Crappie is one of the most popular panfish in North America. Catching this type of sunfish is a favorite of anglers around the country, with crappie being generally easy to find in fresh water locations.
Plus, fishing for crappie is generally great fun. They aren’t too difficult to catch and once you find a sweet spot at the right time of the year, you can expect a fantastic haul of crappies. Of course, your success of catching crappie depends on the type of tackle you bring. Crappies are generally easy to catch, providing you know the best lines and lures, which is influenced by their ability to see and smell.
Can Crappie See Braid?
As sight feeders, crappie rely heavily on their vision so have fantastic eyesight. As a result, they do see most braid lines which are only opaque rather than transparent. Because their vision is great like most freshwater fish, transparent lines such as a monofilament or fluorocarbon are typically recommdended when crappie fishing.
That said, braided lines are making a comeback, namely due to their strength and ability to pack more line into a reel compared to other type of lines. When it comes to catching crappie the sensitivity of a braided line is a great feature though, as it gives you a better sense of their bite, which is important given the fact crappies are quite small.
However, the strength of a braided line may not be the best thing, as crappies do have paper-thin mouths that may get ripped with too tough a line.
So, because monofilament line has more give, people often prefer it for crappie fishing. Fluorocarbon line is almost completely invisible under water, which has made it another hugely popular option for crappie fishing.
Due to the increasing popularity of braided lines many newer products are being released that are almost completely transparent. This reduces one of the biggest setbacks of using braided line for crappie fishing.
Also, the conditions of the water do influence a crappie’s vision. For instance, muddier waters greatly reduce their vision, meaning a colored braided line may not be as much of an issue in these conditions.
Can Crappie Smell?
Although predominately sight feeders, crappie do rely on their scent in certain situations where visibility is limited. For example, crappie may struggle to see during heavy winds and rains or when traffic is high in the water.
In these conditions, scent becomes more important for the fish, allowing them to find their prey – and your baits. While the best times to use scents for crappie varies from each location – namely due to weather conditions – the further into spring is usually viewed as one of the best times.
This is because bites are at their highest during pre-spawns, so there is an abundance of crappie to catch. From spring into late autumn, the crappie is more taxed from their spawning activities, so often need some encouragement to find your baits, which is where scents can be used to your advantage.