By Gary Hendry

Crappie is incredibly fun to catch. Whether it’s your first time to fish for crappie or you’ve been doing it for years, this elusive fish can be difficult to locate. To be able to make a good catch for crappie, you must understand its habits and find the right fishing lures. 

Where and when to fish for crappie

Crappie can be found in reservoirs, ponds, lakes, and slow-moving rivers. The best time to fish for crappie is early spring and fall when the weather is cool and when crappie moves into shallow ends of coves. The best areas to target include around brushy cover, around sunken logs, and beyond weeds. If you’re fishing during the day, target areas near sunken logs and fishing docks. But if you’re fishing for crappie in the morning and evening, crappie tends to congregate near weedy vegetation. 

During summer and winter, crappie tends to move to deeper water. If you’re fishing for crappie during these seasons, fish deep along with vertical structures, use different fishing lures to entice fish and troll the water. 

 Buy the right fishing lures

Jigs are the most effective fishing lures you can use to entice crappie. Ensure you have an array of jigs since crappie can be elusive. Jigs are versatile and adaptable to any fishing condition, and crappie is usually attracted to them. There are several different techniques for fishing for crappie. 

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Crappie Fishing Techniques

Classic bobber and minnow rig

This is the simplest technique to fish for crappie at any time of the year. When fishing in shallow water, fix a bobber above a minnow and attach it to a hook. Present the minnow and let the fishing lure swim around freely. Alternatively, you can add weight to keep the minnow at a certain depth and prevent it from swimming around. 

When fishing deep, use a slip bobber and set it at the ideal depth. Use a couple of split shots or sinkers to drop your minnow to the desired depth. 

Spider rigging 

This technique allows crappie anglers to cover large areas of water while offering multiple presentations. The standard setup for spider rigging consists of six to eight rods spread out evenly off the front of the boat, and fishing lures on each line. This technique allows you to troll fishing lures with multiple rods to match the crappies’ palate.  Spider rigging is a good technique for catching pre-spawn and post-spawn crappie. 

 Fishing for crappie with crankbaits

This technique entails pitching micro crankbaits in shallow water to catch crappie in open water. Find schools of crappie and select an ideal crankbait to troll through schooling fish. Use a fluorocarbon line to ensure the crankbait dives deeper. 

Shooting jigs

This technique delivers fishing lures to hard-to-reach areas in the water in a fashion similar to shooting a bow and arrow. It makes use of a fishing rod to propel a line that swirls freely off the spinning reel to deliver the fishing lure to the targeted area. 

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I hope these tips and techniques will help improve your catch for crappie the next time you go out. Good luck.