Crappie fishing is one of the most popular freshwater angling activities in America.
Some of the reasons behind its popularity are not hard to find. Crappies are abundant, easy to fish and taste good.
Crappies can be found in ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers. They love cool, shallow slow moving or still water with rich vegetation. Crappie fishers look for them around sunken tree stumps, brush piles, and reed beds. Other likely places to fish them are shaded areas under bridges, docks, piers, and fallen tree stumps.
Crappies are schooling fish, so where you hit one, there will be more around.
Both the black crappie and the white crappie are the 2 most popular N. America panfish. Members of the sunfish family, both crappies are sometimes difficult to distinguish, although the white species is generally paler than the black. The only way to tell them apart is to count the spines on the dorsal fin. The white has only 6 while the black has 7 or 8.
They are fishable all-year round. During the winter they continue feeding and active under the ice making them very popular with ice-fishers.
Crappie fishing is at its best in late spring when crappie moves to shallow water to bleed. This is also the favorite time for fly-fishers and freshwater spincast reel fishing to fish them in the shallow and still-water using tiny nymph flies. The best fishing part of the day is early in the morning and late evening.
Crappies will respond to all manner of methods. They can be troll, drift, still-fish, jig or even fish with a float-rig set-up.
Small jigs and small spinnerbaits are deadly lures for casting to the correct depth or crappy holding-spots using a slow retrieve.
As crappies like to live and feed near to brush piles, reed beds, and submerged tree stumps, these areas are ideal for float-fishing techniques. Setting a live minnow below a float is the most productive means of getting your crappy limit.
Live minnow is the number one bait, while some other natural baits like worms, crickets, and grasshoppers are also workable.
Crappie can be caught on the crudest of tackle. Traditional crappie tackle consists of a cane pole or telescopic fiberglass rod. But the most common set-up is using an ultralight spinning reel spooled with 4-8 lbs. test monofilament line and a 51/2-6 foot rod.
If you are dabbling from a boat, use a 10-14 cane pole tied with 6-12 lbs. test mono line to the end of the pole combined with a small float.
Crappie fishing is not only exciting and fun but its firm white meat is an excellent table fare. This fantastic sport is also well suited to fish with kids.