Crappie is a type of freshwater fish that is one of the most sought after to catch because of its great taste. Crappies are silver and white in color with black spots. The meat has a very mellow flavor, is firm, and is pure white in color. These fish live in lakes, streams, and ponds. Crappies spend much of the time around submerged objects, such as logs and dense weeds during the day, but these fish will move to open water to feed at dawn and at dusk. They have a very diverse diet that includes insects, crustaceans, small fish, and zooplankton. For this reason, fishers can catch them through many different techniques.
The best bait to use to catch crappie is live minnows. Crappies are very active, and will pass by dead fish, so if your bait is dead, or you use fake minnows, you need to move the lure around to simulate a live fish. Many crappies stay close to the edge of the water, so if you see a bunch of them, catching one with a live minnow is really easy. You have to be careful about how you pull up the line because crappies have unusually delicate mouths that can come apart if you jerk the rod too quickly to the surface, and the hook can easily tear off the mouth.
One of the best things about fishing for crappie is that you can catch them during every season. In fact, many people who ice fish have the most success at getting crappie than other types of fish in the wintertime. Just as it is important to continually move your bait around during other times of the year, you also need to do this when ice fishing. You will need to cast your line deeper down in the water in the winter months than during other times of the year because there is more oxygen lower in the water when it is cold. Some people will purchase an underwater camera to look for crappie, but you can vary the depths of your line from your ice hole until fish start biting, if you don’t want to invest in a camera.
During springtime, you can easily catch fish with a short pole. During the fall and summer, it is more effective to use a longer pole that is 12 to 16 feet in length. If you are in a boat, having a longer pole will enable you to drop your line from further away into a dense area, without disturbing the fish. Depending on the state laws, some fisherman have the most success with running at least four poles of various lengths off of a boat to catch crappie. By varying the lengths, you can keep the lines from getting tangled, and you can slowly move your boat with a trolling motor to try to catch fish.
Professional fishermen are good at tracking channel patterns to catch the most crappie. Many sonar/GPS units have the capability of locating slopes. Crappie fish prefer to spend their time in these gentle slopes in channel bends. If you do not have this technology, an indicator on the water is when you see bugs, leaves, or sticks swirling around in one point on the water.
It is easy to locate crappie if you use the right bait, vary your pole lengths, and study where crappie spend most of their time each season. Fishing for this fresh water fish can be a rewarding experience when you follow the tips and techniques in this article.