Crappie is one of the most demanding game fish that offers year-round fishing opportunities and huge profits. Catching crappie is not an easy deal. Every angler should have sufficient knowledge on the nature and habit of a particular fish and plan a strategy in order to save energy and time. This article is going to provide you the basic details about crappies along with necessary tips and techniques so that you can catch them efficiently within your least effort.
Facts About Crappies:
Crappies are native to North America. The scientific name of crappie is Pomoxis annularis (white) and Pomoxis nigromaculatus (black). They are mostly known to the anglers by their nicknames like papermouth, speck, speckled perch, Moonfish, Barfish etc. Crappies always stick together and travel in schools. Their average lifespan is 12 years. They grow up to 20 inches in length and weighs up to 5 pounds. Crappies tend to hover around underwater structures and 10-15 feet deep in the water.
Best Time to Catch Crappie:
Although crappie is a fish for all seasons, spring is the best time for crappie fishing because this is their spawning period. The second best season is the fall. In both these seasons crappies can be found most at the shallower depths of water bodies. Low temperature during the fall increases the appetite of crappies that results in better biting and catching. The 3rd best time for crappie fishing is the summer. Because of the heat, they stay in slightly deeper waters. Lastly, in the winter it is very difficult to find crappies since they tend to stay as deep as possible. One great way to attract the crappies is using underwater night fishing light. This light is best for use in low light or deep water.
Best Lures & Baits for Crappies:
Both lures and artificial baits are equally effective in catching crappie. If you want to use jigs, our recommended model is Eagle Claw Crappie Jig. For jig heads, you should check out the Southern Pro Crappie Tube Kit. A 1/16-ounce jig head and a tube is perfect for a slow retrieve. A thin curly tail bait are better for a quicker retrieve. Minnow Bait and Spinnerbait are irresistible to crappies. If your live baits are not working, you can use PowerBait Crappie Nibbles that dissolves slowly in water, dispersing a scent cloud that attracts crappies and other game fish too.
Crappie Fishing Techniques:
Now we are going to discuss 5 crappie fishing techniques that will help you catch them quickly without causing much trouble.
Vertical jigging can be very effective if you use it cleverly. It is done by hanging your rod over the bank of the lake or side of the boat and keeping the jig hanging below the rod tip. You have to let it sink to the bottom at first. Then slowly reel, bounce the rod tip and drop again. Vertical jigging is all about depth, bounce patterns, and routine. You can add more jigs to the line or use umbrella rigs to get more bites. Always use a loop knot while attaching the jig. It is also recommended to change locations frequently.
Slip Float Fishing:
Slip float fishing is almost similar to bobber fishing. But it gives you more flexibility and control. A slip float will slide down to the jig and allow for easier casting. Whereas bobbers stay fixed to a point of the fishing line, the slip float can slide up the line until it hits the stopper. It means you can adjust the lure depth just by moving the stopper up and down. This technique is best when you are fishing over a few feet deep. Use fish finders to know about the topographical map and depth of water where you are fishing.
Once you are well familiar with the depth of the water where crappies are hiding, it is time to use bobbers. Bobbers are very effective on not only crappies but also much clever game fish. You need to attach a bobber to your fishing line just about 1 feet from the end. You should change this distance based on your previous catch. A bobber can help you a lot casting the bait or lure at a constant depth. This technique is very popular and highly effective if you are on a sit-on-top kayak. Our recommended bobber is Mr Crappie RP4P-3YG Rattlin Pear Floats.
This is a slow strolling method where usually eight rods splayed out at 180 degrees are rigged up with different lures and dropped at various depths. This technique is uniquely followed by crappie anglers only. With the help of rod holders, you need to set up 8 long spinning rods with varieties of lures at different depths. This combination of lures and depths will quickly give you the idea about the location of crappies and their favorite baits. This technique has been named so because the boat looks like a spider when it is completely set up. But remember, check local regulations before using this technique. Because using multiple fishing rods is prohibited in some regions.
Cast & Retrieve:
Casting and retrieving small crankbaits and jigs can be very effective for catching crappies on small water. Because of the insufficiency of food in small water bodies, crappies remain more apt to chase anything that fits in their mouth. All you need to do is cast an effective lure close to any structure. Then slowly let it sink to the bottom. Then reel it softly and wait for the bite. Estimate the depth of water while casting and reeling so that you can cast to the same depth after every catch you make.
We hope that our article on crappie fishing tips can be helpful to both newbie and experienced anglers. You can also buy and go through The Crappie Fishing Handbook if you intend to learn more about crappie fishing. Happy fishing!