Best Techniques

Bottom Fishing

Bottom fishing for crappie is popular when these fish go deeper.  Anglers use jigs and drop shot rigs to get their baits down deep and they usually will vertical jig or slow troll their baits to keep them near the bottom.  At times, crappie will suspend and bottom fishing may not be the best way to target them, but on some days, fishing near the bottom is key to catching a lot of quality fish.


When the wind is blowing, anglers will set out the live bait rigs on a few rods and drift over some productive looking areas.  It can be effective as long as you are fishing the right areas.  Deeper weed edges, rocky shorelines and submerged wood in deeper water are some good places to try drifting for crappie.

Still Fishing

Still fishing is very popular for crappie.  Whether you are fishing with live bait under a bobber or float or fishing down deeper with a drop shot rig, split shot rig or Carolina rig, it is a very good way to target crappie.  Find some cover that is holding them and put your baits where the crappie are feeding.

Swimming Soft Plastics

Swimming soft plastics can be super effective when fishing for crappie.  Most anglers think of tiny little swimbaits or curly tail grubs and those baits work great for crappie.  However, you can also swim the other soft plastic baits that don’t have any swimming action.  Crappie like to eat baits on the move, so a slowly moving bait will get you plenty of bites.  Tubes, shad-style baits, twin-tailed baits and any other soft plastic that is made for panfish can potentially do very well for crappie when they are in the mood for a bait moving slowly through the water with a steady retrieve.


Trolling is typically better when crappie are located in depths from 8 to 15 feet deep.  It can be tricky getting your small crankbaits down to these depths, but adding a weight 2 to 3 feet in front of your lure (carolina rig style) will help you get down deep enough.

Trolling crankbaits for crappie usually pays off when fish are scattered on large flats, along drop-offs or when you just can’t find a school of fish on your graph.  Trolling can be a good way to put some fish in the boat while trying to locate the bigger schools.  Mark the spots where you catch a crappie so you can make more passes in those areas.

Slow Trolling

Combining trolling with vertically jigging can definitely put more fish in the boat.  Use the trolling motor to help cover a little more water, but don’t go too fast.  Keep your baits vertical to keep you right over the cover.  This will help you get a good hook set too.

Vertical Jigging

Vertical jigging is one of the most popular ways to target crappie.  Find a nice weed edge or some timber and use a jig to keep your baits just above the cover.  At times, this is by far the most effective way to catch crappie.

Drop Shotting

Some anglers choose to drop shot for crappie.  This can be very effective, especially, when fishing wood and rocks.  You can set your weight far enough below the hook and you can feel the weight hit the cover.  Keep the bait right there and this will help you stay out of the snags and catch more crappie.  It can be very effective when fishing deeper water structure as well.

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