Crappie Fishing Tips
Crappies are “panfish”, but are not true sunfish. There are a lot of characteristics that are similar to those of bluegills, redears, stump knockers, pumpkinseeds, etc. However, crappies have unique habits and characteristics that make them worthy of separate treatment. Like sunfish, crappies are ideal quarry for tubers and tooners. They inhabit waters that are floater friendly and they stay close to shore and structure for much of the year. However, they ain’t always easy to find or catch. That’s where they differ from most members of the sunfish clan. Like bass and trout, crappies are the subjects of many books and articles. They have a big fan club. Without getting into a treatise on crappie catching let’s just say that if you learn enough to fish for them from a boat or from the bank you can catch more and have more fun chasing them from a tube or toon.
There is one method of fishing for crappies that is especially well suited for floatation. That is what I call “dip-sticking”. It consists of first rigging up a long, light rod with light line and your choice of lures or bait. You take advantage of the stealth mode of floatation fishing to get up close and personal to the stickups or brush that crappies favor…especially during the spring fling. Then you use this long rod to reach out from your craft to make quiet drops straight down into the crappie zone. The shallow brushy spots, in which crappies convene during the spring spawn, are sometimes not fishable either from a boat or from shore…even by wading. Those are places you will really appreciate being able to work your tube or toon right in amongst the fish without spooking ‘em. You can sometimes catch fish after fish from the same small area until you have a limit or are too tired to keep lifting them aboard on that long rod. Of course you might have to put up with jealous glares from less successful boaters and bank tanglers who cannot join you. Deal with it.
Many anglers appreciate crappie fishing and especially due to the high population of this fish species in many lakes all over the country. It is however important to be armed with the right information if you are to get the best catch during your fishing experience. Catching crappie requires different techniques and especially depending with the season. Crappie can be found in shallow waters during the early spring weeks and deep waters during mid-June/July. Catching the fish therefore requires different tactics depending with the time of the year when you go fishing.
Live bait is ideal for catching crappie during full moon and this is because the lazy fish can easily be lured. However, it is advisable to use slow trolling during this season. On the other hand, the fish species is known to be highly productive during the period prior to the full moon and this allows you to use leaping fast troll. This helps capture the attention of the fast moving fish thus making it easy for them to fall for the hook.
Crappie can best be caught using different types of baits such as spinners and other plastic baits although worms will also do just fine. However, the secret is in using different colors based on the prevailing fishing conditions so as to increase your catch. For example, natural colored baits will work perfectly well when fishing in clear waters while brightest colors will work well under bright sunlight.
Chumming is also a great way to increase your crappie catch as it brings them to the surface thus making it easy for them to take the hook. You should however avoid chumming if it is illegal in your specific fishing area. When using a hook, you should avoid using to heavy line and a rod as this could easily tear crappie’s thin mouth leading to a failed strike. You should also use small hooks and lures as this fish species has a small mouth and therefore cannot strike big lures and hooks.