Crappie


Crappie are a favorite for most anglers because they are easy to catch and they
taste great. There are 2 types of crappies: black and white. Black and white
crappie share most of the same waters, however, black crappie are most
abundant in northern lakes that are cool with a gravel or sand bottom. White
crappie are most common in reservoirs, lakes, and rivers. They tolerate darker
water than black crappie and they thrive in southern lakes with soft or hard
bottoms. Both species live in rivers and streams, however, black crappie prefer
calmer water and they also tolerate a higher salt content, which is why they are
common in estuaries. Crappies feed heavily in the morning, evening and
throughout the night. Most crappie fishermen target these fish during their
spawn because they are easy to find and catch. During the summer, crappie will move out to deeper
water and they will be much harder to find and catch.

Most crappies are caught in the 6 to 9 inch range, however, much bigger crappie are caught every year.
In some southern lakes such as Kentucky Lake, crappie in the 10 to 12 inch range are common with
many 14 to 15 inch fish caught and some as big as 18 inches

Build Your Own Crappie Hot Spots

Fish attractors can help any angler build productive honey holes for crappie. By creating habitat where the crappie can hold, you can have crappie available and easily accessible year-round. Tree tops, stake beds and discarded Christmas trees all make productive fish attractors, especially in older lakes and reservoirs, where the original cover may have decomposed. Fish attractors actually may help improve the lake’s overall crappie fishing. The more cover you sink for crappie, the more crappie the cover will attract. Sink cover at different depths, and record these spots on your GPS. Try each of these spots at different times of year and under various water and weather conditions. You also can sink cover at different depths in the same general region to give the crappie in that area cover at their preferred depth on any specific day. Eventually, you will learn which of your spots the crappie prefer when. Then you can spend less time looking for crappie and more time catching them

Crappie Tips

In the spring you will want to target shallow areas that the crappies will move into to spawn. Boat
docks and marinas are often prime spring time crappie haunts. You will also want to target last
years weeds sticking out of the water as well as flooded brush, timber, stumps etc.

You can also fish for crappies at night using a light to attract bugs, which attract smaller minnows,
which will bring in the crappies. In summer they can suspend far off the bottom. A good method of
searching out these fish is to drift fish minnows under slip bobbers.

Jigs and minnows are good crappie producers, as are small crankbaits, like the mini fat rap by
Rapala. Inline spinners like the Aglia from Mepps will also take their fair share of crappies. When
they are actively feeding, a small tube jig and a 1 1/2 to 2 inch tube jig is all you will need to fill your
live well.

Through the ice, beemoth and crappie minnows dangled under a bobber work extremely well.

How To Catch More Crappies Than You Want

Crappies are ‘ little hellions ‘, they are full of energy and despite their small size they can make a normal fishing rod bend to the breaking point and cause a reels drag to become active, the energy and taste are two reasons why crappies are such a great fish to catch.

Crappies come in two types or varieties, there are black crappies and white crappies. Crappies live throughout the U.S in many ponds, lakes and streams, I guess if other panfish or even bass can thrive in the water, then crappie can also. Crappie look similar in size and shape to other panfish, except they are a lot more silver colored, with black spots, and they have upturned noses. They are actually a very nice looking fish, and the silver or shiny color shimmers in the sunlight.

Crappies can be caught year around. In the spring and fall months they move near the shore areas, and in the summer they move out in more deeper and cooler water. They are probably the most active in the early spring months when they move towards the shores to spawn, they become very aggressive and tend to bite and attack anything that is cast or moves near them or the nest, making it pretty easy to get a stringer full of crappies in a short time in the spring season. The nests look like hollowed out depressions or dishes in the mud or gravel on the bottoms of the ponds and lakes. If you walk slowly around the edges of the water, you can see these nests and often see the crappie in and near them. Once you spot one of the nests, casting your bait near it will usually produce a quick strike.

In the summer or warmer months, they often hang around stumps, trees, and other debris areas and underwater structures for shading and protection. Casting near these areas in the summer and warmer months will often be very productive for catching a mess of crappie. In the fall time of the year, they move towards the shores and become more aggressive again in their feeding and biting. This aggressive feeding and biting continues throughout the cold winter months, which makes crappie a great fish to catch while ice fishing in the winter.

The best time to catch crappies is during the daylight hours, with early morning after sunrise and in the late afternoon towards early evening hours being the best times. Crappies love minnows with a passion, and when it comes to live baits there is no better choice than a small minnow. If you don’t have or cannot get live minnows, then use jigs or any such lure that looks as realistic as possible to a live minnow. But when you use an artificial minnow make sure you keep the lure pretty active, so it simulates a live minnow as much as possible, if the fake minnow just sits still, crappie have been known to look and then just pass by, they seem to prefer live minnows and bait instead of dead ones. Crappies have a abnormally soft mouth, so be aware that if you jerk your rod too hard, to set the hook, you can rip it right out of the crappies mouth, resulting in losing the fish.

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