Many crappie will be shallow and use structure like docks, bridge pilings, and timber to ambush food and beat the heat. In order to catch crappie, you need to first locate crappie depending on their seasonal behavior and environmental cues, then you need to know which approach is best suited for that situation, and lastly, you need to properly match the bait type and bait size to catch big crappie. Even the juiciest weed patch near the sharpest dropoff may not be attractive to crappie. (Moon Phases, Seasons, Baits), link to Ice Fishing Holes: Diameter, Distance, Patterns, Target Fish. Bluegills and crappie occur naturally in many of the same waters so you can bet crappie are making meals of tiny bluegills, especially in the summer. As the spawn kicks in, crappie move onto shallow harder bottom areas like gravel and sand. In lakes that don’t freeze over, large marinas can be good spots to locate winter crappie. Small Bluegills: Baby bluegills under 2 inches long can be good crappie bait. This will do minimal damage to the minnow and allow it to remain lively. These five techniques are the very best we’ve ever tried for limit catches. Use small minnows, smaller lures, smaller hooks, and lighter fishing line. A slip bobber is a great tool for catching crappie from shore as they will allow you fish vertically but cast the bait far from shore for scenarios where crappie are suspended more than a few feet from shore. Pink is very visible in all clarity levels of water. By using 2 colors, you are increasing the likelihood crappie will be able to see at least one of the colors. Use a single small split shot to keep the minnow from swimming to the surface where crappie are not. Just a little of the "right" knowledge about crappie fishing will do more for you to catch crappie than all that gear put together. You may find they ignore pink but eat white. Be prepared to drill plenty of holes and bounce around often chasing the bites. You want more. Pink/white, red/yellow, and black/pink are my favorites. After the Storm. Large crappie like to rest far back under the protection of docks. Crappie will utilize shallow-water docks in as shallow of water as 3 feet and deeper marina docks that could dropoff to 25 feet. 3. Consistently taking that many crappies in a day calls for skill and perseverance. This is where crappie will stack at in highest concentrations. White is a great neutral color than stands out very well in dark, muddy, and even clear water. These apply to ice-covered lakes and warmer lakes. This is probably the best crappie color. Works really well when paired on a 2-tone lure with green, black, or red. The lights will draw in plankton and tiny fish first, then crappie later on. Jigging lures vertically has proven very effective for crappie. Minnows and shad are my favorite patterns. You’ll find that crappie respond best to these when jigged a foot off the bottom in winter. Crappie fishermen swear by this method and it is effective and simple. Winter Crappie Fishing On Sunny Days Weather is a major factor when determining how to fish wood cover for crappie on the clear water highland reservoirs. If possible, stand on the logs and work your bait vertically among the branches. #2 Yellow/Chartreuse: Yellow is very visible in most water types. When a summer storm ends, look for crappie in the thickest available cover — buckbrush, willow thickets, etc. Don’t use braid as the ice will cut your line at the slightest abrasion. They will also bite aggressively at night when the moon is full. Crappie spent all winter consuming mostly plankton and an occasional fish. Try using brightly colored jigs and lures, depending on the visibility level in the water (e.g. I am an avid angler and outdoorsman. You may find crappie only want to eat the minnow or only want to eat the lure. During the fall turnover when the water in lakes essentially flips from cool water on the bottom in summer to cool water on top in winter, crappie can become very hard to find. If you rub a little Slab Sauce or similar crappie attractant on the lure, the lure will trigger a crappie’s sense of sight and smell. If you don’t know where weeds are, fish basins. You will catch a lot more bluegills, bullheads, and trout than crappie on worms. Catch More Crappie And Use A Kayak Catch More Crappie And Use A Kayak. To better locate good weeds that will hold crappie, remember crappie also love deeper water. Note: Some crappie anglers find success with small spoons dressed with feathers and small crankbaits. I can remember some really cold winters where we’d get some ice on the lake (which is rare for the South). Let go crappie larger than 12-inches as these fish are the best breeders and can produce a lot more offspring than smaller crappie. Works great over weeds, under docks, and alongside sunken timber. Use a long-shank size 6 j-hook as this will allow the minnow to remain alive much longer, prevent the barb from re-piercing the minnow, and make hook removal a lot easier. I would personally check out weeds first as this is where you are most likely going to find them the easiest and where they’ll be the tightest stacked. Go right down to 1 or 2-pound test. When ice fishing for crappie, locating them is the toughest part. 1-2 inch minnows work best. Sent from my iPhone using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app. You need to learn how to catch crappie in order to land as many as you truly can. Even if you do catch a couple, they can be so scattered you may need to move repeatedly to keep finding new crappie to hit. Don’t Fall in Love with One Weed Patch. We have been compiling techniques from people who fish for crappie often. Crappie like gradual movements. The crappie you’re most likely to catch weigh in at around half a pound. You can use the 2-inch variety but I think you’ll catch a lot more crappie the 1-inchers. Black can work too. Most crappie anglers regard springtime as the most productivetime of year to catch crappie, but Davis admits that he prefers the wintermonths for sheer productivity. (As always, check your local regulations for crappie limits where you fish.) Use your sonar to locate large bait balls. How to Catch More Crappie - by Brad Wiegmann. You may be able to spot them on the surface or with sonar. These things are awesome in the summer and early fall. This subtle action is ideal for crappie in all seasons. Fishing with bobbers can also help you catch more crappie. If you can get away with it, use 2-lb. Slowly fish minnows, jigs, and spoons between and under docks. But if you fish with only one of them, you will catch less crappie. During the fall, look for shad in shallow bays. Freely bounce around from weed pocket to weed pocket until you find the crappie. Yellows, pinks, reds, and whites are my favorites. A method I really like using is to drop my jig right down to the bottom and set it a foot up. It could be crappie wise up and notice all their buddies were getting caught on pink so they should not bite pink. This is very important. Also, make sure to fish very slowly. My favorite live bait to use for crappie are fathead minnows but small shad work really well too, particularly in the fall. These weeds will hold baitfish and oftentimes, a lot of crappie. These areas can attract crappie. I prefer two-toned colors with dark and light contrast. Great color for year-round crappies. Marinas are great locations to fish for crappie in lakes that don’t freeze over. These locations draw in baitfish that the crappie eagerly devour. Look into back bays and near creek inlets. You will probably dig 15+ holes just to locate your first crappie and many more by the end of the day. Fish these spots especially if the point is adjacent to deeper water. You can’t eat that much fish and you could hurt your lake’s population if you and a few other guys are removing hundreds of crappie per day. Crappie will be at one or all of these features. Fish weeds first before any other crappie-attracting feature. This usually occurs in deeper water and large basins are a great place to search for crappie. Look for sandy or gravel bottoms which is where they build their spawning beds. During the summer, fish the docks. These are the key crappie features you should focus on what fishing for crappie in winter. Fish these spots especially if the point is adjacent to deeper water. Throw a white or yellow in there and see if you can trick them. I like pairing with white and yellow. Stub fields can also be a big-time crappie sanctuary during the winter especially if the stumps are near current or deeper water drop-offs. The angle of the slope and the muddy bottom absorb more sunlight and warm up the water. Look for features that break up the pond and draw in fish. The above six highlighted lures should be your go-to for crappie. Crappie are one of the most sought-after sportfish in North America. May 26, 2015 May 26, 2016. Just be careful. These can catch crappie but only under specific conditions and only if they are fished very slow. Run the hook through the upper lip and out one of the nostrils. They often group up, they don't move much and they are somewhat predictable. These shallow lakes will have plenty of weed growth. I have found that crappie higher up in the water column are less aggressive than the ones down deeper. Fish here first. Use a single small split shot to keep the minnow from swimming to the surface where crappie are not. For you to catch more and larger crappie, you need to learn the ins and outs of crappie fishing. I think tube jigs and shad swimbaits will work best. I really like dark jigheads with yellow, light green, white, or pink dressing. I have never tried this myself but I’ve watched a lot of online videos where crappie fishermen using special LED lamps just beneath the ice to draw in crappie. Fish these very slow around docks, bridge pillars, and along the bank pre-spawn. #4 Red: Red is a very good crappie color. I don’t rotate shifts overnight like I was required to do in the last. The reason many anglers don’t catch summer crappie is that they are fishing in the wrong spot or they are fishing midday. Fire tiger, yellow perch, and minnow are great jigging rap patterns for crappie. Plus, a good trap once set up can be left in place so you can do other things before coming back and pulling in the crappie. 6. These areas can attract crappie. #5 Green: Green is a good color for clearer water. Rig 1 or 2 wax worms on a small 1/32oz tungsten or lead bald jighead. These areas are usually huge and finding them can seem daunting. Black can work too. Crappie will scatter and even if you locate a few, you will need to move to catch more. Look in back bays and near the mouths of creeks. Deep basins are key crappie locations in winter. This is simply a tough time to catch crappie. Although minnows still catch great numbers of crappie, the panfish are also susceptible to biting an array of artificial lures ranging from soft plastics to … This will do minimal damage to the minnow and allow it to remain lively. Get well soon Hanr3, You will be ready to roll come boat show time. Fishing slow is the name of the game for crappie year-round. These seem to catch the most crappie by far. His understanding of how to catch crappie is based on years spent on the water. The winter transition usually occurs mid-November in the north until early December in the south. Many anglers get lucky and catch crappie by accident. Docks, Bridge Pillars, Weeds, and Timber. Great color for year-round crappies. In these northern bays with muddy bottoms, find patches of weeds. Use a 1/32-ounce or 1/16-ounce jig and a 1 to 2-inch grub. B… It can be done but don’t expect great fishing. All who enjoy crappie fishing want an answer to that. This is usually going to be mucky-bottom bays typically in the northern end of the lake. Crappie really seem to like pink, especially light pink. The key to successful dock fishing is to drop minnows and jigs straight down vertically if you are standing on them. This is not true. Lastly, I have provided 40+ proven effective tips to catch crappie in all seasons and conditions. Go with a lighter fishing line, smaller fishing hooks, smaller lures, and smaller baits. Examples include steeper sides of a deeper hole and a point. Thanks! Every river will have fall trees hanging into the water. They help the other draw in fish. Cast your baits as far back there as you can get it. One of the most commonly used crappie methods is using a bobber rig. These little baits can work well mashed onto a small bait hook but I think you’d be much better off smearing them along the sides of other lures as an additional crappie attractant. Shad: If minnows are my #1, shad are my 1A. Anyone can catch a few crappie out fishing, but to successfully put a limit in the livewell it takes more than luck. If It’s a calm day with little wind chop on the water, you can cast your lure really hard and skip it like you would a stone on the surface of the water for extra distance. You can select grubs with flat “beaver” tails, twisty tails, or straight tails. Crappie follow the shad in the fall. Help When ice fishing for crappie, locating them is the toughest part. Live shad and shad-pattern lures will be your ticket. Farm Ponds/Potholes: When fishing in smaller bodies of water, the topography is key. There are a variety of really good swimbaits on the market for crappie. During the fall, downsize your entire setup. Easy for crappie to detect, I like finding lures that are contrasted 2-tone with a red, a black, or a blue. Crappie fishing in the winter can be very productive and its one of my favorite times to chase crappie. Crappie love stacking off points where they can feed in shallow water and back off into deeper water to suspend. It is a good idea when fishing docks to cast your baits as far under the docks as you can get them. Crappie really seem to like pink, especially light pink. A proper crappie trap can catch more crappie in far less time and work compared to traditional fishing methods. if the water is clear, is the sun out, etc.). In cold water, crappie will seek out of the warmest water to be found. When fishing for crappie from the bank, look for structure near shore. During the winter, look for deeper pockets of water. These can work vertically jigged year-round around cover and structure, but they really shine in winter ice fishing. They have a great scent to draw in crappie and a taste to make them hold on to your lure just a little longer. Most ice fishermen don't put a ton of thought towards the diameter of their holes, how much distance is between each, their pattern, or what depth of water they position over. Look for the steepest side of the deep basin (where the contour lines are tightest). You also need to fish low-light situations around sunrise and sunset. Instead of putting food in their house or in their kitchen, you need to put the food right on their dinner plate. In deep lakes, crappie will move down into the deeper basins. I have caught more crappie on minnows than any other bait. A bobber and jig combination can be used throughout the year to catch crappie. Not all trees will hold crappie, so search until you find one with fish.
2020 how to catch more crappie