5 techniques for catching black crappies

You want to be able to plan your fishing trip and go where the fish are abundant, especially if you are new to the sport. In fact, just getting outside is fun and nothing beats catching a bunch of fish! Remember that fish love to swim off sandbars, in deep edges, weed beds and around sunken islands. They will also swim near structures like boat docks, piers and fallen trees. You should get a map if possible so you can locate some of the popular fishing spots.

There are actually many crappie fishing techniques that you should learn and employ when you are looking for the best fishing spot and those crappies. Even those anglers who have been fishing for a long time are not always right. However, there are some points you can follow when searching for good crappie fishing spots.

1. During certain time of the year crappies will hide in deeper parts of the water. One of the best places to find them when they have not traveled to the nearest lake for winter or not heading to deeper waters to avoid warm temperatures is in weed beds, logs, rivers, lily pads and other daytime hiding places. You want to be able to get into these hideouts without disturbing the fish. Crappies are active fish in the spring and fall so a jig that moving fast, a cork or bob with a minnow will work very well for fishermen.

2. In the summer fishermen should look for crappies in shaded areas that are close to deeper waters. Check under docks, bridges and other covered areas. It is better to look at dusk to dawn especially in summer since crappies like to eat in the dark.

3. You will find more crappies in rivers and creeks that have sunken trees and snags in the bank. Even if you don’t see any crappie you are sure to come across other fish in these areas. Another way is to troll with the eddies and rocks in the streams with a faster moving current.

4. Try looking for crappies in lakes. They seem to spend a lot of time in deeper waters and away from the shore in lakes. The best way to catch them is to cast from a boat. The first few days before a full moon are the days to fish for those crappies.

5. Crappie are color selective so if you are fishing in clear running water you should use bright and bold colors in order to get their attention. Lures in fluorescent chartreuse, bright whites, bright yellow and clear with sparkly flake or pumpkinseed will catch those crappies.

Along with these techniques you will want to use angling to catch black crappies. All you need is a hook attached by a line and a fishing rod. It doesn’t matter if you use live or artificial bait. This is one of the best spring techniques. Spider rigging uses many fishing rods that point in different directions outwards from the fisherman. It is named this because from far away the fisherman looks like a spider! Another trick to attract crappies is to throw live bait in the water and then put the line down.

The best way to catch crappies if by fly fishing and it is popular in the spring season. This is a deceptive technique that crappies are drawn towards. Dry flies are used in crappie fishing on clear summer days. Fly fishing takes a lot of skill and is very effective because anglers can feel the movement of the fish after they are hooked. Crappies are active year round but fall and spring are the hottest times for fishing. The warm water temperatures get the fish moving and feeding veraciously. Just before spawning they will move into shallow water and feed. This is the pre-spawn period. Most crappies will move into the shallows and guard their nests.

These pre-spawn and spawn periods in the spring are the best time of the year to fish. The cooling waters of the fall are also good for black crappie fishing. The fish feed to fatten up for the winter months. In fact, you can find schools of big slabs during the fall feed. Since crappies love cover some fishermen will even sink Christmas trees, old bushes, tires and wood to create homes for the bigger fish. Vertical jigging is also a proven method in order to fish for deep hiding crappies. A 1/32 of 1/16 ounce jig dropped into brush and other debris will bag you a lot of fish in the right atmosphere.

You could also try a small spinner through stumps and fallen trees. When you find out how deep the fish are hiding then suspend a jig or minnow at the same depth under a small bobber. This way your bait will stay in that deeper area for a longer span of time.

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow crappie fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on crappie fishing since 2004.

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