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Crappie Fishing Pointers
Crappie Fishing Pointers

Crappie Fishing Pointers

Crappie are the fish that you can have success year round with.  They are active during all of the seasons, and once you get on them, you will be pulling them in one after another.  That is what crappie fishing so fun and addicting, its high paced action, and with a nice light rod, it can be a blast.  Also, crappie is a great tasting fish too; it’s a white meat and a favorite fish to eat among anglers and nonanglers alike.  This article is going to cover some basic tips and tricks to help you catch fish all year round and keep your freezer stocked too. 

The Setup

Crappie is not a particularly large fish, so you don’t need to go in with a heavy rod.  You will want to choose a carbon fiber rod or even a bamboo rod.  It is best to leave your fly fishing gear at home for crappie.  On the rod, you are going to want to use a lightweight.  Remember these fish are not very big and you don’t have to overkill it.  Most basic setups will be enough for any crappie you might catch. 

When it comes to reels, any lightweight or ultra-lightweight reels should be perfect for crappie fishing.  If you choose a reel with a larger diameter spool, you can avoid the coiling that often comes with the lightweight line.  Like stated before almost any basic lightweight rod and reel should be enough to keep you catching fish all day. 

Rigs Jigs and Lures

Crappie can be caught from live bait or artificial and what you use may depend on the time of the season that you are fishing or how the fish are reacting to different lure and bait selection that day.  So it is best to keep your options open and come prepared with a few different choices so you can stay flexible and adapt your plan to the fish. 

The most popular thing to catch crappie with is jigs.  Jigs are the lure that is highly adaptable to whatever you are fishing, as you can change them to suit your basic needs.  Most start with a basic jig head, and you attach a plastic body over top of it to act as a fish or other bait.  These are something that you should play around with and see, some colors or different setups may be more effective than others.  It is best to keep a number of variations, in your tackle box and, change them until you find what works. 

Live bait is another choice for anglers. It is hard to pick an artificial lure that can mimic a live bait, and that is why they are so effective.  When you choose your minnows, make sure they are small.  Crappie aren’t large fish, and they can only swallow small minnows.

Fish the Winter

The best time to get on crappie in the winter.  During this time the fish will be trying to spawn so they are at a higher activity level than any other time of the year.  It is also the time when they will come from deeper water and can be found congregated around 3 to 5 feet of water.  Most crappie fishermen know that the winter is the best time, so you must brave the cold and get out there and put your line in the water. 


Crappie will congregate around any type of structure.  They absolutely love being around it whether they are in deep water or not, and you should look to find any kind of underwater structure that offers them a sense of protection. The best things to look for is vegetation or lily pads, and these offer the fish the most natural structure.  Also, it may be smart to fish under fallen trees or to check with your local DNR to see if they have placed any man-made structures in the lake. 

Once you find a good structure, it will be a lot easier to catch a bunch of fish.  Crappie is school fish, so where there is one there are usually a lot more.  They travel together in schools, so finding the first one is the most difficult part, but when there is one you can usually find a bunch more. 

Dawn and Dusk        

Most fish are active during dawn and dusk.  This is when they are out feeding.  Crappie tends to feed during dawn and dusk, but for the most part, the best action is found during the morning.   You will want to get out and into position before the sun is coming up. 

Once you are in position and the fish, start feeding, if you are near a structure and have found where the crappie is staying it should be a successful morning.  While you can still catch them during the day, you may have to work a little harder to find and get them to bite. 

Don’t Underestimate the Cane Pole

You don’t want to underestimate a good old-fashioned cane pole.  While there are plenty of great lightweight rods and reels with a number of different upgrades if you want a fun and different way to catch, crappie tries using a cane pole. 

When fishing with a cane pole, you are going to do vertical jigging.  This is where you simply find a spot near the structure, and you drop a line in.  You will simply let your lure drop and give it a slight twitch every 2 -4 seconds.  This will hopefully attract any crappie to you.  It can be extremely effective as it lets you get your bait exactly where you want it to be. 


Crappie is a fun and exciting fish to fish all year round.  They are a fun and quick action style of fishing, and once you get on them, you know you will fill your freezer.  Remember to focus your fishing efforts during the early hours of the morning or around dusk and that you will want to fish around structures.  If you follow these tips, you should be having deep fried crappie in no time. 

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