Welcome to our crappie fishing guide. Here we will discuss tips and tactics to help you catch crappie all day long. Don’t let the size of this fish fool you, they are a blast to catch. They are highly desirable by many due to their great taste and ease of targeting. Crappie are by no means the biggest fish out there, nor will they provide you with a long intense battle when reeling them in. They are usually really easy to catch, and once you find one there are always many other around. The best part is you don’t need to be an experienced fisherman, nor do you need expensive gear to go for crappie. For most people, a simple hook worm and sinker is all you need. Before we get into the tips section, you should familiarize yourself with the fish’s biology and their patterns.
Background Information and Facts
Crappies or sunfish, come from the genus Pomoxis. They are a very popular small game fish throughout much of North America and are known for their delicate meat. They have paper thin mouths, which make them easy to identify. They tend to feed and smaller fish like minnows. They also will eat insects and zooplankton that falls into the water. Sunfish tend to hid out around sunken logs and large rocks. Usually when you find one there are dozens of others nearby making them easy fish to target. You can usually find several hiding under docks near the shoreline as well. They tend to migrate into deeper waters during the middle of the day but many will still hideout in weeds and under objects near shorelines. The best crappie fishing is usually done in shallower waters of 10 feet or less. This fish are small, but they are actually quite aggressive by nature.
Crappie Fishing Tips and How to Catch Crappie & Sunfish
Now for the section you probably came here for. There really aren’t a whole lot of tips or special techniques for crappie. They are very simple fish to target. Simple find where they are located and get the lure in front of them. Once you find the holes that they hang out in your set since there will be plenty around. Below are the best crappie tips:
Find a dock, sunken structure, or large rock, in roughly 8 feet of water or less. These are areas where sunfish lurk. Once you find and area like this, simple cast as close as you can to it and wait for the fish to strike.
Reel very slow. These fish tend to nibble around and the bait. They have really small paper mouths, so allow the fish a chance to swallow the bait. When you feel a bite stop reeling and give the fish a chance to swallow the bait.
Keep the line tight. Do not let up too much slack on the line or these fish will pick and the bait before you have a chance to set the hook. Keeping the line tight will allow you to feel the nibbles which in return will give you a chance to set the hook.
Use small hooks! This is the most important tip here. These fish have super small mouths, and you should be using very small hooks. If your hook is took large the fish will rob you of your bait.
Use live bait. This is by far the best thing to use when going after sunfish. Crappie will usually nibble at the bait a few times before you get the chance to set the hook. Having live bait will keep the fish nibbling away giving you several chances to set the hook.
Crappie Bait and Lures
There really is no secret here. Use a thin line and a small rod with a sensitive tip. 5lb test is all you really need for these little guys. Lure wise you don’t need anything elaborate or expensive. Small hooks and a live piece of bait will yield the best results. Use a half or a worm or a small minnow for best results. I have always had great success when using a half of a worm and a #4 hook. You can use a small split shot or sinker as well to help the bait sink to the desired spots. Additionally some people have success using small spinners and plastics, however I find these less effective. A small jig head tend to work well also and is an option if you need your bait to sink to the desired area.