Catching crappie in Alabama is not that complicated. If the weather is pleasant and you have a cane pole along with a bucket of minnows for bait, you should be able to catch at least a few crappies. This is particularly true in the northern part of Alabama where the lakes are teeming with crappie. However, if you want to catch more than just one or two on your next fishing trip, then here are a few tips that will help you out.
Fishing from a boat is generally preferred when going after crappie. Although you can reach many of them from the shoreline, the tendency of crappie to stay under the cover of vegetation makes them more difficult to get at an angle compared to dropping the line straight down. So, while you can fish from the shore or a dock, a boat may be your best bet when going after crappie.
The advances in electronics have been considerable over the past couple of decades. One of the most important advances in the development of side-scan sonar. This lets you see the contour of the bottom of the lake, the cover that is present, and the bait that you drop. But more importantly, it lets you see how the crappie is moving in relation to the contours, cover, and bait.
This means that you can get more information on your first look compared to several minutes using the old sonar system. This allows you to track the crappie and know where to drop your bait with greater precision.
It may seem counter-intuitive at first to use a 6 to the 8-pound line when fishing for crappie that is usually three pounds or less. However, while lighter lines may get a few more bites, the pull from the crappie may sometimes snap them. So, a heavier line will be far more durable and reduce accidents to a minimum.
Search, Locate, then Fish
The best anglers who go after crappie spend most of their time searching the bottom using their side-scan sonar. The goal is to track the location of crappie which are school fish. In other words, then tend to be together in groups of up to 50 or more. Finding them is imperative if you want to land several crappies on your trip.
Although it may seem like you are wasting time searching, the truth is that once you find the school of crappie you can drop your line and reel in several in a half-hour or perhaps less.
In many Alabama lakes, the clarity of the water may not be all that good. This means that lures that have small spinners offer an advantage of being seen better by the crappie. There are horsehead designs that put the spinner at the front which makes them quite attractive.
Following these tips will help you land plenty of crappies when fishing in the lakes, streams, and rivers in Alabama. Remember that some of the biggest crappies ever caught were in this state, so you will need to be prepared.