In lakes across the US Crappie are quickly becoming one the most sought after fish for anglers to pursue. These hard little fighters make great dinner fair but many fishermen are now catching and releasing them to ensure there large numbers in the years to come.
Catching 50 or more crappie in a day is possible but more often than not a good day would be 12 to 15 crappies with a few really nice crappie.
Where to Fish for Crappie
Generally crappie will be found in large schools and can be targeted in one area once you find a school of fish. Crappie almost always relate to structure such as trees, stumps, ledges, or humps. Areas such as trees along the banks will hold schools of crappie with the larger trees holding more crappie; another popular woody crappie spot would be beaver dams where crappie will hold on the deeper edges of the beaver dam. If you are targeting crappies around humps or ledges you will want to try to troll around the shoal / hump or ledge to find where the crappie are holding. Once you find the crappie mark that area with a marker buoy so you can target that area. Remember where there's one crappie there are many.
Crappie Lures and Bait
- Small Jigs - small jigs such as tubes, twisters, stump jumpers, or marabou jigs will produce crappie almost better than any other lure.
- Spinners - small trout spinners are a great way to target crappie and can be deadly when trolled to find schools of crappie.
- Minnows - often crappie will be shy bitters and they will demand live bait, often you can catch some really big crappie on fathead minnows under a bobber.
- Multiple Rods - use multiple rods if the state you fish allows you to do so, jigging two rods or use a multiple rod holder to drift small jigs through schools of crappie.
- Long Rods / Soft Rods - long rods isn't necessary but a longer rod will allow you to jig in trees, stumps, etc.. easier without spooking the crappie. Also a rod with a quick soft tip will hook more crappie due to the soft mouth they have.
- Look for Boats - Look for the flotilla of boats, which is a quick way to find crappie, if there are 6 or so boats in an area it's pretty much a guarantee they are fishing for crappie or perch.
- Bridges = Crappie - hands down one of the best places to find crappie on any lake is around a bridge. A bridge has the bridge abutments, which will hold crappie; also bridges generally have riprap, which is a great place to find crappie in the spring and fall.