3 Crappie Fishing Tips That Will Catch Them All

3 crappies on ice

You have been on your boat all-day casting the line, waiting patiently for the right opportunity. Finally, you notice the tightening of your line, and it becomes difficult to pull it back up.

However, fishing can be a frustrating enterprise. You could scout for the whole day, cast your line multiple times, change locations, and still end up with nothing.

This is why we present here exclusive crappie fishing tips.

Crappie fish come in two major species which are briefly highlighted below along with their behavioral patterns:

​White Crappies

White crappies are lighter as they only have 6 dorsal spines. The colored bands on their side are usually 8 or 9. Also, though they can get by in rough waters, they are usually found in southern states with fewer waves.

The average size of a white crappie is 1 pound with 5 pounds being the extreme size.

​Black Crappies

As the name suggests, they are the darker of the two species and have clearly visible spotting on the sides. In terms of water conditions, you are more likely to find them in lakes with acid content.

They are known to live with white crappies at times, but are less likely to mate with each other.

​Follow​ these simple steps, and you can achieve a better result in your crappie fish angling:

​​Step 1 - Finding the Crappies

While crappies are one of the easiest game fish to score, you would not achieve optimum results if you’re not looking in the right direction. They can be found on virtually all continents, but are more prominent in North America and Canada.

​They ​​​​are usually not found in ​saltwater. Instead, they are known to flock in freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes. This is because they are freshwater fishes and the conditions of salt or sea water would eliminate their existence.

Look near broken tree branches or submersed bush chunk

Crappies don’t like being exposed to light or open atmosphere. ​While they enjoy the fresh or clear water, they are usually found in covered locations.

When you can’t find these conditions, you can mimic them by building artificial bush coverings around a lake. Also, you can drop three branches in a lake, leave for a few hours to a day and come back to fish at the spot where the wood was dropped.

An extra tip is to look at the space between two tree logs. This gives higher chances of finding crappies than looking at just a single branch.

Dam and docks also do the Job

This also follows from the previous clues as dock side also provides for covering that can serve well as a crappie stops for fishing.

When all else fails use fish finders

Sometimes, crappies can be difficult to find because they stay in deep waters. In this case, using a fishfinder would help locate them.

​Step 2 - Use the Proper Tools

​Rod and Reel

​All you need is a lightweight rod and a ​reel. ​​We recommend using a spinning reel as it is beginner friendly.


​We recommend small jigs and and minnows. Minnows are considered the top choice ​if ​it is legal in your chosen fishing place. Always check ​the regulations ​as you could end up with a hefty fine.

​Step 3 - Know How Crappies Behave:

Know how crappies react to weather conditions:

  • When the temperature is hot, you would most likely not find them on the surface of the water. In these times, you need to cast your line deep in the water
  • In cold weather, try your best to avoid the river and lake banks. Though it might be more comfortable to stay there, you would most likely not find crappies at this location.
  • ​Fishing in the winter has an ​advantage; the crappies tend to school up more than in the summer. Using a fish finder will be a huge time saver;
  • During spring, you would find more crappies in shallow waters.

​Avoid muddy waters

When the water is not clear or has particles your chances of finding crappies reduce as the mud makes it difficult for crappies to see the bait clearly​.

Pre-spawn Conditions

This is a period when water temperature is at 60 degrees, and this could be either February or May depending on whether the fish are in the south or north respectively.

​During this time the crappies move into ​shallow waters.

Spawn Conditions

This is essentially the mating period which also means egg laying time for the females. When the eggs are inseminated, the females go deep into the water, and the males protect them.

In a bid to protect their hatchlings, the males are prone to aggression at this time and bite anything in their path. Thus, a little bait set on a line attached to a pole would get you good results.

Post-spawn ​Conditions

​During this period, they hardly move close to the surface​, however, they will ​attack without hesitation as they have probably not fed in a while.


To summarize​, you need to understand the kind of crappie you are dealing with. Next, you must know the positioning and the environmental preferences of this fish. Finally, you must take into account seasonal preferences and life cycle considerations.

We hope our crappie fishing tips improve your overall fishing experience while ensuring you don’t return to your camp empty handed.

Comments Section

  1. Indiana

    May 7, 2019, 2:35 pm

    Thanks a lot for sharing those blog links!

  2. Steve. Glatzer

    June 14, 2019, 9:32 am

    How do you hook up the line for pier fishing

  3. Angler Area

    July 12, 2019, 9:47 am

    Hi Steve, you could use any of the above knots, maybe with the exception of the turtle knot. Our favorite is the snell knot and we’ve had a lot of success with it in freshwater and saltwater fishing. I hope that helps!

  4. Hector Mosquera

    July 15, 2019, 5:10 am

    Thanks for the tips going to give it a try and and see how the results of this are.

  5. Angler Area

    August 13, 2019, 11:08 am

    Tight lines Hector! Feel free to tag us on twitter @AnglerArea with your catches!

Leave a Comment