Bank fishing for crappie is going to be most lucrative during the spring when the fish come up shallow and begin to make their beds in order to spawn. Look for the beds in shallow water that has adjacent cover.
A bonus is that bank fishing for crappie doesn’t require any sort of boat and/or high-tech equipment. Find where they’re bedding and start fishing with these crappie fishing tips.
A few different tactics that will help you with catching crappie, among the techniques at least one is usable in any season during the year, not just the spring when the fish are spawning.
Dipping the Cover
This technique is perfect for fishing the spawn in the spring time but can be equally as efficient in the fall. During the spring you’ll find many Crappie are up shallow and are making their beds.
During the fall the fish are more aggressive due to cooler water temperatures and again you can find fish up shallow.
Fish with a jig and a longer rod than you might normally use. Look for any type of cover or brush pile along the banks. From here toss the jig into and around the cover, working it up and down for fish.
Begin by casting very shallow, maybe even a foot off the bank. Sometimes the fish will be that close; ensure you cover as much water as possible.
From here begin to slowly walk forward and begin to work the jig in deeper water.
When first starting this technique, stay back and attempt to keep your shadow off the water. Crappie can spawn in water that is only eight inches deep, getting too close too quickly the fish could get spooked off their beds or cause them not to bite the jig.
Casting with Jigs and Spinners
Throwing spinners and crankbaits can be a great way to catch crappie on smaller private ponds or smaller lakes. There is not as much food as is available on some larger lakes so they are more likely to chase something than then when in that larger body.
Slap a curly tail onto a jig head and swim it through the water if a spinnerbait or hard bait is not available in the tackle box. Cast and retrieve jigs and spinners in fall, spring, and summer. Winter would not be the best time to throw a fast-moving bait due to the lethargy of the fish that time of the year.
Ah yes, bobber fishing. It’s how most began a journey as anglers and many tend to move away from.But why? It’s deadly effective and there a reason it’s taught to us as children.
It’s easy and will bring fish in. Some anglers may view it as cheating, but really, as long as you’re getting out on the water and enjoying the outdoors then who cares?!
Begin by setting your bobber to the proper depth of where the fish are located in the water column. If they are five feet deep then get your bobber to match that as closely as possible.
If setting your bobber to five feet is not possible then get it to four or three. Remember that Crappie will eat up not down in the water column. Keep that in mind when fishing for them.
Beneath your bobber you can use either a jig or a live minnow. Using a jig means that you will have complete control on how deep you want your lure to be. If you prefer not to use a jig then there is always live bait.
Again, often looked down upon by anglers who use lures, but its effectiveness cannot be denied. Set your bobber height and attach a split shot six inches up from your bait. Attach the minnow by hooking it through the bottom lip.
Cast out and allow it to swim freely underneath your bobber. This technique will entice even the weariest of fish and can be a great way to catch a lot of fish very quickly.
These tactics work during the spring, fall, or winter.
Night Fishing with Lights
In order to do this properly, select the proper body of water. Find a clear, deep, large lake. Preferably exceeding 500 acres. The reason for this is that these bodies of water support strong bait fish populations, and also provide a good combination of structure and cover that is adjacent to open water.
Any water that is small and shallow will fish poorly during the night. This is because there is a lack of cold and oxygen rich water and it’s likely the fish will be spread out and become dormant.
Before heading out at night make sure you have all of your gear organized and ready to go. That way it is much easier to navigate your gear in the darkness.If you want to use lights for night time fishing then you can either use a lantern or a submersible fishing light. Using either or both could be very effective.
The lantern works by increasing the number of bugs in the area which will attract bait fish followed by crappie. This also doubles as an extra light that you can use to tie knots, lures, and hooks. This method takes some time so don’t think its an automatic way to bring in fish.
Secondly, you could use a submersible light. These are used by sticking them beneath the waters surface. The lights attract bait fish, which will then attract the predators that you’ll be targeting.
A crazy spider rig set-up on your boat is not necessary to go out and catch crappie. Walking around the banks of your favorite lake to target them can be just as successful.