How to Catch Crappie – Ultimate Guide

If you are lucky enough to live near North America, you will undoubtedly be happy to hear that crappie can be caught all year round, which provides every angler with unlimited opportunities to catch this beautiful fish. This fish can be found in freshwater bodies, including ponds, lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Since these fish like to gather in schools, if you catch one, you may be lucky to continue to catch more nearby. Crappie is one of the most exciting fish because they always play well. Read on for the rest of our crappie fishing tips and tricks.

From the beginning, our goal was to make this article the source of all the content of crappie fishing, covering the most useful tips and tricks. If you can share with your fishing friends and enthusiasts, we will be very happy. We will be full of enthusiasm every time we read our content.

Crappie Fishing Tips: Black or White

Crappie can be found in the United States, but this fish is particularly suitable for North America because of the large population of these places. Fish of this “panfish” species have different names, such as:

  • Barfish
  • Bachelor Perch
  • Papermouth
  • Moonfish
  • Dirty Sunfish
  • Sacalait
  • Calico Bass

This species can be divided into two species, white crappie, and black crappie. It is not uncommon to find these two types in the same waters, and they can even be found together in schools. The methods used to capture these two species are largely the same. The same technique, bait, and bait can be used. Both types grow to approximately the same size and have the same shape. The main difference lies in the markings and colors on their bodies.

The white crappie is almost always silver, with faint markings on both sides, which looks like a strip; this fish also has a dorsal fin composed of 6 spines.

The black crappie is also mainly silver with a hint of gold. They have mottled black markings all over their body. Unlike the white variety, they have 7 to 8 back spines.

Crabs considered particularly large are 20 inches long and can weigh more than 6 pounds. However, you should expect the average fish caught to weigh about half a pound and be up to 12 inches long. Any fish over a pound is very rare.

Adult crappie likes to eat live bait, such as worms, insects, or small fish.

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How to Catch Crappie

To be honest, if you manage to find crappie, it won’t be easy to catch them. Changes in temperature and seasons cause crappie to change habits, choose to move positions and depths, and always seek to better adapt to the weather or breeding habits.

Crappie has an affinity for underwater structures, namely sunken trees, weeds, rock piles or any similar objects that can provide shelter. They are usually located near these structures. These shelters provide clear benefits for fish, providing a considerable degree of protection from predators. These places also provide shelter from predators for the small fish they like to eat.

At any other time, except during spawning season, you may find crappie looking deeper in the water body, which is a real challenge for finding them. Generally speaking, crappie prefers waters 10 to 15 feet deep. In deeper waters, fish have a greater advantage in maintaining a constant temperature, but they have disadvantages in creating a less variable environment for the fish.

Although crappie does look for deep water, it is difficult to find them at the bottom, which poses challenges for positioning. Fish prefer different depths suspended in the water column. To successfully find a school, the strategy you use and your personal experience will play a decisive role, but using a fish finder can greatly increase your chances.

how to catch crappie

What Is the Best Fishing Rod for Catch a Crappie?

No matter what any salesperson might tell you, you don’t need expensive equipment to capture crappie. Almost any rod can do the job. Try not to use very heavy rods and stick to light ones, such as those made of carbon fiber. We have prepared some suggestions based on our experience.

Telescopic pole: If you have experience using traditional poles in the past, but want to use something that uses modern technology, fiberglass poles or graphite telescopic poles may be exactly what you are looking for.

Many experienced crappie anglers like to use long fishing rods, which can distance the boat from the bait or bait, thereby increasing your chances of catching fish before it scares the entire school. Modern telescopic poles can be used for crappie fishing, for example, Black Widow can be folded into a conveniently small package, which makes storage and transportation easier to manage.

If you prefer to fish from the shore, especially when there is a lot of vegetation on the shore, the telescopic pole that can be used for crappie fishing is very suitable. This advantage of telescopic rods does not mean that they cannot be used for boat fishing; if you plan to use spider rigs, they will be very effective, we will introduce them in detail later. An obvious advantage of the telescopic crappie rod is its cutting-edge sensitivity, allowing the angler to feel even the slightest bite. If you are a beginner with no fishing equipment experience and just want to gain some experience, we recommend the Plusinno fishing rod and reel combination. If you have enough experience to already own a cord reel, then the Shimano FXS rotary cord reel Is an excellent choice for you. The rod is very light, there are many sizes to choose from, you can customize it according to your requirements.

best fishing line for crappie

We have found that of all the rod options available for crappie fishing, the ultra-light spinning rod offers the most flexibility in terms of its configuration and cost performance.

You can find ultra-light crappie rods in various sizes, ranging from 16 feet to less than 5 feet. The fishing rod you ultimately use should be based on the fishing method you intend to use.

If you plan to use a boat for vertical fishing, then the smaller the fishing rod, the better it will meet your needs, allowing you to keep the support within the small circumference of the boat. This method is usually used when you have a fish finder because you can find a school of fish and know what you are fishing.

Medium-sized fishing rods are 6 to 8 feet long and are ideal for throwing and reeling, throwing and recycling, especially when using clamps or bait. The increased length allows anglers to accurately throw the bait at a greater distance by placing the bait exactly where the eye is (for example, projecting on a hanging dock or tree root).

Fishing rods measuring 10 to 16 feet are often ideal for trolling or bait using spider gear. The extra length gained by using a spinning crappie rod helps keep bait and bait away from the boat, and can also help you cover a large area while trolling.

An experienced crappie angler will use a fishing rod with a sensitive tip, which allows him to spot even the strangest crappie bites known to crappie. In addition, the sturdy handle helps the angler to remove the crappie from any corners and crevices.

If you are considering vertical fishing from a boat, a fishing rod with a harder tip may be more useful, allowing you to transfer more movement to your fixture while underwater.

The Best Reel for Catch Crappie

Almost all spinning reels can be perfectly used for crappie fishing. Since we will use a thinner wire, it is recommended to choose a larger diameter reel as this will help prevent wire memory and help you cast further. In order to be prepared for any situation during crappie fishing, it is best to choose the second smallest or smallest reel in any given range.

Lews Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Reel SS1
  • Strong, plated metal frame
  • Anti-reverse lever
  • Dual grip handle
  • Audible bait clicker
  • Spool tension adjustment control
Lews Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Spinning Reel MCS50
  • Graphite body, rotor and spool
  • 2 Bearing construction
  • Thin compact gear box
  • Gear ratio 5.2:1
  • Pre-spooled with premium 6 lb. Mr. Crappie mono

Choosing The Best Fishing Line for Crappie Fishing

Usually, fishing for crappie fish is to use 1 to 6 pounds of fishing line, that is, light fishing line. However, if you are fishing in vegetation-rich waters, it is recommended to choose a thicker fishing line, about 20 pounds, which will help you deal with the fish entrenched in dense vegetation.

Monofilament line is the most common variant for crappie anglers, however, the trend of using braided fishing line is on the rise. Braided wires have some advantages over monofilament wires. They won’t stretch, are affected little by wire memory, and are very thin. The last two characteristics are very helpful when casting spells, allowing you to cast spells farther and more accurately. However, weaving a fishing line requires more flexible hands to use. Since the braided thread has very little stretch, care needs to be taken when setting hooks or hooking on underwater obstacles. The stretching of the monofilament allows the wire to absorb a certain amount of load, while the braided wire has poor resistance to the load and may break if an unexpected load is applied to them. Therefore, braided lines are only recommended for experienced anglers.

What Is the Best Bait or Bait to Catch Crappie?

Whether you use artificial bait or live bait to catch crappie mainly depends on your preferred fishing method, fishing season, and the overall conditions we discussed earlier.

Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages when capturing crappie, and you should not ignore one method over the other.

Compared to buying the best bait available, bait always proves to be a cheaper option, but once the bait is used multiple times, season after season, your economic balance will tend to be in your favor. Of course, it is assumed that you will not lose the bait in the end. Always check the best bait and bait available.

Catch Crappie in Any Season

You can catch crucian carp all year round, but your habits and behavior will change with the seasons. As a smart and savvy angler, you also need to adjust your behavior to get the most out of crappie.

To help you with this process, we provide you with a guide on the seasonal behavior of fish and what you can do to maximize your chances of catching fish.

catch crappie any season

Crappie Catching in Spring

In the spring, the chance of finding crappie is much greater. This is the time of the year when fish spawn. Each spawning stage produces different habits in crappie, which in turn affects the technology we should use.

As the waters begin to warm up after a few months in the winter, crappie will begin to migrate to shallower waters to begin the pre-spawning process. This is when using a vertical jig in shallow water, the ideal location is the opening of the cove and creek. Although crappie looks for shallower water, they naturally choose the deepest part of the shoal, so try to jump from the bottom.

When spawning is in full swing, you will find crappie in very shallow water near the river bank. Try to use a small spinning bait thrown towards or along the riverbank, and slowly retrieve the bait when it passes through the ovarian cavity.

After spawning, the fish will retreat and may be more difficult to catch. This is the ideal time for the fish to rest with you.

Capture Crappie in The Summer

In the hot summer, crappie looks for colder, deeper parts of the water body, and can be found anywhere up to 20 feet deep. Fish also tend to be less dense and prefer to spread out slightly, which also makes them difficult to locate. During this period, the spider drill will shine, making it more efficient to find fish.

Look for fish in and around underwater objects, such as sunken trees or old docks. You may find that artificially constructed lakes, ponds, or reservoirs contain structures specifically designed to attract fish. If you know where these objects are in the water, you can increase your chances of capturing them successfully.

Catching Crappie in The Fall

As the day began to shorten and the night began to extend, the staple food (baitfish) began to enter warmer, shallower waters, and as the bait moved, crappie also moved. As the surrounding water cools, this also increases the fish’s appetite, causing them to eat as much of their food as possible before it becomes harder to find. This is good news for people who want to catch fish.

In most cases, when you are doing crappie fishing, you may find the fish closer to the underwater structure, even if they are in shallower water. Live bait is particularly effective at this time of the year, but you should still use Spinnerbait or any other type of bait to be successful.

Capture Crappie in Winter

When the weather continues to be cold, crappies will migrate to deeper parts of the water body, but warm weather will prompt them to migrate to shallower waters. If you can use a fish finder, winter fishing will become easier, allowing you to concentrate on the deeper parts of the lake. In the colder months, these fish will gather together, so although it is difficult to find them, once you find them, you will see them quite concentrated.

Once you have found a school of fish, you need to pay special attention to the tip of the fishing rod. A bite in the water is easy to miss because the fish may be drowsy, so it is easy to ignore them. Using a sliding float (split float) is a brilliant idea because it allows you to fish consistently at the desired depth and provides a slow-moving bait, perfect for cold fish. Once you catch it, more people are likely to follow.

We hope you find this article on how to catch crappie useful and have a great fishing trip. We recommend our guide on how to catch carp easily.

If you want to be a real expert on how to catch crappie, we recommend this book (Order it here).

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Masters' Secrets of Crappie Fishing (Fishing Library)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Phillips, John E. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages - 11/01/1992 (Publication Date) - Derrydale Press (Publisher)
crappie fishing tips advise