Crappie (pomoxis annularis & pomoxis nigromaculatus) is a species of fish indigenous to Canada and America. The two main varieties of species of crappie, white crappie (pomoxis annularis) and black crappie (pomoxis nigromaculatus). They live in freshwater and are probably the most popular game fish among anglers. Their habitat in most cases consists of water which is moderately acidic and highly vegetated. When they are juveniles they feed mostly on prey that’s microscopic, for example, cyclops, cladocera, and daphnia and when to mature they will likely prey on aquatic insects, minnows, and fish fingerlings of other species.
Crappie is a schooling fish and also will school with other types of pan fish. They like underwater structures like fallen trees, weed bends and also other structures that are submerged. Generally in the daytime crappie usually stay deep underwater and only move to shore when feeding, mostly at dawn or dusk. However, during their spawning period, they could be found in shallow water in large concentrations. They do not get into any semi-hibernation throughout the winter, making them a prime target of anglers that are ice fishing. Crappies, both white and black can have a color variance that could be affected by their habitat, age and also the colors from the local breeding population.
Crappie is versatile feeders, eating most types of insects, worms, and small crayfish and minnows. This selection of forage makes choosing baits for crappie quite simple. Nearly every angler has one bait that they swears will outfish every other. Simply because that person probably uses that specific bait much more than any other. This may not be necessarily a bad thing, however, because having confidence in your bait is practically as important as having a bait at all. As a rule of thumb, if the fish are eating it, keep using it. When the fish appear to cease eating it, don’t carry on using it. If the fish aren’t biting, you can try three things:
Try a different presentation. That lessens the pace of, quicken, twitch, or change your retrieve in some manner.
Get a different color lure. Crappie is particularly famous for being color picky. Simply switching from a green jig into a yellow it’s possible to result in the difference between a number of bites and a stringer of slabs.
Change baits completely. If you’ve been using minnows for hours on end and also have caught no fish, try switching to a small spinner or jig. The fish could want something with more or less action than your bait produces, so you must experiment until you discover what they need.
A few types of lures which I use more often and I recommend to all crappie anglers are:
1. Maribou Jigs- These are the small jigs which have little furry bodies and puffy, feathery tails. They come in many sizes and tons of colors,are incredibly durable, and are fairly cheap to purchase (I catch them for sale at Wal-Mart for $.25 for a four-pack). They can also often be made at home with some yarn and pipe cleaners. These jigs are great for finesse fishing picky crappie, vertical jigging over the structure, or suspending under a bobber. I favor a 1/16 or 1/32 oz. jig.
2. Curly-tail Grubs- These are the soft plastic baits that are fitted with curly tails on the back that produce a lot of action when jigged or retrieved steadily. These come in many sizes, however, I like a 1 1/2"- 2 1/2" grub for crappie. Rig these with a 1/8- 1/64 oz. jig head, depending on conditions and preference.
3. Spinners- These are my personal lures to use when crappie fishing. It is because they are really very versatile, effective, and fairly weedless. When I say versatile, I mean you will never know just what you are planning to catch on them. I’ve caught 16" bass, 9" bluegill, 21" catfish, and 13" pike while crappie fishing with a spinner. The spinners I use and have the best results with are definitely the smallest sized ones I’m able to find. The 1/16 oz. Beetle Spin is the ideal size. Wal-Mart carries several sizes of the individual spinners, however, the absolute smallest ones are the best. I’ve also learned that gold blades appear to produce a bit more strikes than the normal silver. I strongly suggest using the tiny gold blades when you are on the water.
Jigs are probably the most popular artificial for taking crappie. There are literally thousands of styles and colors available. Jigs feature bodies of rubber, plastic, marabou, hair, rubber bands, floss, tinsel, chenille, and innumerable other materials. You can find jigs with curly tails, ripple tails, broad tails and triple tails; jigs with lead heads, floating heads, diving heads and standing heads; jigs with spinners and without spinners; weedless jigs and those that aren’t; and many types of this in the colors of the rainbow and every combination imaginable.
To be prepared for any situation, carry several jig styles, colors, and weights. Most crappie jigs range from around 1/80th to the 1/8th ounce, occasionally up to 1/4 ounce. I stock my box with four primary sizes: 1/64, 1/32, 1/16-and 1/8-ounce. Ninety percent of them are 1/32-ounce because that is the size I’ve found most efficient generally in most situations. However, there are times and places where smaller or larger jigs prove more productive.
The top jig to suit your needs is the one in that you get the most confidence. Try several varieties, and most likely, one will soon become your favorite. My personal favorites are tube and curly tail jigs, primarily because I could quickly change colors without needing to cut off and re-tie the jighead. Speed and ease are important when attempting to figure out a pattern on crappie.
Crappie Fishing Tips
Top three crappie fishing tips:
Thou shalt use something chartreuse. Top winning tournament angler Mike Walters claims that of all artificial colors out there, chartreuse appears to be normally the one crappie prefer most. From jig skirts to jig heads to hooks and lures, chartreuse is and always has been a winning color.
“The old joke is — it doesn’t matter what color jigs you select for crappie fishing, so long as it’s chartreuse,” said Walters.
Thou shalt keep your baits above the fish. Pickwick guide and crappie fishing promoter Brad Whitehead reminds anglers that because of the shape and positioning of a crappie’s eyes, mouth, and body, crappie always feeds in an upward direction and barely feed down. He suggests focusing on the level of fish marked on your electronics and fish at or just above that level.
“No matter what you’re fishing with or how you’re fishing it, dependant upon water clarity, I propose keeping your baits from 6” — 2 feet above the fish,” said Whitehead. “Just 6 inches below them, and you’re likely to get skunked.”
Thou shalt follow the bait. B’n’M pro-staff manager and tournament angler Kent Driscoll states the most apparent in claiming the easiest method to catch fish is to fish where the fish are. The best way to know where the fish are is to follow the bait.
“Know the seasonal patterns of the baitfish on the lake you fish,” said Driscoll. “Know where they’re on the lake, how big bait is present in the area you’re fishing and do your best to “match the hatch” in that location.”
Crappie fishing videos
The best crappie fishing videos