Crappie are widely regarded as one of the most enjoyable panfish in North America. Not only does their white, flaky meat taste delicious, they’re generally great fun to catch. You’ll find crappie throughout most of the US and Canada, where the fish are found in various locations.
If you’re looking to reel in some crappie for the first time then you’ll want to know a few facts regarding crappie habitat. Continue reading below for more information about where crappie live and like to hide:
Where do Crappie Live?
Crappie are freshwater fish, so you’ll find them in many freshwater locations throughout the USA in Canada. This includes lakes, pools, ponds, reservoirs, creek channels, and rocky points, with crappie typically being found in large schools of freshwater.
However, there are specific conditions that crappie want in freshwater! For example, crappie like to hide, so frequent freshwater locations that have a high volume of underwater brush and weeds.
It’s also important to know that crappie habitat often varies depending on the time of year. For instance, crappie tend to remain in deeper water during the summer when spawning season is dwindling down.
Conversely, crappie are found in shallower waters throughout spawning season, which beings early spring. Also, a black crappie withstands deeper waters better than white crappie, so may be found in deeper locations more often than not.
The reason that crappie are found in shallow areas during spawning season is due to breeding habits. For instance, a male crappie prepares nests for female crappie by clearing mud or sand at the bottom of the water near the bank. The female then arrives at the nest, lays the eggs, after which both male and female guard the area for several days.
Where Do Crappie Hide?
Crappie live in areas that provide them with natural cover, namely around vegetation that gives them somewhere to hide from predators. So, any weeds or brush located around the banks is a great place to look for hiding crappie.
However, crappie tend to hide more during the winter months as the water temperatures begin to drop. They like to group together around brush piles and trees, although it’s not uncommon to find them hiding under docks or other manmade structures.
On the flip side, crappie also like to avoid high water temperatures. This means they are susceptible to hiding during the summer months, especially in warm climates, making it even more challenging for anglers to locate as they are already living in deeper waters come mid-summer.
Yet crappie don’t go to deep waters to remain cool during the summer, as it’s actually the weeds and vegetation in the water that offers relief from the heat. This means that weeds are your best bet for hiding crappie during the summer.
Of course, many anglers aren’t a fan of fishing in heavy weeds but if you’re struggling to find crappie during the summer months it is well worth casting a line in the thicker growth!