Cover & Structure for Crappie Fishing


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Fishing for Crappie in the Weeds

Crappie can often be found around weeds, especially during the spring when they move into the shallows to spawn.  Crappie definitely prefer wood over weeds, but there are plenty of lakes that have some good fishing for crappie near the weeds, especially if there is a lack of docks, timber and brush on the lake.  Shallow weeds will hold plenty of crappie in the spring and the deep weed line will hold some crappie during the summer months.  Anglers typically use bobbers for fishing around shallow water weeds with small jigs and live bait.  Slip bobbers work well for fishing the deeper weed lines.

Fishing for Crappie in Timber & Brush

Crappie prefer timber and brush more than any other type of cover.  If you can find some flooded timber and brush during the spring, you should be able to find tons of crappie.  Good numbers of fish will move into these shallow water areas to spawn and they are easy to catch.  Using bobbers with small jigs and live minnows will catch plenty of crappie near the shallow timber and brush.

Brush piles are also very popular cover for crappie.  In many lakes, anglers place brush piles  throughout the lake.  In shallow water, you may be able to see the brush piles, especially in clearer water on sunny days.  In deeper water, it is easy to spot these brush piles on your fish finder when you are over them.  Some areas will have multiple Christmas trees on the bottom and they are hard to miss if you are paying attention to your fish finder.  You may only find a couple of fish on each brush pile, so it pays off to have numerous spots to fish.  On good days, you might only need a couple of brush piles to fish because they will be stacked up in one spot.

Fishing for Crappie around Rocks & Boulders

Rocks and boulders will definitely hold some crappie, especially if the lake doesn’t have much timber and brush along the shorelines.  In deeper water, large boulders will hold some crappie during the early spring, summer and fall.  During the spring, wind-blown, rocky shorelines are great places to target pre-spawn crappie.  On warmer days, these fish will move closer to the shoreline for the warmer water and to feed on small minnows.

Rock piles will also hold crappie.  Shallow water rock piles are great places to fish in the spring and at night during the summer.  Deep water rock piles are great places to fish for crappie from summer through winter.

Fishing for Crappie around Bridges

Bridges are good places to fish for crappie.  There is usually plenty of rock along the bottom near the base of a bridge and some bridges will also have some weeds and wood, which will help attract more crappie.  Bridges that have access to deep water are great spots for catching crappie from summer through fall.  Crappie will suspend along the pilings over deeper water.  On good crappie lakes, it is common to see anglers tied up to the piling or anchored right next to the bridge piling.

Fishing for Crappie on the Drop-Offs

Crappie will be found in much deeper water from summer through winter.  You can still catch some crappie in the shallows during this time, but most of the quality fish will be found deeper.  While crappie will often suspend in open water over very deep water, there will usually be some crappie relating to the drop-offs, especially steep drop-offs that drop into 30 or 40 feet of water.  If a drop-off has brush piles, submerged trees, rocks or some deep weeds, there is a good chance that some crappie will relate to that area at some point during the day.  Some of the better drop-offs will hold crappie all day if the bait fish are there.  Experienced crappie anglers will use slip bobber rigs, double jig rigs and drop-shot rigs when fishing the deeper water.

Dock Fishing for Crappie

Fishing the docks is an easy way to catch crappie during the spring.  Crappie will move into the shallows to get ready to spawn and they will hold tight to the wood along the docks.  The docks don’t hold nearly as many fish during the summer and fall, but you can find some crappie along the docks most of the year.  The bigger crappie move into deeper water during the summer and fall.

When the crappie are under the docks, keep it simple with your rigs.  Most anglers use small jigs under a bobber.  When the bite is finicky, go ahead and tip these jigs with live minnows.  Live minnows fished on a single hook will also work well along the docks.  Use a drop-shot rig, a single split shot rig or a bobber and you’ll catch plenty of crappie.

line-3Sewell’s Favorites – Best 3 Crappie Lures for Action

There are a lot of good crappie baits on the market for action.  If you want to catch a lot of fish, it’s tough to top the 3 listed below.

baby shad

Bobby Garland Baby Shad (2″)
Go get it on Amazon

slab slayr

Bobby Garland Slab Slay’r (2″)
Go get it on Amazon

kalins triple threat grub 2 inch

Kalin’s Triple Threat Grub (2″)
Go get it on Amazon

line-3Sewell’s Favorites – Best 3 Lures for Targeting Big Crappie

For bigger crappie, you definitely want to upsize a little.  You will get less bites, but the bites will be better bites.  The 3 baits listed below are great big fish baits.

slab slayr

Bobby Garland Slab Slay’r (3″)
Go get it on Amazon

bobby garland strollr

Bobby Garland Stroll’r (2.5″)
Go get it on Amazon

bobby garland baby shad swimr

Bobby Garland Baby Shad Swim’R
Go get it on Amazon


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