In most states, it’s that time of year and in others, it will be shortly! I’m talking about the annual crappie spawn. Turkey’s are gobbling, Dogwoods are blooming, Morels are popping, and Crappie are spawning. What’s there not to love about spring?
For some, spring is the season for crappie fishing, and it’s a great time to get out on the water and catch some of these delicious fish. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, crappie are a popular target because they are abundant, easy to catch, and tasty. The key to successful crappie fishing during the spring is to understand their behavior and where to find them. In this article, I will help you explore the different aspects of spring crappie fishing, from gear to techniques to finding the right spots.
Understanding Crappie Behavior in Spring-
In the spring, they start to move from deep waters to shallow waters in search of food and spawning grounds. As the water temperature warms up, their metabolism increases, and they become more active. This means they are likely to be more active during the daytime, especially during the peak sunlight hours.
Host of Brushpile Fishing Russ Bailey said, “Springtime offers many opportunities, including for bank fishermen. Whether on a boat or land, when fishing spring shallow waters, get the most out of cork fishing. With cold fronts moving in, I work the jigs slow, especially on our shallow lakes. I also use a cork, just barely big enough to hold the jig up. By far, my go-to combination is a 1/32 oz. Crappie Magnet Double-Cross or Eye Hole Jig, with the EZ Trout float. Also, concentrate on the slightest movement of the float. Many times during these fronts, the crappie will not take the float under, but you may see it barely lay on one side. SET THE HOOK!! When you start to see this, you will be putting more fish in the boat!”
Crappie can be found near structure, such as weed lines or fallen trees, where they can feed on small fish and insects. When the water temperature rises above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the crappie begin to spawn. This usually happens in shallow water, near vegetation, or other structures. During this time, they can be easier to catch because they are more focused on spawning than feeding. “Never fish the same area too long. As the water temperature warms up, fish are on the move. Try to stay ahead of the fish” said John Mayo with JH Guide Service.
Gear Needed for Spring Crappie Fishing-
When it comes to gear, you’ll want to use light to medium rods, with either spinning or spin-cast reels. I have become quite fond of the B’n’M Poles TCB. It’s a light-action rod that is ultra-sensitive. I prefer to use a 4-6 pound test line, with a 1/16 or 1/32 oz jig head. Live bait, such as minnows or wax worms, will work best, but artificial bait like jigs can also be highly effective. In some area of the country, people take to wade fishing for crappie during the spawn. Wading can be quite effective as you’re able to get places a boat can’t.
Techniques for Spring Crappie Fishing-
One technique for spring crappie fishing is slow trolling. This involves moving your boat or kayak at a slow speed while dragging your bait or lure behind. You can use a depth finder to find the depth at which the crappie are feeding, and then adjust your bait to that depth. This technique will allow you to cover a large area, increasing your chances of finding a school of crappie.
Another technique is to cast and retrieve. Look for any structure, such as a brush pile or dock, and cast your bait towards it. Begin to retrieve your bait slowly, giving it a gentle jiggle every few seconds to attract the crappie. If you don’t get a bite, move on to the next spot and repeat the process.
If you’re fishing from shore, look for any areas with structure that extend from the shore out into deeper waters, such as a fallen tree or a rocky point. Use the same techniques as you would on a boat, casting and retrieving or slow trolling. Using a bobber or float can also be very effective and retrieve it slowly with the jig set approximately 1-2′ below the bobber. Brian Carter said, “One tip I would give anglers for spring fishing is to put a 1/16th ounce jig under a bobber and fish in about two to three foot around structure and cover in the backs of covers or up in creeks where water is not impacted by waves. Places like this also are great because the sun warms the water faster.”
Tips for Finding the Right Spots–
When it comes to finding the right spots to catch crappie during the spring, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, look for areas with structure. Crappie like to hang out near structure because it provides cover for them and attracts smaller fish and insects that they can feed on.
Another thing to look for is water temperature. As mentioned earlier, crappie become more active as the water temperature rises. Look for areas where the water is warmer, such as shallow coves or areas with a lot of sun exposure.
You can also use your depth finder to locate schools of crappie. Look for areas where the depth changes quickly, such as a drop-off or a trough. These areas can create a concentration of crappie, making it easier to catch them. “Don’t get caught up in trying to fish where the fish ought to be. Let them tell you where they are. Stay on the move and be versatile” said Kris Mann.
Spring is a great time to go crappie fishing, as the fish become more active and move toward shallow waters. Remember to bring the proper gear, including light to medium rods and live bait, and to understand the behavior of the crappie during this season. Use your depth finder to locate schools of crappie and look for areas with structure and warm water. With these tips, you’ll have a great chance of catching some delicious crappie this spring. Also, don’t forget to take a kid with you as crappie fishing can be enjoyed by all ages!