Best lures and techniques to catch crappie
Crappie are one of the most popular freshwater fish to catch because they are so abundant and they taste great. There are 2 types of crappies: black and white. Black and white crappie share most of the same waters, however, black crappie are most abundant in northern lakes that are cool with a gravel or sand bottom. White crappie are common in reservoirs, lakes, and rivers. They tolerate darker water than black crappie and they thrive in southern lakes with soft or hard bottoms. Both species live in rivers and streams, however, black crappie prefer calmer water and they also tolerate a higher salt content, which is why they are common in estuaries.
Where to find crappie???
Crappie are definitely more popular in lakes than rivers. In lakes, you will really only find them shallow early in the spring, then crappie move out towards deeper water. Crappie love wood and they can also be found around weeds too. Crappie are known for schooling out over open water which makes fishing difficult until you can find them. You may find these fish 20 to 40 feet down from summer through fall out over open water.
Bobbers or floats are great when crappie are in the shallows. When crappie move into the shallows in the spring, you can find crappie in as little as a couple feet of water. Using a bobber is a great way to present a lively minnow or jig to crappie in the shallows.
The double jig rig is probably most popular among crappie anglers, but anglers use this rig for many other fish as well. Saltwater anglers use a double jig rig with just a plain jig head and they will add live bait or soft plastics. Panfish anglers like to target perch, bluegill, rock bass and other types of panfish that will school up over deeper water in the summer months.
The drop shot rig is a very popular rig for a variety of fishing situations. Whether you are fishing deep, shallow, around cover, with live bait, soft plastics, for bass, panfish or huge saltwater fish, the drop shot rig will work in most situations. The main line is tied to the hook and you want to leave some extra line after you tie the knot so you can tie that line to the sinker. If you want to keep your bait 1 foot off the bottom, make sure to leave a little over 12 inches of extra line from when you tie the hook to the line. This way, you’ll have about 12 inches of line left over to tie to the sinker.
Jigheads are key to rigging the many different soft plastics that anglers use for crappie. Anglers also use jigheads with live minnows, pieces of leeches and worms. Jigheads are so basic, but essential to catching crappie. I prefer grub tails or tube jigs.
The Slip Bobber Rig is the way to go if you are looking to fish deeper water, but still use a float. You can find slip bobber rigs in most bait & tackle shops. Once you learn how to use them, you’ll agree that they are fairly easy to set up. In this rig, the bobber slides freely until it hits the bobber stop. You will set the bobber stop at the depth that you would like to fish your bait. For example, you may be fishing a deep weed edge and you see that most of the fish are suspended about 15 feet down. By setting the bobber stop at 15 feet, the line will slide through the bobber and your bait will be positioned exactly where the fish are positioned. Fishing with slip bobbers is popular among freshwater and saltwater anglers, but it is probably most popular with crappie and walleye anglers. I also love it for bluegill.