Most anglers have caught crappies in shallow water in the springtime. Crappie fishing in the spring while they are spawning in the warm and shallow water is easy. Crappie fishing techniques change a bit as they move out after the spawn. Catching crappies consistently all season long is what separates the men from the boys. These panfish are not only enjoyable to catch, but they taste great as well.
The best piece of advice that I can give you is to search for structure. My favorite type of crappie structure is wood. Anytime that wood gets into the water it will attract crappies whether it is in 4 feet of water or 34 feet. I should be careful here because a single stick is not going to attract fish, what is needed is a tangled mess of wood. Crappies need something that they can hide in. Actually it is a predator/prey relationship. The smaller minnows come to the wood to prey on the aquatic insect that are preying on the aquatic vegetation that attaches to the wood. Whew, now that I have said that, back to crappies. The crappies, in turn, will prey on the smaller minnows!
Crappies will move into the shallow water once the water temperature hits 65 degrees. For a couple of weeks you will have the best crappie fishing of the year. This is when it is not unusual to catch 100 or more crappies in a single day.
Crappie fishing techniques are simple. Most people use either a spring or a slip bobber, a sinker and a small hook. The best crappie fishing bait by far is a small minnow. Bait stores refer to them as crappie minnows. Most crappie anglers use either a crappie minnow or a crappie fishing jig
In the springtime, I do not think that minnows are necessary. Jigs are far more practical because they won't slow you down. My favorite crappie fishing jig is the Mini Mite made by Cubby Lures. These small jigs just plain catch fish. They are very simple. They have a 1/64th ounce jig with a small soft plastic tip on it. Using a Mini Mite is as easy as tying one on under a bobber and throwing it out. You do not need to work these lures. Crappies will bite on them just fine while they are sitting underneath a bobber. This is what separates the Cubby Mini Mite from other jigs. They come in a variety of colors. My personal favorites are the pink, orange or purple.
Crappies will abandon the shallow water once the spawn is over. Then it is time to look for them in the deeper water structure. The best thing to do is to go to your local bait shop and ask if there is a lake map that shows underwater structure. Then you will have to get out on the lake and triangulate the structure. Once you have located it with your fish finder you should sit over it and study it. Look for fish over and around it. This will show you where to set your bobbers. If you observe fish over the structure you know that they are in an aggressive, feeding mood. Then it is time to get your baits out as quickly as possible because they will not be in that mood for long. Set your bobbers so your baits are sitting right over the structure. If you don't see any fish over the structure you can still set your bobbers so they will be inside the structure. You might catch fish doing this, but you also run the risk of snagging on a branch.
Of course, now that you are fishing in deeper water you will have to use slip bobbers. Slip bobbers look like this.Credit: pixabay.com
These bobbers are hollow tubes that allow the line to slip through them. They have a bobber stop that can be reeled up onto the reel. The stop can be slid up and down the line making it easy to set at any desired depth. This makes it possible to set your bait to hang deeper in the water than ever before.
As the summer wears on the crappies will move deeper and deeper. You just have to find deeper structure. Once fall cools the water down the crappies will move shallower again, but they will not stay there for long because they move deep again once the water cools below 50 degrees.
Crappie fishing is a fun and enjoyable activity. They are easy to catch in the springtime, but the trick is to attempt to stay on them all year-long!
Crappie fishing is a great way to spend the day.
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