Black vs. White Crappie Habitats
Besides preferring clear water, black crappie hang out in reedy, weedy waters. Blacks want hard bottoms, while white thrive in silted waters with muddy bottoms.
Sluggish During the Summer
From July to September, you can find crappie in water between 3 and 20 feet. Your line needs to hit the shallows: weed beds, stumps, any area where branches and brush collect. They respond to 1.5 to 2.5″ live minnows, jigs, spinners and small crank-baits.
Crappie are still situated between 3 and 20 feet. During October and November, they tend to hide out under man-made structures (docks), weeds and brushwood. Try your hand with feathered jigs, curly tails, live bait and bobber rigs. Toss them near rock piles and submerged wood.
Winter Fishing for Crappie
Crappie are still in the 3 – 20 foot water range during the months of December through February. They may move a bit deeper, so look for them around dropoffs, down deeper in brush piles or under submerged timber. They will respond to the same bait as in the fall: feathered jigs, curly tails, live bait and bobber rigs.
Spring Crappie Fishing
After spring rains or the snow melts, watch for newly submerged land (that is normally dry). During the months of March and April, crappie don’t hang around the deep end. They usually stay in waters from 3 to 15 feet. They spend more time in shallow creeks, weed beds, around stumps and logs. At this time, try a variety of lures: spinners, minnow rigs, jigs and bobber rigs.
Crappie Fishing Tips
Crappie are at most active during the spring months. If you plan to fish in the shallows, your rig can be basic: A bobber is set with 6 to 36″ of line. At the bottom, use a jig, either plain or gussied up with a minnow, etc. For deeper fishing, you will need: a 1/2 oz. sinker, some #6 to #8 Gold Aberdeen hooks and 2 – 4 lb. test line. At 12″ and 24″ above the bell sinker, add dropper lines with gold Aberdeen hooks.
Jigs for Crappie
Jigs are the most popular type of artificial bait used today. Jigs are literally a hook with a weight. They are used “as is” or gussied up with live bait or other artificial additions, such as feathers. Here are some that are particularly good for crappie.
Flipping & Stand-Up Jigs – They are slow to sink and are great for pulling through weed beds.
Arrowhead Jigs – In rocky regions, these are great because they sink quickly.
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com