10 Tips for Crappie Fishing

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Crappies are a popular panfish for many reasons. Crappie are well scattered across the country, crappie are fun to catch, and crappie are delicious. Here are ten tips to help you catch more crappie.

The most important crappie fishing tip is that crappie are a school fish. Crappies rove in schools so you can’t count on them being in one location long. If you catch one, get the lure back into the water at or near the same location as the catch quickly. If possible, cast over the school and retrieve into the area where you expect the fish.

Crappie anglers should note where you have caught crappie during previous fishing trips. While the crappie schools will move around they are likely to return to a good area.

Like most other fish, expect crappie to be in shallow water at first light and early evening. Anglers should fish for crappie in deeper water during the heat of the day.

Crappies are prey to many larger fish. While crappie will go into open water they are still most likely to be found near cover.

Crappies have thin and delicate mouths. Anglers need to learn to not set the hook too hard. Also, when reeling in crappie anglers need to keep constant pressure to avoid allowing the crappie to throw the hook.

When fishing unfamiliar crappie water with minnows, anglers need to have a variety of minnow sizes. Some days small minnows work best, some days larger minnows work best. Nightcrawlers and other worms and grubs make great bait as well.

A small, not tiny, jig is one of the best lures for crappie. Curly tails are my favorite, but jigs can be dressed a number of ways for crappie success. Crankbaits and a number of other lures work great for crappies as well.

When fishing for crappies with lures fish them slowly to start. If you aren’t getting any bites then go fast and try other retrieves.

It is best to stay as far away as possible to avoid spooking the fish, dipping a jig into small openings that are likely to hold crappies can produce fast action. While special rods are available for this a fly fishing rod works well.