Crappie Fishing - Understanding the Species and how to Fish for them

Discussion in 'Crappie Fishing' started by zappaf19, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    I like to crappie fish as well as catfish and I figure if I learn about my prey I have a better chance on catching it.
    Crappie is pronounced “craw-pea”.
    Crappie is related to large mouth bass and blue gill. Crappie are also a member of the sunfish family. If you look at the crappie it has a small looking mouth that can turn into a large mouth. This is for sucking up minnows from a short distant.
    Crappie can see colors very well and because of the sight they will hit verity of colored jigs. Since there sight is important to finding food lets take a close look at it.
    As we all know water filters out colors with red being first and blues and other dark colors being last. As you descend into water the water will look green then blue. So red lures and red hooks are only good for shallower waters. White and black lures are very good for deep fishing. White will reflect any light in dark water that can hit it. Study has shown that the colder the water the more/better a fish can see. This happens because the colder the better the cells in the eyes will work. That would mean they could see your fishing line better also. A lighter mono or fluorocarbon line would be wise to use at this time.
    Crappie activity level have a lot to do with what color of bait is best. If the fish are active colors like red yellow white are good ones to use. The colors will contrast to back ground water color, structure etc. Active crappies will hit on more movement.
    Inactive fish will want greens, blues etc. They will blend into the backgrounds better. To hook an inactive crappie use a slower motion. In cold weather I will use a red and white 1 1/2 “ tube or a silver and black tube thrown along a pier and retrieved slowly as it bumps along the bottom.
    I see no reason to go into habitat because we all know they like structure. I would like to touch on food. Young ones feed on insects, as they grow they start feeding more and more on bait fish. With minnows being there favorite. They will also eat crawfish, maggots etc. Keep in mind that black crappie will continue to eat insects even when there are adults .In the early spring (pre spawn) crappie will form into tight groups that will attack minnows in or around structures.
    Late spring or early summer is when they spawn. Usually in groups with still or slow moving water. They spawn in water deeper than what blue gills do. After spawn the schools will not be as tightly pack. They will spread out to weedy or brushy cover. They will still be in groups though.
    Winter and late fall will see them back in tight schools around structures that are in there comfort zone. They say that if one school of crappie is at 12’ in the winter all the crappie schools will be at 12’ Hum I wonder about that.
    Lets fish
    Bill
     
  2. tncatfishing

    tncatfishing New Member

    Messages:
    916
    State:
    clk. tn
    Bill will crappie hit better on live bait or lures and does the time of year come into play with live bait or lures.
     

  3. willisjj

    willisjj Guest

    Thanks for the excellent info. I haven't crappie fished since I was a kid, and since getting back here to Oklahoma again, I have had no luck. Of course, I haven't tried minnows, but I have been trying jigs, and worms while catfishing. I have yet to get any though. May be better if I had a boat, and maybe I just haven't found any areas with enough cover. Then again, I may have more success with minnows. How do you fish your jigs? Since I am fishing from the bank, I put it under a bobber cast out and give it small tugs while slowly reeling it in. I try different depths but have yet to get into anything. Keep that great info coming.
     
  4. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    In the spring I use Minnows. In the summer months the minnows I buy die quick. I need to biuld a minnow trap. I will put a minnow on a rooster tail in the spring and early summer. When it is hot I will use my tubes deep. Remember about the colors and depth. I found like I stated red and white or silver and black work very well for me. I also use bee moths on a tube. I take 2 to 3 poles with me all rigged differently and keep changing. (In Indiana we are only allowed 2 poles.) I found this fall that the crappies would not hit on a bobber but the gills were. I spent 2 days using a bobber with be moth. A tube with a bee moth under a bobber and got nothing. I switched to just a tube and slowly bumping it along the bottom at the same piers I used a bobber and did quite well. You will just have to find what they like.
    Hope that helps.
    Bill



     
  5. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    I put a regular hook like a #6 on with a 1 1/2 tube and put a slip shot sinker on it and cast it out. Bank fishing is like ice fishing for crappie. You have to find them and thats not easy. Look for down trees etc. and around drop offs.
    This spring I am going to try a circle hook with a tube along the bottom. I will let you know how it works.
    Bill
    PS
    Jigging your bait works.
     
  6. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Depends on what part of the country you are from as to how crappie is pronounced.
    Its like the pee-can pee-con thing.
    I just know if you call them Crawpee or croppie you aint from around 'chere.

    They are some good eatin though folks and fun to catch. We always think of Santee Cooper as the catfish superbowl but Santee was once famous for its crappie. People drove from all over the country to go out with crappie guides at Santee.
     
  7. Patmansc

    Patmansc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,537
    State:
    Cordova, TN
    Bill - do you use an aerator in your minna bucket? My minna's used to die after a coupla hours, but once I started using the aerator they live until I use them.
     
  8. bankpoleken

    bankpoleken New Member

    Messages:
    83
    State:
    Mattoon, Illinois
    I prefer jigs with crappie nibbles in cold or cooler water. Once the water warms above 70 degrees, I prefer minnows or jigs tipped with minnows. Right after ice out I fish a jig 18 to 24 inches below a cork off points in shallow water near where a creek cuts in close to the point. As the water warms during pre-spawn I tight line jigs in the staging areas. During spawn I cast jigs into shallow water where the crappie are spawning. After spawn when the crappie move out into deeper water I tightline minnows in brush and stumps. In the middle of summer I troll small plugs off the deeper flats. In the fall when the crappie move into more shallow water I will cast jigs under bobbers again.
     
  9. David Knotts

    David Knotts New Member

    Messages:
    2,569
    State:
    Bossier City, La
    When you look on your graff, do Crappie show up, or do you just look for schools of shad, and fish around them? I'v seen shad all balled up, and in a long line, but nothing that I could tell were Crappie. Any ideas?
     
  10. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    Did you make your minnow bucket or buy it? I have one of those yellow and white floating ones with the black door. I use to put them in a cooler and kept throwing ice in. I wonder why the store bought minnows die so fast if they are in the water? If yours are staying alive it has to be lack of OX. If that is the case tho why would they die in my minnow bucket floating in the lake? I thought it was the water temp. I do find that if I put them in the frig with no airation (sp)when I am done fishing they are alive the next day. Anyone got answer?
    Bill
     
  11. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    My fish finder is really old. All it shows is dots:crying: Which makes a stump look like a group of fish. Can someone else help Dave on this question?
    Bill
     
  12. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma

    Bill, store bought minnows are used to getting more Oxygen and being in cooler water than the lake water. By adding an airator you will simply be providing the fish more oxygen. When you place them in the fridge, it slows their metabolism way down, so they use a lot less oxygen. Same as adding ice to the bucket.
     
  13. Patmansc

    Patmansc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,537
    State:
    Cordova, TN
    Bill, I bought my minna bucket, but I have also used 5-gallon paint/soap buckets as well. Regardless of the type of bucket, tho, them minna's need O2 to stay alive longer. You can get a cheap aerator at Wally World, and they run a long time on a coupla C or D batteries.
     
  14. BigFlatty

    BigFlatty New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    Indiana
    anytime you see structure and what looks like a tower of balled up fish directly above the structure that is usually crappie....stop hit it hard for 15 minutes, if the spot doesn't produce move on, once you find a spot that produces stay on it till the bite dies off. good luck
     
  15. David Knotts

    David Knotts New Member

    Messages:
    2,569
    State:
    Bossier City, La
    Thanks Flaty, I'll look for that next time I go. One more thing, other than they sink faster, why do you need to let rees dry out good before you sink 'em.
     
  16. r_bray89

    r_bray89 New Member

    Messages:
    152
    State:
    Shawnee, Kansas
    When you dont let trees drly out the get this green slimmy film on them.

    How can you tell the difference between a male and a female crappie?
     
  17. s_self88

    s_self88 New Member

    Messages:
    198
    State:
    Shawnee, Kansas
    It is hard to tell the difference between a male and female crappie. If it is during spawn, the female will have eggs. Females are usually bigger also. The males are usually darker, a male white crappie can sometimes be mistaken for a black crappie. The way to tell if it is a male white crappie or a black crappie, is that black crappie have 7-8 spines on their dorsal fins, and white crappies have 5-6 spines.
     
  18. dwreel

    dwreel New Member

    Messages:
    554
    State:
    Southern Pines, NC
    B*** fishing with some friends a while back, I tossed out a 2" white plug as I was in the back seat and trolled it. Yep, a nice crappe ( did I spell that right, Mark? nailed it. He couldn't have swallowed it if he tried. Kinda fun. But like others have said, minnows will produce more often than not. And they do make great table fare. The hardest part, for me, is cleaning a mess of them. But it do make me tummy happy. :D
     
  19. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    Webster
    crappie
    3 entries found for crappie.
    To select an entry, click on it.
    crappieblack crappiewhite crappie

    Main Entry: crap·pie
    Pronunciation: 'krä-pE
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Canadian French crapet


    It was driving me nuts!
    Bill:)
     
  20. bankpoleken

    bankpoleken New Member

    Messages:
    83
    State:
    Mattoon, Illinois
    I usually am using my depth finder to locate structure and cover. Sometimes crappie will hold so tight to cover you can not pick them up on your graph. This is particularly true during certain times of the year and after a high pressure system passes through. During the summer I do look for suspended crappie as well as schools of shad with my finder. When I find schools of roaming shad I drop my jig or bait down through the school of shad. The crappie are often right below the bait fish. I have at times picked up schools of crappie on my finder. If they are spread out in a horizontal line I have found they are not in an aggressive or feeding mode. Is the school is spread out vertically, like a Xmas tree, they tend to be more aggressive and feeding. Anytime I find good cover on my finder I will fish it, even if no fish are showing around the cover.