Crappie Facts

what is a crappies natural habitat

Crappie are a migratory school fish, that are most at home in large lakes, rivers, and reservoirs where they have lots of room to roam. Schools of crappie can cover several miles a day when on the move. Their movements are seasonal, and they will use the same migration routes year-after-year. Where you find crappie at this time of year, you will most likely find them in the same place next year, at the same time. Crappie migrate following lines of structure, for the most part, when on the move. They will follow channels, drop-offs, old river beds, stretches of sunken timber, rocks, and edges of shoals when moving from shallow water, to deep water, and back again. They can often be found chasing large schools of forage fish like shad. Once crappie have found a suitable environment for the particular season, they will often remain in the area until conditions change. Especially in summer, crappie have the maddening habit of ‘suspending’ in open water, without regard to structure. They just sit there and ‘sulk’, refusing to bite anything unless it is almost placed directly in their mouths. When the water begins to cool in fall, crappie will migrate to mid-depths around structure, and once again begin to stoke-up on minnows in preparation for winter, when their metabolism slows down. When winter temperatures hit for real, crappie go to mid-depths and hold near structure. They still bite, but prefer smaller offerings. They won’t move very far to take a small minnow, but persistence pays off at this time. In Spring, when the water temperature approaches the mid 60s, crappies move towards the shallows, males first, then females, in search of suitable nesting grounds. Now, crappie will hit anything that comes near them. In late spring, when spawning is done, crappie move to the deeper water and go into the summer mode, once again, and the cycle starts all over. Happy fishing.


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

2 Responses to “Crappie Facts”

  1. […] Crappie Facts what is a crappies natural habitat Crappie are a migratory school fish, that are most at home in large lakes, rivers, and reservoirs where they have lots of room to roam. Schools of crappie can cover several miles a day when on the move. Their movements are seasonal, and they will use the same migration […] […]

  2. […] Crappie Facts what is a crappies natural habitat Crappie are a migratory school fish, that are most at home in large lakes, rivers, and reservoirs where they have lots of room to roam. Schools of crappie can cover several miles a day when on the move. Their movements are seasonal, and they will use the same migration […] […]

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