It may seem like the question of how many times crappie spawn each year is a simple one. But the answer is really more complex when you think about spawning in terms of location and not just the time of the year.
How Many Times Do Crappies Spawn Each Year
The answer is that crappie spawn once per year but depending on the location the spawning season may start as early as March or as late as June. This means for those who love crappie fishing and are willing to do a little traveling, you may be able to fish for crappie over a spawning season that lasts for four months.
When Does the Spawning Season Start?
It depends on where the crappie is located. In the US, there are three times during the spring in which the crappie will start to spawn.
- March: In southern states below the Mason-Dixon line
- May: Across the middle of the country from Virginia to Kansas to Northern California
- June: Across the northern areas from Pennsylvania to South Dakota to Oregon
Another thing to consider is that the crappie starts gathering for the spawning season a few weeks ahead of time. Plus, they tend to hang around nearby after the spawn as well. This means that you can enjoy crappie fishing in one location for several weeks if you find the right spot. It also means that in northern areas, you may be able to fish during the post-spawning as late in July.
It’s the Temperature, not the Time
In other words, crappie will begin to spawn when the temperature reaches 56 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why the spawning season begins later the further north you travel. The peak time of the spawning season begins when the water reaches temperatures of 61 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping track of the water temperature will provide clues to when is the best time to start fishing for crappie.
Because it is the temperature and not the time of the year that is the deciding factor, it is possible for crappie to spawn in the summer, fall, or winter months although that has rarely happened. A false spring for example, which is when the temperatures rise in the winter temporarily may create some pre-spawning activity in the crappie.
Where to Find the Crappie?
Once you leave at the right time, the next step is finding out where they spawn. In most locations, crappie will spawn in calm water about ten to fifteen feet below the surface. Plus, crappie will spawn where there is some type of shelter nearby such as reeds or stumps. This means that you should look in the following places.
- Shallow bays
- Still areas such as along banks
These are the places that you should search for if you want to find the best locations of crappie during the spawning season.
Spawning season is the best time to fish for crappie because they are located around a single place and remain voraciously hungry. Using the right techniques can help you land a considerable catch.