Crappie fishing can be just a ton of fun out on the lake or pond.
A lot of fisherman tend to always go for bigger fish such as bass, muskie, pike, and walleye.
They never realize that even though crappie are a smaller fish and tend to fight less, crappie can still be quite enjoyable. And also quite enjoyable to eat if you keep your fish. Did you know that there’s actually two types of crappie species in the States? Yep, they are known as black crappie and white crappie.
It’s pretty hard to tell the species apart, they are usually distinguished by the habitat they live in. For instance the black crappie usually hang out in clear water, while the white crappy tend to live in turbid or muddy waters. Kind of the opposite of their name when you think about it. You would think white crappy would live in clear water, ya know… Another way to determine the species is by counting the dorsal fins on them. The white crappie will have either five or six spines, and the black will have seven or eight spines.
I have to say I love the look of them, their colors and design on their bodies are quite cool. Their fins are abnormally large for their size, bluegill or sunfish fins are twice as small. It’s very easily to tell the the difference between a bluegill and a crappie.
Although I said these fish don’t really fight very strong, however they do fight pretty well for their size. And when they hit the lure your fishing with, they will hit it very hard! You’ll be able to feel them all the way through your fishing rod and line. They are no smallmouth bass, but I still give them credit when credit is due.
So you’ve probably been waiting for the most important topic about crappie, how do you catch them? Well my answer to that is locating them, that’s the hardest part. Once you find them, crappie will just about bite on anything. You want to use a kind of smaller bait of course, but good size crappie will bite on a normal size 3″ jig or crankbait. I found that the 3″ Berkley Gulp Minnow worked really well on the lake near me that is plenty stocked with crappie.
When it comes to locating them, the time of year really comes into play. Spring time, crappie fish will travel to the shallow water to lay their eggs. But you when you go to the shallower areas, you still want to look for cover. Crappie will be hanging out near weed beds, timber, brush piles and bridges (Stony Creek). When summer comes around, they’re going to be even harder to find. Crappie will go down to deeper water, where they will be still hiding out in cover. So if you come across some timber down deep on your fish finder, chances are the crappie will be lurking there. And always remember this, when you catch one crappie you’ll probably catch another within minutes. Crappie always tend to hangout in schools, but the school can move just like smallmouth do, so always watch your fish finder.