Crappies are a species belonging to the sunfish family that is native to North America. A popular panfish known for its great taste, crappies are also great fun to fish, being among the most popular freshwater gamefish in the USA and Canada. Once native to the eastern region of North America, crappies are now found in freshwater locations across mainland United States and Canada.
Why Fish Crappie?
One of the big attractions of fishing for crappie is you don’t know what to expect when you cast a line. On some occasions, crappies are found in abundance in shallow areas of freshwater lakes and streams, allowing for plentiful catches during the late spring and early summer.
Other times, crappies are elusive and aggressive, so you can always expect an entertaining experience when fishing for crappies, which is why they’ve remained such a popular species to fish.
Tackle to Use When Fishing Crappie
It is important to use a suitable rod and line for catching crappie, so choosing wisely may significantly increase your haul. The best crappie rods are generally long and lightweight, while a light line is also a popular option among experienced crappie anglers.
The best bait and lures to use for crappie fishing depend on the current season, as this determines where the fish are likely to be found and what they might be eating. For example, during spawning season crappie are in the shallower water, moving to deeper locations in lakes after they’ve spawned.
This could influence where you want to cast a line, and therefore what bait and lures are best used. Simple jigs are often viewed as the best options for catching crappie, with the curly tail, plastic skirt, and fish-shaped jigs working to great effect.
Artificial minnow bait is one of the best choices for catching crappie too, so be sure to combine with smaller jigs using simple knots such as the loop knot.
Why are Crappie Rods So Long?
One recommendation any experienced crappie fisher will tell you is to make sure you use a long rod. Crappie rods should always have a good length to them, mainly due to their nesting locations.
For instance, during spawning season crappies flood shallow areas near the shore, so a rod with good length offers the perfect range for quiet casting. Yet there’s always a lot of brush and foliage in these areas, so the longer pole gives a better range and reduces the chances of snagging.
Furthermore, when crappies are found in deeper sections of freshwater, they come together in massive schools that are ripe for the picking – a long rod allows you to get in close on kayak or canoe and cast towards the crappie.
However, longer crappie rods do sacrifice some weight and portability, so be mindful of this if carrying heavy packs for long stretches. Longer crappie rods should also be limber to avoid tearing the delicate crappie mouth.
Telescopic rods are a good choice as they provide additional length but remain compact and lightweight, so are popular for anglers seeking a lengthy rod for catching crappie.
Another popular choice of rod for crappie rods is the cane rod. The reason for this is that they offer great length and precision, allowing vertical jigs to rest softly in the water to lure in crappie, which works very well in cover too.
Regardless of your choice of rod, always look for ample length in the pole for crappie fishing – anything between 10’ and 16’ should suffice.