Author Topic: Crappie 101, Basics  (Read 4215 times)

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Offline Piscolli

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Crappie 101, Basics
« on: October 30, 2014, 05:11 PM »
These are very basic tips. Many of you are advanced anglers, but let's no go too far into this just yet. Soon I will be asking experts in several styles of Crappie Fishing to chime in.

The first thing you want to do is to use the lightest gear you feel comfortable with. Crappie often have a very light bite that can be hard to feel with heavy gear. Many anglers use 4 pound line and ultra light rods. Personally I prefer 6 pound line and light action rods. Again, use the lightest gear you feel comfortable with.

The single most important thing in Crappie fishing is depth. Crappie usually always feed up. Being too deep, even by a half a foot is a killer. Use your electronics to determine how deep the fish are, then start by fishing a couple feet shallower than you see them. Slowly work your way down until the bite turns on.

Along with depth the next important factor is speed. Crappie don’t typically chase after a bait for very long so fishing slow is very important. My Dad used to tell me “if you think you’re fishing too slow, slow down.” However, there are days when a faster bait will trigger the bite. This is something you’ll have to experiment with until you find the right speed. For long line trolling, about 0.8 miles per hour is usually the ticket.

Of course you have to find the fish. In the fall and winter, Crappie are usually schooled up, suspended in open water. They may be 10 to 20 feet below the surface in 20 to 60 feet of water. Find the schools of shad (bait fish) and you’ll find the Crappie not too far behind. One way to do this is to look for grebes (birds) swimming and diving in open water. When they’re diving, they’re feeding on shad.

In the early spring as the water temps rise, Crappie move to the mouths of larger coves as they “stage” for the spawn. They will be in large schools and will be feeding aggressively. This might be the best time to fill the boat with big AZ slabs. Many anglers will troll through these areas over and over. Others will find a school and fish it vertically with jigs or minnows.

When the water temps reach about 61 - 62 degrees the Crappie will move into the shallows of the coves to spawn. Look for areas of small peat or mud with some type of cover. Remember that Crappie love vertical cover. Sunken trees, rock piles, bridge pylons and even cliff walls can hold big numbers of Crappie.

Next up, "Long Lining".
Bill (Piscolli) Eveland
Arizona Crappie Association
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Offline TRITOON

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Re: Crappie 101, Basics
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2014, 07:41 PM »
Great job Bill. Excellent information and easy to understand.
GOD BLESS

Offline Rob

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Re: Crappie 101, Basics
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 08:18 AM »
Bill that was good info. Thanks Waiting for the next on long lining. You should make a you tube video.