Crappies belong to the freshwater species related to the sunfish family and are usually associated with North America. Crappies are actually very famous because of their large size, they put up an amazing fight, and also they are very tasty. Having said that, how to catch crappie fish?
Most anglers even say that among freshwater fish species crappies are the tastiest fish species. The most common crappie species are speckled perch, white perch, strawberry bass, and papermouth, they have flaky white meat which is ideal for several seafood cuisines.
You can grab or catch more crappie by choosing that one method that suits you, you can either look for structures or can go for deep water fishing. Strategically and silently deliver your bait. For crappies jigs and minnows are among the best crappie lures ever.
As there are several species of crappies and due to their diverse eating habits there is no one simple way to catch crappies. Instead, the anglers have to use multiple techniques and tactics in order to catch the one they are aiming for. As there are so many techniques you can go for, crappies are the angler’s favorite when it comes to catching fish.
How To Catch Crappie Fish?
Going crappie fishing may seem simple at first as one can use multiple techniques to catch them. But it can get a little frustrating when it comes to catching a lot of crappie for that perfect dinner. Lucky for you, I have prepared a step-by-step guide to help you in catching more crappie without doing much effort so that you can come home with more fish in less time.
1- Choose Your Technique: There are several techniques out there, depending upon water depth, species, and structures call for different methods. There are three very common and famous methods when it comes to catching crappie.
- Bobber And Minnow Rig: Throughout the year, this method is the most effective one. It comprises a fixed bobber which is fixed on a height of one or two feet above the minnow, that is attached to number one or two Aberdeen hooks. Anglers can choose if they want to use minnow with or without weight, to let them swim freely, or to prevent them from hanging too low in the water. However, for this bobber and minnow method, a rod of seven feet long and casting of ten to twelve feet works best for catching crappie.
- Spider Rigging: With this method, anglers can troll minnows or can jig with several rods like 14-16 inches rods from the boat’s front. It is necessary to use the rod holders, particularly for this spider jigging method. It is required to hold several long poles. The most usual setup for this method is using two minnows and two jigs at either number 1 or number 2 hook that is tied to a huge sinker at several different lengths. Depending on the wind, depth, and current, the sinker is probably about half to one ounce.
- Jig Fishing: Jigs can be utilized in several different ways in different techniques, hence making it an excellent choice for crappie fishing. In some lakes, you can cast your jig vertically and horizontally to crappie, and that is an excellent method. At the times when fish is quite an aggressive closer to the brush piles, what’s best is to cast past the crappie and then you should retrieve a 1/16 ounce jig consisting of a soft plastic body on the upper side of the brush pile.
You can use another method to try fishing over the brush from a boat, then throw your jig into the cover. Now you wait for your jig to rest in the strike zone unless crappie bites it. The most usual jig used when it comes to fishing for crappies is a 6/12 feet small/medium action rod along with a spinning reel having a 4-6 pound line of fluorocarbon.
2- Collect Your Gear: In today’s era anglers can choose from 14-16 trolling rods, ultralight spinning outfits, and 9-10 feet jig poles to catch crappie with. Besides that, several line choices can also work that can range from 2-pound test fluorocarbon/ monofilament used for pressured crappie that swims in clearwater or you can use a line of 20-30 pound braid for the crappies that swim along with thick structures, deep cover, and in timber.
3- Always Know Where To Find Crappie: Usually what works best for catching crappies is to look for the areas of deep structure and woody cover. Crappies love to live in places where they feel protected thereby standing timber, and weed beds are the fair choices for this game.
If you locate a hanging or submerged log or a brush pile then it is the perfect time for you to drop your anchor and cast your minnow set below the bobber. Most of the time anglers usually find huge amounts of crappies near the cypress trees of shoreline, weed beds, stickups, blowdowns, and cover-button willows.
The big-sized crappies usually swim in the shallow waters closer to the edges of the channel, mainly near the shallow flats and humps of the main lake. Crappies only swim to deeper water when they face cold fronts, and swim from shallow water to deep water.
4- Catch That Crappie: Figure out your favorite technique, keep looking for the structures, and be ready for the crappie to bite your lure. For all ages of anglers catching crappies can be fun and adventure at the same time. The only way you can get success is to look for the water temperature changes, seasonal changes, and know what to do in different situations.
How To Jig For Crappie Fishing?
For most of the crappies, jigs weighing around 1/32 to 1/ounce are usually preferred. Some of the anglers may use heavier jigs for heavy fishes and larger ones when fishing in murky waters or deep jigging. Read School of Crappie look like on fishfinder
The jig weight mostly depends on your chosen technique and other conditions. The general rule of thumb is that you should always go for heavier jugs when going for deepwater fishing because it helps them to sink quickly.
Other factors that one should consider for jigging are the distance from which you are casting, the wind pressure, and speed. So choose heavy jigs when you are casting from a huge distance and for heavy wind-bucking.
But the former applies when you are casting a jig, for other techniques like trolling or tightening you will have to add some additional weight on your rig, and then you can go lighter jigs accordingly.
Where To Catch Crappie?
Crappies usually swim in shallow waters near the cover. Usually, when spring comes they are easy to spot near the brush piles, cattail strands, sunken trees, and at other places closer to the shore where they can hide from predators that don’t have any path to get them. They are also easy to find among the branches of the sunken trees and among the brush piles.
Throughout the year, one can easily catch crappie using multiple techniques. However, there are some seasonal pointers that anglers should consider while going for crappie fishing because it can help them to catch more fish in no time.
During winters crappies usually tend to hide or congregate under dense structures instead of an open area or move in loose large schools. So, at such times make sure you cast all around the structures, because if you cast only on one side you may get nothing. However, if you cast on the other side you may catch a lot of fish to pan fry. Also, when fishing for crappies in the cold water small-sized minnows attached to a tiny hook works better than a jig.
In fall, docks are the most favorite spots for catching crappie. During these times crappies are usually swimming in the ten feet water column in the upper area. You can also go for night fishing in several areas for catching crappie after spawning, which is also quite productive.
Can You Eat Crappie?
Yes! Crappie is the yummiest freshwater fish and is one of the most common marine staples in America. If you haven’t tried it yet you should definitely have one. The fish has white chunky meat which is loved by most people. Due to its taste, and numerous healthy aspects people love to catch crappies when they go fishing.
Crappies are not only popular fish to catch but to eat well. Why? Because of its impeccable taste. Crappies do taste similar to other freshwater species. They do have a chunky, soft texture, and they have a mild taste. For me, the taste of the fish usually depends upon the waters from which fish are coming. In America, crappies are commonly eaten as “panfish.”
There is also little to no amount of red meat on the crappies. If you spot unusual red meat on the fish, you may want to remove it because that red meat part imparts a very fishy and strong flavor. However, it is very easy to clean the red meat part from crappies, and that is also the reason why it is demanded so much by everyone as food.
What Is The Best Bait To Catch Crappie?
Minnows, insects, and worms are considered the best baits for crappies. While fishing for crappies never think that live baits won’t help, they are the best when catching crappies.
Crappies are easy to get attracted by literally anything colorful. When you’re throwing live baits, you are actually offering them with what they usually have. For most anglers, minnows are regarded as the best bait ever, while others may go for a live minnow by tipping their jigs.
Another good thing about crappie baits is that they are not heavy on the pocket. Thereby, you can easily set up your bait bag or tackle bag with diverse lures and can use your desired lure at any time. If one bait is not doing the job, swap in and go for another, and you will be catching a lot of crappie in no time.
How Do You Catch Crappie Fast?
The first and foremost thing to consider while fishing for crappie is that you must understand when and how to find them at different times in the year. Second, you must go with one of those methods that suit that time of the year. Then questions like where, when, and how must be answered.
Crappies love to hide under structures because there they find their food. Underwater structures like submerged trees, sunken trees, and other vegetation attract a lot of minnows and hence the crappies. These structures are present both at depth and also where water is shallow.
It’s another interesting fact about the crappies that they travel in schools, hence they are schooling fish. It means when you find one crappie there are a lot of chances that you are going to catch more. But these schools of crappie do not stay in one place for longer periods, you have to actively look for them.
To find these schools you should opt for “trolling.” You can use fish finders to identify the structures, sharp edges, and drop-offs. As I said, they hide under structures so look for the deeper waters where you see trees hanging over them.
In such waters particularly, live bait and jigging lures work efficiently. Night fishing is also quite productive when catching crappie. As moonlight attracts minnows, they attract crappies to eat them. In warmer waters, you will need a more active presentation. As temperature drops by, slow down.
When it comes to catching crappies, your top priorities should be location, location, and location, Then your bait, and equipment. Crappies are delicious and most wanted by the anglers, that is why I have tried to cover each and every aspect of crappie fishing in this article. Always look for the structures both in deep and shallow waters, and keep the seasonal changes in mind, you can easily catch a bunch of crappies.
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