Crappie may be one of the most abundant fishes in the United States, residing in the greatest number of lakes and rivers, but this doesn’t mean they are the easiest to catch. In fact, crappie can be quite elusive. That’s why it’s important to try different crappie fishing tactics to reel in the most fish in the most effective manner. Here are some tips to get you started so that you can make the most of your next fishing trip.
Crappie fishing tactics vary depending on the time of year, the depth of the crappie, and the area of the lake in which you’ll find your best catch. One of the crappie fishing tactics that works best when crappie are deep enough (at least 8-15 feet) is vertical fishing. At this range, they are more tolerant of a boat directly overhead, and you can drop jigs and slip-bobber rigs down the side of the boat. One of the most efficient vertical methods is to use a bottom-bumping rig.
Another one of many proven crappie fishing tactics is casting into shallows, much like bass fishing. Crappie prefer to remain in cover, so you’ll want to swim tiny jigs, spinners, and crank baits in shallow cover along the shores or in submerged cover, if you have a good deal of accuracy and can avoid snagging the line. You should cast beyond the point where you feel the crappie will be best caught and let your lure sink to the level you want, then begin a slow swim through the cover area. Keep in mind that a 1/16 ounce jig will sink at approximately one foot per second, so you want to count down to the level just above any stakes sticking up from the bottom (the cover), where the crappie are baited but your line doesn’t get stuck in the cover.
Trolling can be one of the most effective crappie fishing tactics as well. Trolling slowly with an electric motor or drifting can be a great way to find elusive crappie in open water. Try spider fishing using several rods over all sides of the boat so that you are more liking to get a bite. Some anglers using this method will set out over a dozen rods, trolling at different depths, in their attempt to find a school of crappie. Also, keep in mind that using fiberglass rods instead of graphite will make your life easier in this pursuit the fiberglass rods are more limber and will respond with a deeper, slower bend when crappie is caught in a jig.
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is commited to providing the best crappie fishing information possible. Get more information on crappie fishing tactics here: http://www.askcrappiefishing.com