How the Time of Year Affects Crappie Fishing

line-3

crappie header

Crappie Fishing Home | Rigs & TechniquesLures | Live BaitsBasics | facebookicon |  youtubeicon
Catch Bigger Crappie | Seasonal & Weather | Time of DayWater Types & Depths

line-3

Finding crappie throughout the seasons can be a challenge.  Crappie like to roam throughout lakes, reservoirs, and large river systems.  You can have some success catching fish in a spot one day and then not even get a bite in the same spot the next day.  This makes it very challenging to catch crappie consistently.

Spring Crappie Fishing

During the spring, fishermen plan fishing trips all over the country for crappie.  Kentucky Lake gets thousands of visitors in the spring time because the fishing is that good.  In the spring, crappie are very predictable.  Crappie will start to move out of deeper water as the water gets above 45 degrees.  As the water reaches 60 to 65 degrees, they will begin spawning.  They move along the shores to spawn and you can catch them everywhere that you can find cover with sand, rock or gravel bottoms.  Most spawning crappie are in less than 5 feet of water, which makes it very easy to find these fish.  Bays, canals, and shorelines that provide some protection from prevailing winds are good spots for spawning crappie.  The main lake points, humps and rock piles will hold some of the biggest crappie.

Summer Crappie Fishing

As temperatures start to warm, crappie become much harder to find.  They will move to deeper water and travel all throughout the lake in search of bait fish.  The best places to find crappie in the summer are rock piles, brush piles and humps in 12 to 20 feet of water.  Steep drop-offs and deep weed lines will also hold plenty of crappie.  Some of the hardest crappie to fish for are the fish that suspend over deep water.  Crappie can often be found schooled up 15 to 20 feet down over 30 to 50 feet of water.  These fish are catchable, but they can be difficult to find.  These suspended crappie will often roam the deep water in search of bait fish.  When fishing for summer crappie, you should have a good fish finder to help you locate the schools of crappie and don’t be attached to one spot.  Just because you caught fish there the day before doesn’t mean you’re going to catch them in the same spot the next day.

Fall Crappie Fishing

Good numbers of crappie will move back into the shallows during the fall as they follow the bait fish.  You can often find crappie feeding on minnows along the weed lines in 8 to 12 feet of water during the fall.  There will still be some fish deep in the fall and as the water temperatures drop back below 60 degrees, you will start to find more schools of crappie in deeper water.  The weeds can be very productive areas for crappie, but once the deep weeds start dying off, the mid-lake humps and rock piles will start to hold more crappie.  The fall can be a fun time to fish for crappie as they put the feed on before winter.

Winter Crappie Fishing – Ice Fishing for Crappie

Crappie can be caught throughout the winter, but you are going to have to fish deeper water than you will fish with other panfish.  In early and late winter, you can find them in shallower water, often in water less than 15 feet deep.  Throughout the middle of winter, look for them in deeper water.  Crappie will suspend higher up than most other panfish.  They can often be caught 10 to 15 feet down over 30 feet of water.

Start fishing for the early and late winter crappie in water close to their spring and fall positions.  They will be near structure just outside of these areas.  If you caught lots of crappies off of a point in 3 to 4 feet of water, see if there is a drop-off into 10 to 15 feet of water nearby.  You will probably find some fish here.  In the middle of winter, follow that drop-off into water that is deeper than 20 feet and you’ll have a good chance to find some crappie.

To help you find fish over a large area, tip-ups can be used.  Once you find a good hole, drill other holes in the same area.  Fishing with small minnows rigged with a split shot, hook, and bobber will take the most crappies throughout the year.  Anglers will use small jigs and jigging spoons, however, live bait will consistently catch more fish.   Try tipping your jigs with small crappie minnows and wax worms for the best results.

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

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
line-3

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

line-3

This entry was posted in Crappie. Bookmark the permalink.