It’s All About the Destination
There are a lot of good crappie destinations and some of them are known for producing a lot of big fish. You can find several good destinations up north, but if you want a good chance at catching several very big fish, your best bet is to head south. Some of the top crappie destinations down south will see anglers catching fish up to and above 2 pounds fairly regularly.
Don’t Miss the Spring Spawn
It is the easiest time of year to catch lots of big crappie. There are so many good crappie lakes from the south all the way up north, so you have some options for timing the spawning run somewhere. It can be from January or February in Florida to the end of May up in Canada.
Upsize Your Baits
Bigger crappie like bigger minnows, bigger jigs, bigger soft plastics and so forth. Most of the crappie anglers that fish up north will have no idea what size baits these big fish can handle down south until they see it for themselves. You still are using crappie baits, but don’t be afraid to upsize your baits to help draw some of those big fish over to eat your bait.
Minnows are by far the best crappie bait and bigger minnows will do the trick for targeting bigger crappie. You are still going to be using crappie minnows, but just go a little bit bigger to try and find some of those bigger crappie.
Bigger Soft Plastics
Soft plastics catch crappie and the bigger soft plastic crappie baits will catch bigger crappie. Go too big and you may not get many bites, but by upsizing your soft plastics, you can definitely put more big crappie in the boat.
Whether it be spring, summer or fall, the bigger crappie tend to be found a little deeper than you will find the larger numbers of fish. If the fish are in 4 to 8 feet of water, stay closer to the 8 foot depth range and you will catch more quality fish most of the time. If they are in 14 to 20 feet of water, you will most likely find a lot more quality fish in the 20 foot range. This isn’t a rule 100% of the time, but it does work a majority of the time.
Cover More Water
Just like any other fish, if you want to catch a big fish, you have to cover enough water to find some big fish. Cover some water whether that be running and gunning from brush pile to brush pile or slow trolling a few really good spots. Both techniques work and if you cover enough good looking spots, you will have a better chance to find that super-sized crappie.