How to fish for Crappie?

 Crappie is an easy fish to find, but that does not mean that catching crappies is an easy task. This beautiful fish with delegate lips named crappie is also called Sac-a-lait, Papermouth, Slab, and Speck as well. Catching it can be a very challenging task, but luckily we have prepared a complete guide on how to catch crappie just for you. Let the hunt for crappie begin! 

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Know your crappie:
know your crappie

Crappie is found in two colors white and black, it sometimes becomes difficult for a naked eye to distinguish between them. Here are there most distinguishing features:

  • Both have dark olive backs but black crappie has its sides of either dark green or black. on the other hand white crappie has sides of either brown or black color.
  • The brown stripes of black crappie extend from its back to reach the dorsal fin and its lower jaw while making the stripes underneath the head and throat.
  • The distance from crappie’s eye to the dorsal fin is a key factor to notice as in black crappie the distance is the same as the length of dorsal fin whereas in white crappie it is found to be longer than the black crappie.
  • Another easy way to identify the difference is the size of the mouth, white crappie has a larger mouth than black crappie.
  • Fishing for crappie from clearer water will bring you black crappie as white crappie is found in muddy water.

License for fishing crappie

Yes, you read it right a license is required for fishing crappie which is termed as Oregon Fishing License. For youth between the ages of 12-17 requires youth license but the children under 12 years of age enjoy crappie setup installed to fish crappie without any legal requirement.

Well, this may be because there is less chance of catching crappie as the techniques are not known but don’t you worry canoe surfer has got your back. This article will help you become a pro in catching crappie and prove yourself.

Which is the best season to fish for Crappie?

Where is your crappie

First, you need to know where your crappie is and then how to fish for crappie. The movement of the fish differs as the change in the season.


spring fishing

It is an easy season to catch crappie as in this season they are just 5 feet deep. Here come the fishing tips, as they spawn in this season both male and female looks for food you just have to bait them and catch crappie.

Even after getting their food they do not go much deeper but just a little where the rays of the sun lose penetration.

If you are not catching the crappie instead of doubting your technique move around because if it were there it must have struck as the male protects the nest it has built for its female to lay eggs.


In summers crappie goes into a little deeper water called thermocline. Try your luck as the water is oxygenated there and a little warmer.

You may need to change your fishing tips during the morning and evening as crappie goes a little deeper in water than where it was in the morning. Weed beds can prove to be the right place to find crappie.


It is a difficult time to adjust for crappie, be it white or black. During fall turnover occurs, which mixes the different layers of water.

During this process, the temperature starts to change as well, and it causes stress in crappies. Crappies will be seen moving towards the area where the temperature is stable.

You with your crappie jig setup need to move to shallow bays, deep holes or somewhere near structure.


winter fishing

Just like humans, crappie to get slowed down during winters. As we like to stay under a blanket the whole day, crappie to goes at the end of the water. Due to temperature shifts, the water down there gets warmer than above.

The best way to catch crappie is to slow down your lure, as the fish have become slow they do not rush towards bait that is moving too fast.

If you are new or your college vacations have started and you want to opt for fishing as a hobby we will teach you some great fishing techniques.

To double the quality time with your family you can plan a nice picnic at a lake, where you can cook your fish but the only hurdle is to know how to crappie fishing then this is the right place to know all the insights and crappie 101 techniques to enjoy yourself.

The best way to fish for crappie

As the article has already discussed the movement of black and white crappie fish during a different season, you may want to remind them once as it will become handy in knowing how to crappie fish

  • Spring: Crappie is where the sun rays start losing penetration
  • Summer: Crappie can be found a little deeper where the water is oxygenated
  • Fall: The stable water temperature becomes the home to crappie in this stressful season
  • Winter: Crappie is found at the end of water as the temperature is warmer than above

Keep the season and the place in your mind while going for fishing, to enjoy more without wasting the time.

Now we have seen when and where we can find them it is time to talk about some fishing techniques to get started with.

  • Bait your meal

Bait your meal

It is the most common, effective and productive method. Arrange the best crappie jig setup to bait your fish. You can either use a SpinnerBait or Minnow Bait. The SpinnerBait not only attracts the crappie but will also be fun to bait with.

There is a different type of fishing bait you can either use leeches, worms or grasshoppers to allure the crappie. When considering the bait try to go for light heads but bigger baits, this will buy you enough time to keep the fish on your jig before you start pulling. You can use live as well as artificial bait to catch your crappie.

The drawbacks that come with live bait are that it becomes costly to keep your bait alive and time-consuming to keep them healthy. On the alternative, you can use jigs and lures to fish crappie.

Even after trying if there is no result you may go back to calculating the time of the year, season and spot.

  • Right JigRight jig

If you are fishing your crappie with a jig you need to consider the knot if it is done right or not. For a jig that needs to be placed vertically, there must be a loop knot that will make the jig move freely. The color of the jig is vital to attract the crappie and varies according to the seasons. Go for either red and white or green and white to attract crappie. `

Types of jig

Go through different types of jigs described below to select the right one for yourself

  • Marabou jigs are usually used by fishermen and are made of hair or blister
  • Roostertail jigs are different from marabou jigs with only the installation of the rotating blade instead of blister or hair. A Spoon can also be attached to its body
  • Curly tail jigs help you go easy on your pockets and can be used in freshwater and saltwater. It is made out of soft plastic.

Here are some jig designs to use for fishing crappie.

  • Work on the distance

distance casting

The distance between you and the crappie fish matters the most and changes as the type of water you are fishing in changes. Let’s suppose it is winter and you have decided to have a Bar.B.Q at your lake house you may want to stand right above the bushes and vertically place your jig.

But when the sun starts to shine, the flower starts to bloom hence in spring you should stay at a little distance from the crappie as they have come up and can be seen through the clear water.

  • 2D’s to consider

depth and darkness

To understand how to fish for crappie you should know the 2D’s of fishing techniques which are depth and darkness. How deep to fish for crappie is answered by the time of the year, usually you can find them 6 to 10 feet deep but in winters you may want to go to the beds of the water.

To know the depth more accurately you can use Topographical maps, it is cost-effective as the map is available online rather than purchasing it you can use the version available online. These maps come with the measurement of the depth of water.

The dark area of the water holds significance in the winter season and becomes home to white crappie. If your target is white crappie you should go to the darker areas made of bushes to fish.

  • Flies catching crappies

If you are wondering how to catch a crappie with a fly, consider dry and wet flies. Dry flies will be suitable on stable water where the smaller fish will come at the surface to feed on insects; your fly will present itself as bait to it. Wet flies are for underwater; because of their lightweight, you can feel the movement of your crappie better.

On adverse days catching crappie can be done through flies, it will give extraordinary results. One tip, stay calm do not rush your bait, in the water crappie are slowed down and they avoid going after a bait that is moving too fast.

  • Night Fishing

night fishing

It can prove to be an amazing experience for fishing and outdoor activity. There are certain things to be considered before going fishing at night. The most important thing is to use Topographical maps to understand the depth of the water you are planning to fish in. This will also help to avoid any incident which can ruin your night out plan.

If you are planning to fish in a boat you need to equip it with all the safety gear before stepping foot in the water. The next thing is to have a pole or reel which will help you set up your jig. Remember we need a jig of ½ oz.

Usually, it is recommended to have a #1 hooks since it’s known for catching more fishes than any other hook. Crappie fish is attracted to lights so bring a lantern with you. This lantern will become the source of attraction when mosquitoes will surround it and crappie will consider them as its food.

For your own self take an LED light to lead your way and keep an eye on your surroundings. Reportedly, you should avoid the full moon and go on a trip at the new moon.

You can also learn tricks from this visual representation.


So by now, we hope that you’ve learned how to fish for crappies. Hopefully, you will have an amazing experience with all the precautionary measures taken and techniques followed.


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