Depending on the season of the year that you intend to go fishing, you’ll want to use different tactics to draw the crappie to your line. Lures, areas of the lake to expect to find the crappie, and depths at which these specimens will be found vary by season. One of the best times to find large slabs is the spring. Spring crappie fishing is usually fruitful, with two pound slabs or greater available in many parts of the country. How can you assure that spring crappie fishing will produce the best possible catch for you?
Spring crappie fishing typically begins before the official start of spring, as crappie begin their pre-spawning in early March. Finding crappie becomes much easier as the waters warm and crappie prepare for their spawning season in the shallows of the lakes and rivers. In fact, you’ll find some of the fattest, heaviest, and longest fish in the early and middle parts of March. These are the females who have literally been languid at the bottom of the lake, barely moving and only eating when absolutely necessary and simply storing energy for the spawning season.
In the spring, you should be searching the shallows, especially in the brushy areas. Spring crappie fishing finds the biggest slabs resting beneath heavy cover, especially that which sticks up just above the surface of the waters. Here, the water may only be four or five feet deep, and you should watch the bottom of your boat. One way to get the best access is to fish from the banks or piers if they are available. However, this is not the only place to find large specimens.
As the waters warm, you’ll find that spring crappie fishing results in a shift to the deeper waters, where the temperature is more consistent. You might even have to head out to the center of the lakes, looking for depths of about twenty feet with schools of crappie hanging out around twelve to fifteen feet.
Using 1/16-ounce hair jigs dropped to just above the top of the cover will produce excellent results in water that is just a little deeper than the brushpiles along the banks, especially in mid to late March or even early April. Note that weather affects the actions of the crappie as well. Spring crappie fishing can produce results as shallow as four to five feet below the surface on a warm day with calm waters, while schools of crappie may be driven as deep as the bottom of a lake twenty feet or more on a stormy day with lots of cloud cover and cold winds. Check the clarity of the water before choosing your jig the color you use will depend upon it.
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is commited to providing the best crappie fishing information possible. Get more information on spring crappie fishing here: http://www.askcrappiefishing.com