Crappie Fishing Tips: How to Catch More Fish

crappie fishing tips

If you want to catch crappies, then here are some Crappie Fishing Tips so you can catch more fish. Crappie fishing is a popular activity among anglers, and for a good reason. Crappie are a delicious freshwater fish that can be found in many bodies of water across the United States. However, catching crappie can be a challenge for both novice and experienced anglers alike. Luckily, there are several tips and techniques that can help increase your chances of catching more and bigger crappie.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when crappie fishing is the time of year. Crappie tend to move around depending on the season, and understanding their behavior can be key to a successful fishing trip. For example, in the spring, crappie tend to move into shallower water to spawn, while in the summer, they may move deeper to escape the heat. By adjusting your fishing techniques to match the season, you can increase your chances of catching crappie.

Another important factor to consider when crappie fishing is the type of gear and bait you use. Jigs are a popular choice for catching crappie, but the color and size of the jig can make a big difference. Additionally, live bait such as minnows or worms can be effective, especially when fishing in deeper water. By experimenting with different types of gear and bait, you can find what works best for you and increase your chances of catching crappie.

Understanding Crappie Fish

Before you head out to catch crappie, it’s important to understand their behavior, habitat, and location. This knowledge will help you increase your chances of success and make your fishing experience more enjoyable.

Crappie Behavior

Crappie are known to be schooling fish, which means they tend to gather in large groups. They are most active during dawn and dusk, and tend to be less active during the heat of the day. During the winter months, crappie tend to stay deep, while in the summer they can be found in shallower waters.

When fishing for crappie, it’s important to note that they are known to be finicky eaters. They may nibble on bait without actually taking it, so it’s important to be patient and wait for a solid bite.


Crappie can be found in a variety of habitats, including lakes, rivers, and ponds. They tend to prefer areas with plenty of cover, such as weed beds, submerged timber, and brush piles. Crappie also tend to prefer clear water, so look for areas with good visibility.


When looking for crappie, it’s important to pay attention to the time of year and the water temperature. In the spring, crappie tend to move into shallow waters to spawn. During the summer, they can be found in deeper waters, but may move into shallower areas to feed. In the fall, crappie tend to move back into shallower waters as the water cools.

When fishing for crappie, it’s important to be patient and persistent. They can be elusive at times, but with the right knowledge and techniques, you can increase your chances of success.

Fishing Techniques

Bait and Lures

When it comes to crappie fishing, bait and lures play a crucial role in your success. Live bait such as minnows, worms, and crickets are popular choices, but artificial lures can also be effective. Some of the most popular lures for crappie include marabou jigs, spinners, and crankbaits. Experiment with different colors and sizes to see what works best in your fishing spot.

When using live bait, try different hook sizes and styles to see what the crappie are biting on. Small hooks in sizes 4-6 are usually a good choice for crappie. For artificial lures, a slow, steady retrieval is often the most effective.

Equipment and Gear

Having the right equipment and gear is important for crappie fishing. A light or ultralight rod and reel combo is ideal, as crappie are not typically large fish. A 4-6 pound test line is usually sufficient, but you may want to go lighter if the fish are being finicky.

Other important gear includes a landing net to help you safely bring the fish in, and polarized sunglasses to help you see the fish in the water. A tackle box with a variety of hooks, lures, and sinkers is also essential for a successful day on the water.

Casting and Retrieval Techniques

When casting for crappie, accuracy is key. Cast your bait or lure near areas of cover such as submerged trees or brush piles. Slowly retrieve your bait or lure, pausing occasionally to give it a lifelike action.

Another effective technique is to use a bobber or float. Set the depth of the bobber to the level where you think the crappie are feeding, and let your bait or lure drift with the current. When the bobber goes under, set the hook quickly but gently to avoid tearing the fish’s mouth.

Remember to be patient and persistent when crappie fishing. These fish can be finicky, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t catch anything right away. Keep experimenting with different techniques until you find what works best in your fishing spot.

Crappie fishing Longlining

Tips for Successful Crappie Fishing

Weather and Timing

Timing is everything when it comes to crappie fishing. They are most active during the early morning and late evening when the water is cooler. During the day, crappie tend to retreat to deeper waters or shaded areas to avoid the sun’s heat. Additionally, overcast days are great for crappie fishing as they tend to come closer to the surface to feed.

Boat Positioning and Drifting

When fishing for crappie, it’s important to position your boat in the right spot. Look for areas with brush piles, stumps, or other structures where crappie like to hide. Once you’ve found a good spot, turn off your engine and use a trolling motor or paddle to move around. Drifting can also be effective, especially if you’re using live bait.

When drifting, use a slip bobber and set it at the depth you find crappie suspended in the cover. Use a couple of large bb split shots or some 1/8- or 1/4-ounce pinch-on sinkers to drop your bait to the desired depth.

Fishing Etiquette and Ethics

When fishing for crappie, it’s important to practice good fishing etiquette and ethics. Always follow local fishing regulations and guidelines, including size and catch limits. Additionally, be courteous to other anglers and avoid crowding or disrupting their fishing experience.

Finally, be respectful of the environment and the fish you catch. If you’re not planning on keeping the fish, release them quickly and carefully. If you do keep them, make sure to clean them properly and dispose of any waste responsibly.

Cleaning and Cooking Crappie

Cleaning and Filleting Tips

Cleaning and filleting crappie can be a simple process if you have the right tools and techniques. First, make sure you have a sharp fillet knife, a cutting board, and a bowl of water to rinse the fillets. Place the fish horizontally with its tail on the same side as your dominant hand. This will allow you to work more fluidly. Hold the crappie by the head as you prepare to make your first cut. If you’re right-handed, the head of the fish should be to your left; if you’re left-handed, arrange it so that it’s on your right.

Firmly hold the crappie head and drag the sharp blade of your filleting knife along the length of the fish down to the tail. Once you have your fillets cut off, be careful as the skin is fragile. Start cutting the meat off the skin and hold both in place while you run your knife along the skin. Once completed, you have an utterly bone-free crappie fillet!

Cooking and Recipe Ideas

Now that you have your crappie fillets, it’s time to cook them up! Crappie is a versatile fish that can be cooked in many ways, including frying, baking, and grilling. Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started:

– Fried Crappie: Dip your fillets in a mixture of egg and milk, then coat with a seasoned flour mixture. Fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy.

– Baked Crappie: Place your fillets in a baking dish and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.

– Grilled Crappie: Brush your fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the fish is cooked through.

Remember to always cook your crappie to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it is safe to eat. Enjoy your delicious and fresh crappie fillets!

Crappie Fishing Tips Conclusion

Crappie fishing can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With the right techniques, equipment, and knowledge, you can increase your chances of catching more crappie on your next fishing trip. Here are some key takeaways from this guide:

  • Use light tackle and small hooks to target crappie effectively.
  • Find areas with cover, such as submerged trees or stumps, where crappie like to hide.
  • Experiment with different baits and lures, including jigs and live minnows, to see what works best in your area.
  • Pay attention to water temperature and adjust your fishing strategy accordingly.
  • Be patient and persistent, as crappie can be finicky and require some finesse to catch.

Remember to always follow local fishing regulations and practice responsible fishing practices to ensure the sustainability of crappie populations for future generations. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful crappie angler. was founded in August 2022. Yes, we are new and upcoming. However, we have been fishing for over 60 years and have caught both freshwater and saltwater fish. In freshwater we have caught everything from panfish to Muskellunge. In saltwater we have caught ocean perch to sharks. is reader supported, some products displayed may earn us an affiliate commission if you purchase through our links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.