will start to fall in the water and the fish will want to eat them. The spot can provide fish for more than a month. However, there are areas in which this trick is illegal and you must research to see if you can do it in your area.
4) Tactics for Finding Crappie
Crappie are active fish the whole year. But they are most easily caught in spring and fall. The main cause is the warm temperature of water, which stimulates crappie to feed more than usual. Feeding can even become aggressive and you can have the surprise of finding the fish in shallow waters, in great numbers.
If you can make the difference between males and females and see a group of males in shallow water, you may find larger females feeding in the vicinity. The reason is that females go to lay their eggs in deeper waters, while males swim in shallow water in the meantime.
When the water cools a little in fall, the groups of fish begin to feed aggressively, because they have to become fatter for the winter season. During this fall feeding frenzy, you can catch crappie that are larger than usual. Because crappie enjoy structures very much, you will find them mostly in areas with stumps, rock piles, shallow coves, fallen trees, points and underwater brush.
We hope these tips are useful in your quest for fishing for crappie. If you would like further information on finding fish to catch while out on boats, you may be interested in reading about and comparing various fish finders which we cover extensively here.
Alternatively feel free to email us if you have any further tips you believe we should include on this list for catching crappie.