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Looking For Crappie In The Right Places


looking for crappie in the right places - steves dadIt’s getting close to the time we need to get out there looking for crappie.

Right now during the winter time; you will be looking for the pre-spawned crappie.

Pre-spawned Crappie are hard to catch in January thru Mid February, because they are suspended on creek channels just waiting for the water to warm up so they can move into the spawn mode.


Those creek channels will have some pretty cold water and the crappie will not chase their food. They are like bass in this situation where you have to drop the bait right in front of their nose.


I am not saying they will not move every once in a while, they do make a run to stumps or brush piles but will not remain there for long.


The crappie also have a comfort zone and they will remain there all day, which maybe coming up out of a sharp drop off and then return to it.


Look for Pre-spawned Crappie in brush piles in 8-15 feet of water. This is why I like using a Crappie Jig. The vertical presentation, what I do is like on a StakeBed (Stickup) I will ease the jig down by the stickup slowly until I find the depth they are in. I will swim it or bounce it a few times and if I do not get a hit, I will bring it up and try another spot in the same area until I locate them.



Every time I move the jig I will start the process again with swimming it and jumping it off the bottom. I really like to set my bait at nine feet to me that is a good place to start.


When they get in the spawn mode I have caught crappie in a foot of water.


Two Types of Crappie


The two types of crappie are easy White and Black. The differences you will see is the black crappie have irregular spots on their side where the white crappie are paler and have regular vertical spots.


I have got to warn you. Crappie are spooky fish and the reason I say this is I have seen guys go out with line on their reels that look like they are going for whales. I recommend using 4-6-8-10 pound test, the lighter the better. It all depends on what you like and feel comfortable with using; don't want you to lose any.


Spawning Period: Mid February thru April (Spring Time)


In the spring when the water temperature reaches the 50's to low 60's, the crappie will move into the spawning areas. Most of the time the spawning areas will be shallow and wind protected coves.


They like cover so start looking for willow trees, cypress trees, blown down trees, stick ups, grass and marinas. Most of the crappie that you will catch will be in the pound to 2 pound range and if you are looking for the crappie slabs, try stumps, or a hump a little deeper.


I have said this before and will say it again, be aware of what the fish are telling you, or showing you. An example is the day that I went around a point and looked over by the bank and saw the tails sticking of out the water fanning a bed. It was like they told me "Hey Over Here" come get me.


After the Spawn:


You can follow the fish off the beds just remember they like that cool water, so you will have to shift your attention to deeper water and still look for the stumps or humps in the 50 to 60 degree water. This is where you depth finder can comes in handy.


These are the times that you need to get the kids out for a fun day of fishing seeing they are so easy to catch. Make sure that you have searched out the area that you are going to fish. I know when I was growing up; the day that we went I was looking to catch some fish and was disappointed when it did not happen.


Let me tell you there were very few days when we did not bring home an ice chest full of crappie home.


If you have a special way to cook these great tasting fish, I would love to hear about it and don't hold back any secrets. All my articles have a comment sections so let me hear from you.


Keep the Hooks Wet



Steve McGoldrick



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