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Catching Crappie in Early Spring

Last Updated: 12.07.24

Spawning fish is the easiest to pick, and that is why so many anglers choose early spring for their favorite pastime. If you are interested in catching crappie, early spring is a great time of the year, but you should keep a few things in mind. Experts say that for the best results, you should focus a bit on the spawning phases in the cycle of crappie. Once water temperatures reach the optimal values for breeding to occur, crappie starts a real frenzy, and you need to be prepared to bring home the fish. Here are some great tips for crappie fishing once the spring is here.

How to catch crappie in the pre-spawn period

You can catch plenty of crappies just before they start spawning and you do not have to wait for their feeding frenzy as they prepare the next generation. For this, you need to know a few things about the behavior of this species. For starters, crappies will prefer river outlets, creek mouths and the vicinity of large coves. Remember to get a sonar to locate fish.

Depending on temperature, the fish can be found at various depths. For the pre-spawn season, you should choose the tactic of using several rods. You should be careful not to tangle your lines, and keep in mind that many different colored tube jigs will appeal to crappies and make them reach for your bait. Place the jigs over the areas where your sonar spotted them. Make sure to carefully adjust the speed as the fish becomes more active. The warmer the water, the more active crappies are, and you should be able to match their speed.


Things to take into consideration during the spawning period

You may go fishing for crappie in a lake or a river, but you should always understand fish behavior if you want to be successful. The spawning period is very bountiful for anglers because fish is more interested in feeding and less cautious than usual. The depth for spawning fish is usually 3 to 7 feet, but, if you are fishing in cold mountain waters, you may find fish at depths of 12-14 feet.

Take into account that crappies will prefer covered areas for spawning their young. That means that you will find them around brush piles, areas more abundant in weeds, boat docks and other constructions that offer the fish the cover it needs.

As the temperature rises, fish enters the usual excitement of spawning, which means that it will swim closer to the surface, from which you can easily pick them up with the help of a 10-12 foot rod. Shallow waters are preferred by spawning fish because they get warmer faster and they represent the best environment for this activity.

If you choose to fish in shallow waters, just watch for the fish. Crappies will get so close to the surface that their tails will be easy to spot as they swim about. Since in early spring, visibility is not ideal, this is a sign you can use to your advantage. Moving slowly around will help you spot the fish, and you can pick it up with the aid of a long rod. Use the same tube jigs as for crappie fishing in the pre-spawn period.

There are still chances to catch crappie during the post-spawn period

As the excitement associated with the spawning period dies away, crappies will continue on their path towards drop-offs. These spots can be 8 foot deep, others, even more, reaching 25-foot depths. An advantage represented by this period is the fact that crappies are famished after spending their energy on reproduction. Shad schools are their preferred companions since they represent a major source of food for crappies. Continue to use jigs, but do not forget about minnows. They are a good choice if jigs fail.


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