best way to catch crappie

anglers laud the crappie for a combination of characteristics that make crappie fishing pure fun. anglers seldom bother to distinguish between the two crappie species, black and white. but if you catch a crappie big enough for the record books, it must be positively identified as one or the other. in oxbows, look for fish near old river channels or the basin of the lake. the outfit employed depends mostly on the type waters you fish and the depth crappie are holding. most are telescopic for easy transportation and have built-in line-holders allowing line length to be easily adjusted.

in the top compartment of my tackle box, i keep a smaller (4-by-8-inch) compartmented box for organizing the hooks, sinkers and bobbers i use when crappie fishing. i keep a spool of 4- to 8-pound-test for situations dictating light line and a spool of 17-pound line that i use when fishing heavy brush. speed and simplicity are important when trying to determine a pattern on crappie. these can be snapped on a jig to add extra crappie-attracting flashiness and vibration in stained or muddy water. when fishing “bobberless,” watch your line closely for a twitch or slackening in the line signaling a taker. with the right equipment, an in-depth knowledge of the crappie’s predictable habits and a little luck, you can hit the jackpot almost any place and time you fish. in 2011, sutton, who has authored 12 books, was inducted into the national freshwater fishing hall of fame as a “legendary communicator.” visit his website at

however, the key to crappie fishing success is to understand seasonal patterns that allow you to find and target crappie more easily. in the summer as temperatures peak and the water column stabilizes, crappie are found scattered in the weeds. the key to warm water this time of year? in the north this pattern is especially true, as shallow water tends to warm the fastest and lose ice the quickest. the spring patterns up to this point are based much more on food and warmth than reproduction.

this is when i find crappie the most difficult to locate. the ticket is to be patient to let the jig fall just enough, and then proceed with a slow and steady retrieve. just take your time to let your jig slowly fall to the school of fish and you’ll be surprised by what you find. the one benefit of ice fishing for crappie is that they are very easy to detect. this will allow you to follow the migrating school of fish around making sure you make the most of your time on the ice. put the time in to find the fish, use patience and control when targeting them, and you will find plenty of ice fishing success.

the most common method used for catching crappie is the spider rigging method, which can be done with many popular baits. some of the most common and effective one trick that may not sound like it works for crappie fishing is a slip knot. simply tie the lure on but use a loop instead of tightening the line down to the shoot a jig by opening the bail of the spinning reel and hooking the line with your index finger. next, grab the bend of the jigs hook and pull on the jig to, .

common techniques include fishing a minnow beneath a bobber, casting a small jig tipped with a soft plastic body or casting beetle-spin lure or small hard plastic lures. as crappies increase in size they change their diet from eating mostly insects and crustaceans to eating mostly fish. the nickname “papermouth” isn’t a misnomer. set the hook with just a gentle flick of the wrist or by simply tightening the line to avoid tearing the fragile as spring progresses, look for shallow bays, shallow shorelines, weed beds, cattails, and brush along the banks. if you don’t have the proper in fact, you’ll catch a lot more papermouths if you use a good rod, .

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