Ice fishing for Crappie can be difficult unless you know exactly what your plan of attack is. When you take the time to learn about these fish and how to catch them, you will have a much easier time overall. These fish are one of the more sought after species when it comes to ice fishing. They are delicious to eat and a lot of fun to catch, but you will need to know how to get started.
The location and presentation you use to catch crappie will both matter quite a bit, so you will have to keep that in mind. There are a lot of different techniques that people use to catch these fish, and the more information you have on them the better your chances are going to be. You can go fishing for crappie at any hour of the day or night, but changing light conditions in the morning and evening typically trigger activity and feeding.
Fishermen definitely have a huge advantage in the winter when it comes to catching crappie, as opposed to the summertime. In the summer these fish are much more spread out and more difficult to find. In the winter, these fish are usually in schools and suspend over deep water.
Early on in the winter, crappie can be found in the same places they were just before the water freezes over.
You will want to look for these fish in shallow weeds and just off the weed line. When the weeds are combined with breaks in the shoreline and points, you have an especially good chance of catching these fish.
By the middle of winter, crappie will have moved off the structure to the closest deep basin. You should make a point of looking near basins by the structure at the same depth of the structure. Crappie follow food like the minnows and zooplankton. In late winter they will start to move in closer to the bays and weed lines. Crappie spawn in shallow, dark bottom bays after the ice is completely thawed.
The presentation you use when it comes to fishing for crappie will be something else to take into consideration before the next time you go out on the ice. The most effective method to use when ice fishing for crappie involves jigging. This is essentially when you raise the tip of your rod about a foot and then drop it back down to where you started. You should raise and drop the tip, wait 5-10 seconds and repeat this motion over and over until you detect a hit.
If we had to recommend a piece of equipment when ice fishing for crappie it would be a sonar. if you have a handful of holes on the go, a drop in sonar will tell you right off the hop if theirs any action in that area. You will usually see markings below the bait at first until they start to investigate the bait and hopefully come up and take it. The sonar is a tried and tested method I am sure many ice fishing anglers cannot due without.
There is another jigging technique that was first made popular by pro ice fishermen, and it involves pounding the jig. This involves jigging your rod tip up and down just an inch or two very quickly to get the attention of this fish. Vertical jigs with a minnow tend to work very well when it comes to catching crappie, so you will need to keep that in mind for this type of fishing.