Crappie has a reputation for being a delicious panfish, which has lead to them being one of the most popular fish to catch in the country. As a freshwater species, crappies are found predominately in lakes and rivers, so there are various methods that can be used to catch them throughout the year.
Spawning season is often the best time to go crappie fishing as there is usually an abundance of fish in shallower waters, making it easier to get a big haul during your trip. However, crappies are also great to catch out of spawning season, although they are often more elusive so require more shrew techniques to attract them.
In fact, sometimes it’s hard to get a bite with crappie even during peak season, so check some of these tips for how to attract more crappie on your next fishing trip:
How to Attract Crappie
1. Live minnows work best
Minnows are one of the main food sources for crappie, so they are naturally a fantastic bait to use. A popular method is to combine the live minnow beneath a cork, which you then cast and wait for a bite. It’s simple yet effective and very worth trying to get more crappie biting the line.
Of course, artificial minnow can be used as well, but you’ll often find the real baitfish work a lot more effectively at attracting crappie. Should live bait not do the trick, consider trying an artificial minnow instead.
2. Try using jigs
While live minnows are unquestionably one of the best baits to use, using a jig is also an effective way to attract crappie. So, if you’re struggling with the live minnow, consider swapping out to a lead head lure, as these are often easier to control than live bait, especially when fishing in brushy areas crappie are known to populate.
3. Experiment with different color jigs
A great thing about jigs is that they come in a variety of colors, so you can use different colors to accommodate the various water conditions. Certain colors work better at different depths of water, so be sure to get a range of colors to help increase your chances of attracting more crappie.
4. Use lots of lures
Crappies aren’t too fussy when it comes to lures, so when jigs and live baitfish don’t seem to work consider using something different. Artificial lures are usually effective for attracting crappie when live minnows or jigs don’t work.
For instance, a spinnerbait is a good choice when casting from further distances when on the banks of a pond or lake, being quite easy to cast and retrieve without dealing with snagging issues. Jigging spoons are another good option, especially when fishing during winter or summer when crappie are in deeper waters, as it submerges very quickly so has a better chance to attract deeper crappie.
5. Upgrade your fishing pole
Now, cane poles are the classic option for fishing crappie, and while certainly effective, they could be working against you in some instances. For example, sometimes crappie bite so lightly on the line that a cane pole or entry-level spinner cast doesn’t even feel it.
With a quality pole made from graphite or carbon-fibre, you benefit from improved sensitivity, helping snag more crappie you didn’t realise where there.