Tips for Catching Black Crappie

fishing boat, fishing rod, fishing-5541327.jpg

Catch More Black Crappie and Bigger Black Crappie

Black crappie and white crappie are both popular game fish in many areas of the country. Living across all of America with the exception of some of the mountain states, either the black crappie or white crappie (and generally both) are available to most anglers. While tactics for catching either black or white crappie are fairly similar, this article will discuss and focus on catching black crappie alone.

Black crappie are often stocked in a variety of waters in many states, but they seem to be most often found in water that is more clear while white crappie seem to prefer or at least survive better in more murky water. Black crappies are found in clear lakes and in clear and gently flowing areas of rivers. Generally black crappie spawn in late March or early April. Adjust your black crappie spawn expectation earlier for the warmer southern areas of the country and later for cooler northern areas of the country. Black crappie often spawn near shorelines with structure and a hard bottom. A gravel bed near a sunken log would probably make an ideal spawning location for black crappie.

After the spawn, look for black crappie in slightly deeper water near structure of some sort. Black crappie are a school fish, so if you catch one hurry and get the lure back into the water in the same spot. Black crappie have large mouths, though they are quite delicate. This delicate mouth earns both white and black crappie the nickname ‘papermouth’. Avoid setting the hook too hard when fishing for black crappie to avoid tearing the mouth and losing the fish. Keep constant, but not heavy pressure, on the fish to keep it from getting loose. Use lures larger than you would for bluegill to avoid catching bluegills when black crappie fishing. Black crappie will strike surprisingly large lures so this isn’t an issue. Small crankbaits and curly tail jigs are my two favorite lures for black crappie. Minnows are probably the most common bait, with nightcrawlers and garden worms working well also.