|Written by unclebiff|
Crappie can be known as one of the most sought after fish by many anglers. They can also be very difficult to locate and to catch. Whether you enjoy the sheer beauty of a crappie gliding through the water, or the massive amount of fight when reeling them in, I will show you how to get the best out of your crappie fishing experience.Â
Â Instructions Â
The weather plays a great deal on movement and attitude of crappie. In late winter, crappie begin moving from the channels and the mid depths towards the more shallow areas to feed. During this time crappie tend to break from the school into smaller groups. Crappie will also hold in deep cover on their journey for short periods of time. Once the crappie reach the sun baked shorelines where the water is a few degrees warmer than the deeper water, they usually stick to about 1 to 2 feet of water that holds ample cover. There they can get an early snack because the warmer water is beginning to produce minnows, plankton, algae etc..
During the spawn is probably the most difficult time to catch crappie. This is due to them going on a feeding frenzy in the late winter when the water started to warm. After that they are ready to find their mate and spawn. Crappie usually start their spawn when the water temperature reaches the high 50's. Crappie typically like to bed and spawn in sandy or muddy bottoms, because they can fan and make a pit to guard their eggs in the softer soils. Crappie are really finicky during this time of the year and depending on the way the wind is blowing or the clarity of the water trying to get one to bite is a challenge.
In the winter I would suggest using light line on a light action spinning rod and reel. Use a 1/16 oz. jig head with a soft tail bait like a Gulp! Zoom or Mini Mite. Use a slow and gentle retrieve because during this time a crappie are not going to chase your bait.
After the spawn and into the summer you can usually find crappie suspended at around 10 ft. staying close to the heavy cover. This is usually the best time to catch them. I suggest using a flip tail bait such as a Mister Twister or a Zoom dressed with a spinner or even tipped with a live minnow. Use a little bit heavier line like a 4-6 lbs. Trilene or Stren. Your retrieve should also move in a bit quicker than in the winter. I've also had a lot of luck trolling an 1/8 oz. jig head tipped with a white pearl flip tail jig dressed with a spinner at about 8 feet and hammer the crappie all day long.