Crappie fishing in April can differ a great deal depending on where you live. This is because in some areas crappie has already begun spawning and in others, spawning may be still weeks away. Normally crappie begins spawning anywhere from mid March to late April. However, the actual time they spawn may change from year to year, because their spawning depends on the temperature of the water.
Once water temperatures begin rising, the crappie who has been inactive all winter, begin to become more active and are push from deeper water into more shallow water where they can spawn. Black crappie normally begins spawning when water temperatures reach around 50 degrees Fahrenheit while white crappie doesn’t normally spawn until water temperatures reach around 56 degrees.
This means that normally by the time white crappie begins spawning black crappie have finished.
During spawning times and just before you will most likely be able to catch crappie closer to shore where there is a good cover to protect their eggs. This means that in some Southern states where the temperatures start to warm early, April could be the middle or even near the end of the spawning season, and in the colder parts of the North crappie’s may not start to spawn until the end of the April or even into May.
However, most fishermen do agree that crappie provides the earliest large catches of the spring fishing season.
Keep in mind that once the crappie starts spawning in April, they are not only more active, they are also hungry and the males are aggressive since they are trying to protect their eggs. When fishing for crappie in April you want to fish closer to shore and in places where the water is calm and there is plenty of underwater vegetables.
If using lures you want to use weedless lures that won’t tend to get hung up on the vegetation and cause you to lose your fish. You also want to ensure that any bait or lures you use are small in size and won’t make a huge splash when they hit the water, because spawning crappie are skitterish and anything that startles them can cause them to scatter.
If those April days tend to be bright and sunny then the crappie will move to deeper water in the early afternoon, so fishing will be best early morning and after dusk when the sun isn’t so bright and the water temperatures cool off a little.
April is the best time to fish for crappie from the shore. However, if you are fishing from the boat, then try fishing towards the shore, or if the water is quite warm enough for spawning yet try fishing a bit deeper, but remember than the fish may all ready moving in towards shore so they won’t be as deep as usual.
Regardless of where you live, crappie fishing in April can be a fun and exciting time for anyone looking to catch some good size slabs.