Top 10 tips to Catch Crappie

1.  Night time crappie fishing
Night time is often the best time to catch crappie in the hotter months, especially in southern states. Hang a lantern or bright electric lamp facing down on the water for amazing results.

2.  Lipless Crankbaits
Try using a lipless crankbait, preferably a chrome colored one.

3.  Super fast way to catch monster crappie
A good way to catch them is to give them lunch meats or bread next to a dock (or at a a similar place) for a long period at a certain time each day. Then, you can go out there and they will be like spoiled kids, always expecting more. Throw a piece of meat in there and wait until it is all gone, then put a small ball of any kind of meat on your hook and throw it in. You can throw the fish back in and probably catch them again. I've caught 46 fish in 15 minutes, and there were only about 20 trying to get the bait. You can also use just about anything. I've caught one with a leaf, and one time I even threw in a very small rock. Two were fighting over it, and one actually ate it. This works perfectly, guaranteed.

4.  Don't waste money
It has been my experience that a crappie (when active) will eat almost anything. One nice spring day, we ran out of minnows at 10 AM, and we thought our day was through. I tied on a white 1/4 ounce jig with a bright pink head and began jigging at a moderate speed. Three hours later we caught and released around 100 crappie. That is ten times the amount of the morning, and I spent 8 dollars on minnows.

5.  Dead minnows  
Try using dead minnows. It really works!

6.  Better than that  
In the evening, just as the sun is going down, I've caught scores of these little suckers on a bare hook. No kidding!

7.  Vouching for bread  
I found that the trick with crappie is using a single egg hook. Make sure you put your bait on tight enough that they can't nibble it off. Throw bread into the water to create a bit of a feeding frenzy (if you can see them) and then cast out with your little piece and one of them will try to snatch it away.

8.  Trolling for crappie  
Using a depth finder, locate how deep the fish are, then using a jig with either a white grub or a black grub with a chartreuse (bright green) tail, set the depth of the jig using weights 1-2 ft up the line. Cast out about 4-8 lines and using a trolling motor, troll around the lake at a slow to medium speed and catch all the crappie you want!

9.  Eye catching
To catch more crappie, use any bait you want, just use a feathered 16 ounce jig works very well for other people and myself.

10.  Ctach more
In spring, when the water temperature rises above 55F for the first time (Feb, March and April), fish shallow for spawning fish. They will spawn in 6 inches out to 3 feet of water. They really love cypress knees when spawning. The key is to use the lightest jig head possible, 1/16 is the best. The best bait I have ever used for crappie is a 1.5 inch (pearl color) bass assassin with a 1/16 chartreuse head.

In summer crappie will suspend in deeper water chasing shad. The best way to catch them is to troll. I like to troll several rods using 2 mister twisters per line. You will need to use a weight that will keep the bait down to the correct depth. Use several poles at different depths to locate the fish. Once you have found the fish, set all the other poles at that depth.

In winter crappie move deep. They will move to creek channels and deep holes in the lake. The best way to catch them is to use a small spinning reel on a 12 foot jig pole ridged with 6 pound line. I like the Hi Vis Gold line made by Stren. You almost always have to have a depth finder to locate structure in the deep water. Once you have located structure, position the boat directly into the wind and use a 1/8 jig head tipped with a minnow. Depending on the depth you need to fish, you might need to add a slip shot a foot up the line to get the bait down. The fish could be near the top of the structure or near the bottom of it. Use the Bass Assassin tipped with a minnow, it is a excellent bait. Good luck!


Stripers Unlimited - Guided Fishing Trips on Clark's Hill


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