Crappie Fishing Tips | How to Catch a Crappie

Whether you are an expert angler or a beginner fisherperson, this article is put together for the sole purpose of providing you with some pieces of advice and pointers on how to catch a crappie. Read along to not only gain some fishing tips but also some information on this particular fish.

About the Crappie

Why would you want to catch crappie? Here are two major reasons. One, this fish from the sunfish family, is a delicious feast, thanks to their pure, flaky, white flesh. Two, catching the crappie is rather a very enjoyable experience.

You may also interested to read another one of our articles that talks about the Bluegill Fishing Tips.

Where they live.

The crappie is native to North American freshwater. This fish likes to dwell in places of water where there are abundance of weed, underwater brush and rocks. During hotter times they like to go in deeper water, while in the spring though, they prefer to live in shallow waters.

What they eat

The crappie has a diet of mixed preferences, ranging from smaller fishes, offspring of their predators; for example, the Walleye and the Northern Spike, to insects, crustaceans and also, the zooplankton. Since, the crappie is generally less active during the day, they will mostly feed during the time of dusk or dawn. You might want to remember this when you catch a crappie.

What they look like

There are mainly kinds of crappie species. The whit crappie which has lighter skin-color and vertical black stripes. The black crappie on the other hand, the black crappie is black in color and has black spots all over. Your regular crappie will grow to be 5 to 12 inches long, although they can be much bigger and can weigh around a half to one pound.


Crappie will mate between the months of May and June and can produce from five thousand to sixty thousand off springs during each mating session.


The crappie is very social fish and will form schools among themselves.

How to Catch the Crappie

Equipment and Tools

1. Rod Any kind of rod that is light action with length between five to seven feet should be sufficient. You may also choose an ultra-light rod that provides you with higher sensitivity and tackle the impressive fight these fishes will put on. Many anglers also prefer long, sensitive, steel heading rods that enable them to reach brilliantly for attaching their bait.

2. Line- Fishing for a monofilament crappie, you may opt for a four to six pound easy-to-manage line. It will provide you with greater bait action and feel out small jigs. Make sure to match your rod with a standard-quality ultra- light reel. This, coupled with your four to six pound test monofilament, you should all set to catch your crappie.

3. Hooks- Since, smaller hooks do not easily come into the crappie’s visual, smaller hooks are suggested. Moreover, this will lure the crappie to your bait. Using a gold hook works magically in a crappie’s case. However, do remember to keep your gold hook to a decent, manageable size.

There are also another kind of hooks known as the “gang hook”. You might want to try this one because it has two small hooks tied in tandem and they are often best helpful in showing live bait to the crappie. Two is always better than one, right?

4. Baits- The weather when extremely cold is known as the “fake spawn” time. During this particular time, your best option is to choose live bait since the crappie’s metabolism remains slow. A one to two inch minnow hanged into the water should be enough. If you are using gang hooks, attach the minnow’s lip on of the hooks or also attach the tail of the minnow on to one of the hooks.

You may change from minnow to small tube jigs or twistertail grubs. Plastics of bright yellow, pink and white are reported to attract the most crappie. Keeping the depth of the water in mind, it is ideal to suspend these small jigs six to twelve inches under a float. Crappies have eyes on the top of their heads, therefore, can look up to see your bait. So, make sure to fish all of your baits in this manner so the fish can easily locate your treat. You may also, lace your bait with a scent that is alluring to the crappie and you can also tip your jig with a small minnow or worm. Be sure to always carry small spinners or mini crankbaits with you as a part of your bait collection, as they will be extremely helpful if the fish becomes too feisty.

Season and time

The most favorable time to fish for crappie is during spring time and early in the summer. Some anglers have stated that early in the morning is the best time to catch for crappies, or in the dusk- just before the sun sets. Remember, crappies are found near the bank in spring season.

Other Tips to Remember

  • Make sure to check that your hook is of the correct size and matches your live bait. Too small a hook and the crappie will take it off and it cannot take a bite, if it is too big.
  • ​Crappies are popular ice-fishers’ favorites as they are relatively more active in winter time.
  • ​You can form a crappie bed by gathering old brushes, logs and limbs and throwing them in. This accounts for the best fishing spot.
  • ​Do not look in other areas once you have caught a crappie. A crappie bed is normally very populated and you may catch lots of crappies in the same place. Just keep on casting.
  • Make sure to carry a bobber if you are utilizing live bait, such as a minnow.
  • Practice for different levels of depths until you acquire a bite.

Important Warnings

  • Make sure you are thoroughly familiar with the rules and regulations of the place and also the state you are fishing in.
  • Remember to own and carry a valid fishing permit with you as not being able to show on could result in legal actions against you and a fine.
  • Learn all the rules about the open season and limit on the hours of fishing crappie, before you go.

​Final Words

If you have gone through this article on how to catch a crappie once, we are confident that you will be able to land your desired crappie.

Happy fishing!

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