How To Fish For Crappie ~ You can most likely catch crappie in large streams. Aside from that, you may also find these fish species in reservoirs, rivers, and in private ponds. But if you are planning to go on a fishing trip, make sure to jot down the tips I will be discussing more in-depth in this article. These tips also include the best way to fish for crappie and the best time to do so. Along with these tips are some of the tools you may use to catch more crappie.

A Must-Read: Types Of Fishing Hooks

Different Ways To Catch For Crappie

Crappie or panfish is one of the best-tasting fish found on freshwaters. Since they have a diverse diet, you can catch crappies in different ways, including trolling with artificial lures or minnows, casting light jigs, bobbers, and small spinnerbaits.

Fishing crappies are also common with ice-anglers because these kinds of fish are active in winter. Ice-anglers catch fish using spears, fish hooks, and lines through a hole or an opening in the frozen body of water. These fishermen might fish inside heated enclosures or in the open. Aside from that, they may also catch with amenities and bunks.

Here are some of the tips that you can use to fish for crappies:

Utilize A Bobber

A bobber or float can provide better results when fishing for crappie. It allows you to set how deep your bait will go, which means you can have better control of the bait and prevent the bait from sinking more profound than the fish.

There are times of the year when a bobber helps the most. But you can use it whether for fishing crappie during summer or spring in deeper water or at the shallow spots.

Once you determine the depth where crappies hide, you can use a bobber to set the bait where they are. As a result, you will be able to catch a lot of this type of fish. Some of the best bobbers for fishing you can find include Glow Stick Fishing Floats by thkfish and Eagle Claw Snap-On Floats.

Deploy Two Rods

Another way to increase your catch is to use two rods when fishing for crappie. Two rods can fool crappies by taking advantage of the instincts of fish for survival.

You may want to put a bobber in your main bait, jig, or minnow to lure crappies and utilize the second rod along with a huge artificial bait. To start, deploy the second line upper than your main bait and reel it quickly. It will give an idea that a rival fish is coming to grab your bait. Of course, the natural reaction of crappie is to try to take the bait first before other fish.

Use The Right Bait Color

The color of the bait you will utilize can make a difference when fishing for crappie. While there is no specific explanation of why bait color helps to attract crappie, the following guidelines can at least provide an idea to begin.

  1. Clear Water – When fishing in clear water, use a bait with a natural color like Berkley Gulp! Minnow Soft Bait. This product looks like a real minnow, resulting in a higher catch.
  2. Darker Water – You will need baits with brighter colors when fishing in low-light environments. Bright colored grubs will reflect more light that provides better visibility for crappies.
  3. Sunny Days – If the sun is bright, you can choose whatever grub color you want. Bright colors, on the other hand, are preferred by most people who fish for crappie, including yellow, chartreuse, electric pink, and so much more. The PowerBait Fresh Water Fishing Bait from Berkley is among your best choices for bright colored grubs.
  4. Overcast Or Cloudy Skies – During cloudy days, opt for grubs with a little darker colors. However, make sure that it comes with a touch of bright color, whether on its tail or any area.
How To Fish For Crappie

Use Live Bait

Live baits are the best tool to fish for crappie. Here are some of the high-quality live baits we manage to find for you:

Night Crawlers By HomeGrownWorms

How To Fish For Crappie

HomeGrownWorms Night Crawlers don’t need to be refrigerated to last longer. They live from 60 to 80-degree Fahrenheit, which means, you don’t need to worry about having dead worms. These Night Crawlers arrives as two to four inches in size. Expect delivery within the same shipping date.

Live Bait Maggots

How To Fish For Crappie

Maggots are among the best options when buying a live bait for fishing crappies. Aside from using it as bait, you can also feed it to other reptiles. This live bait maggot reaps a lot of positive reviews from customers, allowing it to rank as one of the best live baits for fishing crappies.

Use Processed Or Preserved Baits

If you find it difficult to use live bait when fishing for crappie, here are some of the other products you can find:

Uncle Josh Bait Preserved Minnows

How To Fish For Crappie

Minnows are the first thing that comes in mind when it comes to fishing for crappie. Uncle Josh Bait provides naturally preserved minnows that are best specifically for ice fishing. This product is not safe to consume by humans.

Gulp! Maggot By Berkley

How To Fish For Crappie

This artificial bait works better when gobbed on a hook with straight-shank. It arrives in a resealable container to keep secure contents inside. Maggots are among the best bait for panfish. But unlike the live ones, Gulp! Maggot can last longer.

PowerBait Power Honey Worm By Berkley

This Power Honey Worm from Berkley is made explicitly for panfish species like crappie. It includes insect larvae that any kind of fish consume. People who plant to fish in frozen bodies of water are ideal to use this bait. It comes with natural color and is 1-inch long.

MAGIC PB-3 Bluegill Bait

Magic PB-3 Bluegill Bait is well-packed inside a resealable pouch. It comes with a mild aroma that attracts fish and is clean to use. Individuals who want to fish but don’t like touching live baits can take advantage of this product. It is fun to use and effective for fishing crappies.

The Types Of Crappie

Black Crappie

Pomoxis nigromaculatus or black crappie are also popular with the name spotted bass or calico bass. These are game fish that initially came from North America that has a silver-gray or olive green body along with dark mottling and speckling all over their body.

You can distinguish black crappie with their dark spots in rows over their anal, dorsal, as well as in their caudal fins. You can see them with around seven or eight spines located on their dorsal fins.

The black and white species may weigh more than five pounds. On the other hand, their average weight is from a half-pound to one pound.

In terms of length, black and white crappies may show around five to twelve inches in length. If you want to fish for black crappies, you can find the best in transparent bodies of water that have a lot of vegetation. But you can also find them on sand or mud on the bottom.

White Crappie

Pomoxis annularis or white crappie has a massive similarity to black crappie. In terms of appearance and size, you can expect black and white crappie to reach about the same size and weight. Just like dark crappies, the white variation of this fish type may show spots on their anal, dorsal, and caudal fins.

On the other hand, you can observe that white crappies have dark mottling that forms a vertical stripe on their sides. It allows them to show a whiter overall color instead of having a darker color.

Aside from that, the number of spines on their dorsal fins are also unique. Unlike black crappie, white crappie is given with less dorsal spines with about five to six.

For those who want to capture white crappie, you may not find them on clearer water. But this does not mean that clear rivers and seas don’t have crappie.

Usually, crappies travel in a group. So if you are lucky enough, you might make a good catch on your next fishing trip.

Seasons To Fish For Crappie


When the summer season starts, crappies frequently return to the deeper part of the water, far from their shallow habitats. During these warmer months, the best time to hunt for crappies is during the night or twilight hours. It is because they come closer to the surface to eat.

Summer can also become a challenging time to capture crappies. Most of the time, you will need patience, probably trolling, as well as the use of electronic devices, including fish finders. It is to find the underwater structures where some of them can hide and keep themselves fresh.


Crappies will breed during early summer and spring. Usually, it starts from March to July. On the other hand, spawning was known to occur as early as February in the warmer southern states.

Crappies reach the shallower part of water during the spawning season. It is usually from one to five feet deep. Next, the males abandon the deeper water and enter the shallows to build a nest near the vegetation.

Right after they make crappie leave, females will then follow in choosing male crappie and producing eggs. They can produce an average of 40,000 eggs or more than 180,000 anywhere. When the male crappies fertilized eggs, they will stay at their nests to guard the eggs against possible prey.


If you want to catch a lot of crappies, winter is the best season to do so. It is because crappies don’t usually experience semi-hibernation.

Always remember that in winter, crappies will reside in the deeper areas. You might find them at about fifteen to twenty feet because they are gathering in groups, also known as schooling.

If you want to capture more crappie, it is essential to know that they go to underwater structures during winters such as trees, boat docks, or brush. Bodies of water that has a southern exposure are the warmest, and you may find most crappie on those areas.

You can do ice fishing, but you might need sonar equipment to catch crappie. If you use sonar along with your existing knowledge on where they may hide, your fishing trip can bring good results.

The Best And Worst Times To Fish For Crappie

Crappie usually feeds between midnight and 2 AM. Knowing this, you may want to go fishing during those hours to capture more.

You can also find more crappies during twilight because they are go-to shallower areas to look for foods like insects and minnows. It means that casting your lures during this time of the day will allow you to capture more crappie.

Day, on the other hand, are the worst time to fish for crappie. During the day, these species stay in the deeper part of the water that makes it more challenging to make a good catch.

But in the spawning season, male crappies stay on their nests to guard the eggs in the shallow areas. They defensively attack anything that can hurt their eggs, which makes it easier to have them bite to the bait.

If you fish during the winter, it is an excellent time to fish for crappie during the afternoon. It is because the temperature of the water increases, meaning, crappies will go to acquire food closer to the surface.


As a conclusion, crappie is among the most favorite panfish species by both fishermen and fish lovers. It is because crappie has tasty meat that can get along with a different kind of cooking. Aside from that, they come into two variants, including the white and black. Apart from the color of their bodies, black and white crappie are almost identical when it comes to their size and weight. If you want to fish for crappie but you are not sure what to do, here is a guide that can help you out.

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