Once I find fish, I begin downsizing — first to a Rebel Tracdown Minnow. line on them. Most of our lakes are tannic-stained with maidencane on the edges. "It's 79°F out right now," he laughed. The timing of the crappie Spawn Period illustrates the region-by-region progression of the calendar periods. Technical Notes: Calculating Prop Performance, Selecting a Bumping Rod and Reel for Catfish, Stellar Late-Season Destinations for Panfish, The True Story of the Bass Boat Hero Who Broke the Internet, Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power. Photo by Alan McGuckin, Dynamic Sponsorships . If you’re new to crappie fishing or are looking for a refresher, the following four early season crappie tips should help you land more spring slabs. You should check out a panfish-specific box from Mystery Tackle Box. More Gone Fishin. Guns. One of the most popular crappie jig styles of all time is the hollow body tube. This is much the same as what bluegills, or other panfish, do. "The biggest fish eat it," he says. Ned Kehde breaks down the finer points of the Rabid Baits Goby. I grew up on a lake, and my passion for fishing has never waned. The more you know about fishing concepts and strategies, the better your chances of a successful day fishing. *Matt Straw is an In-Fisherman field editor and dedicated year-round panfish angler. ", Looper likes Lake Hinkle these days, a 964-acre slab factory that also offers fine bass fishing. This spring pattern will normally last only a few weeks and is heavily influenced by water temperature – which I’ll get to shortly. The long length enables you to get out, away from the boat and the vertical drop of the bait minimizes hangups on the weeds. Required fields are marked *. Roger Bullock, retired postal worker, hunter of big fish, and longtime correspondent to In-Fisherman, sees crappies spawning in December every year. After the ice moves out and the water begins to warm, crappie will start to gradually move into shallow waters. This little dance between bass and crappies extends from 40°F water in January to 65°F water in March. You will also find that topographical maps will be of great help here as well. Latest. In Delaware, he fishes tidal flows on the Broadkill, Marshyhope, and Christiana rivers north of Richmond. "I pay attention to the wind. As I said, personal preference. During spring fishing, crappie are very active and quite predictable. As the water warms, I may move into 1½ feet of water, jigging vertically. Like Looper, I want to find fish fast. Not all crappies spawn at the same time even in the same body of water. Then, apply the tips, techniques and strategies you have learned here and you will now have a better chance at catching your limit. Tactics morph gradually for spring crappies. Immediately following ice-out you'll find crappie in and around protected, shallow water. Best Bass Baits for Early Summer Fishing; Bass Fishing Tips for May; Nutrition. Hunting . Who’d know bass better than award-winning pro, Peter Thliveros? The information provided here is from over 55 years of personal experience, research, and input from fishing experts. Well, pre-spawning will take place around 55-60 degrees or so, but action can really pick up at around 50 degrees. In fact, I will be devoting an entire post about crappie lures in the near future. Crappies stage on the closest inside turn of deeper water bending toward a shallow bay. They will be going on a feeding frenzy to store energy for the upcoming spawn, They will be getting ready, or staging, for the spawn. What will the next transformation be? Until water temperatures rise over 60°F, a 1°F temperature change can be pivotal. Both lures are constructed with a stamped metal blade shaped somewhat like a baitfish. Knowing the water temperature is key to successful early spring crappie fishing. Harrison's technique may not be new, but where he applies it is rather unique. That's why crappies are the ultimate predators, in my mind. Black works well in low light conditions and murky water and white works good during the day. And, like Looper, I use hardbaits to find crappies quickly, then I swim grubs to work them over. Fall presents opportunities for both numbers and trophy fish. "They back into the cover and quit biting during cold fronts, but it has to get really cold for a week to pull them out of a good drift. I look for stumps with branches and piles of trash on them. Hopefully, you will discover many new tactics or be reminded of some that you already know but, perhaps, forget to use. Crappie will usually spawn at 62-65 degrees water temperature. And, check back often to see what is new. In other areas, we use slipfloats to fish brush that's a little deeper, but a fixed float works best for active, shallow crappies.". This is especially important when fishing at night. I could go with lighter line but there are heavy weedbeds where I fish and 6 lbs. Brown. For example, warm and sunny days will bring them into the shallows. This will occur first in small, shallower lakes as they will warm up more quickly. "Shad and crappies find the warmest water in that cove, when there's a temperature difference," Looper adds. I have (3) 5′ ultra-light action rods and (1) 5’6″ ultra-light action rod. Tags: crappie fishing crappie lures early spring crappie fishing spring crappie fishing, Your email address will not be published. Looking for aggressive northern crappies against rocky banks and old reed beds, the lure doesn't need to stay in a spot for long. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. It is buoyant and enhanced with garlic and salt. If you planned on following the spring crappie bite from Florida to the far frontier in southern Canada this spring, sorry, you're too late. Regionally, the onset of crappie spawning may begin in early March in the South and as late as June in southern Canada. However, there are some lures that simple have a great track record and you should at least be aware of them. Let’s take a look at just what you need to know to find… and catch… spring crappies. Learn how to fish for crappies by casting the same go-to baits as the country’s top slab experts Early Spring Crappie Tactics. I’ve even caught many crappie on worms – but, that’s when I’ve been fishing for bluegills. These baits lure crappies in their numbers helping anglers to land more crappies. Natural Bait ; Lead-Headed Jigs ; Spinner Blades ; Curly-Tailed Grubs ; Spinners ; Small Crankbaits ; Fluorescent-Colored Lures ; Sonic Lures ; Crappie Flies ; Baited Lures ; Written by Mary Osborne . Did somebody say fish fry? The prespawn crappie train is rolling through town almost everywhere on the continent right now. It could be the corner of a weedbed, the edge of a channel, an inside turn on a brushline, or merely a bend in contours between 4 and 6 feet. ", Famous angler and outdoor writer Jim Gronaw lives on the Mason-Dixon line. Obviously, it's more fun if you're catching fish. "I swim it along at a slow, steady pace, just like I would for smallmouth bass. The timing is similar on all four lakes.". "It's even better if the creek channel makes a bend toward the cove. If you've fished at all, you already know that fishing is a lot of fun whether you're catching anything or not. You’ve already learned quite a bit about where the crappie hang out in early spring from our discussions on migration and the effects of water temperature. Fish all day – no problem. seems to be the best for me. Saved by Remo Capaldo. I'm kidding. ", Bullock uses a Northland Tackle Mimic Minnow Spin or a Strike King Minnow Spin to increase the range of attraction. "By the first of April, crappies are in prespawn phase from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. FTC Required Website Disclosure: You should assume that the Owner of this Website has an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection to the providers of goods and services mentioned in this website and may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. The spring crappie spawning period offers the best opportunity to catch fish shallow, but fishing can be spotty at times. During the pre-spawn is probably the best time of spring to be catching these fish. That wide spool provides better casting distance. Using spinnerbaits for crappie can be very effective, especially in the spring. "I tip it with a Mister Twister 2-inch Sassy Shad or 2-inch Southern Pro tube and fish all the way around the drift. These zones are teeming with forage, and crappie will feed heartily for several weeks until the water's warm enough for spawning, which occurs between late spring and early summer. "Crappies first move up in January, setting up in depths of 5 or 6 feet," Looper says. The key is on the console. "When the water finally gets around to dropping and hits 70°F, usually in December, crappies begin spawning. I use tubes or marabou jigs, but I put a safety-pin spinner ahead of them a lot and present the package with a float-and-fly rod. They are effective because the curly tail creates lots of action as the lure moves through the water. I guide 12 months for crappies on Sardis, Enid, Arkabutla, and Grenada lakes. Crappies generally spawn on a bottom that is soft sand, loam or marl. "I've fished Grenada for over 40 years. "I switch to a 4-inch Kalin's Grub on a 1/16- to 1/8-ounce head," he continues. They frequently are finished with a bit of colored feathers or tipped with a small soft … Some anglers like a slightly bit stiffer rod as they feel that helps them set the hook better. I typically have 6 lb. Or they can have additional blades and skirts. There’s nothing wrong with a full size spinning rod, if that’s what you have and/or like to use. The only real problem with fishing these little ultra-light lures for early spring bream is that very often, some big slab crappie and some quite large bass will often take these lures intended for bream. During the spring is the best time of year to be fishing for crappies. Crappie Jigs . The 186-Inch Arkansas Longbow Buck with Seven Lives. Using the 7-foot 9-inch Loomis outfit, I vertically jig a Northland Forage Minnow, PK Spoon, or Lindy Rattlin' Flyer. Using small minnows has always been my go-to bait and it is hard to argue its success. "Bass crash in like bulls in a China shop and eventually chase all the shad out. When walleyes and smallmouths chase them from the shallows, you find crappies, marking like Christmas trees on sonar, in 12 to 25 feet of water. There are so many different kinds of spinners. I'll be continually adding new content...and I have a lot to share. All will be explained as we track prespawn crappie movements from Florida to Canada, spotlighting unique and unusual tactics along the way. It probably goes without saying that having a fish finder that displays the water temperature is a tremendous help at this time of year. They hang around the edges and don't disperse the school. Let me know. By David A. In the spring, fishing in shallow water,... Curly Tail Grubs. Up by Tallahassee they start later than down here at Vero Beach.". The In-Fisherman crew head to Lake Erie to catch smallmouth bass. We employ the same tactics we use to catch them under the ice. Region (latitude), water temperature, weather trends, length of daylight, and competition for habitat are just a few of the factors influencing the exact timing of the spawn. Crappie will tend to migrate to shallower water with more defined structures such as ledges, humps and near bridges. "In March, I go as far up a creek channel as the boat can go, where the water is the warmest," he says. "I've been guiding for 9 years," says John Harrison of JH Guide Service. Since you will usually be fishing in shallow to medium deep water, you will find you can use 1/16th to 1/4 ounce lures. Charley Brewer  Charlie Bee’s Spinner Lures. I reel it down to depth then barely twitch it between long pauses. Modern Freshwater Fishing is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites toearn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. "They remain as long as the bait's there. Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here. I like to fish with ultra- light rods and reels because it is so much more fun to catch fish with them. "I typically start in about 3 feet. During the early spring, male and female bass will be nesting in shallower, warmer waters, spawning the next generation. This makes it easier to not only find them, but you can frequently find them in large schools. The In-Fisherman staff reveals some of the hottest action of the winter season, as they show how to ice 20-pound channel catfish. "A Rogue on 8-pound mono always seems to attract the biggest crappies in the group, many over 2 pounds. Many crappie experts like to use curly tail grubs. However you need to flip or dip a jig during a cold front that causes crappie … The ability to easily locate large, aggressive crappie makes springtime one of the most fun times of the year. These popular crappie fishing lures are simply small hooks weighted near the eye, often 1/16 ounce. Initially, when the ice goes out, they may feed mainly in the morning and early evening hours. In the spring, fishing in shallow water, you may find that putting a jig under a bobber is a great way to catch crappie. Water is generally 6 feet deep. I talked to him in late November. Your email address will not be published. Armed with a little bit of information about the habits of crappie, you’ll look like an expert when fishing. February and March are good months.". The tips, tricks and techniques are intended to be educational with the purpose of making you a better angler. There's usually a sweet spot and crappies hold around it; males pack in tight to small areas. If using a plastic jig, a lead head will first need to be inserted into the plastic body through the head and out of the tail. "Jig-­minnow combos, taking advantage of the local species, are as effective as everywhere else in the country," he says. By Bob McNally. Tips, techniques, and lures best for catching early spring crappie. Here is a way to calculate prop performance with different props, a formula. Best Feathered Jig: Eagle Claw Crappie Jig. Major League Lessons. "Mid-Atlantic prespawn crappie activity starts as early as mid-February and as late as the last week of March," he says. You can cast a spinnerbait past crappie and then reel it in. The biggest pile of debris is what we're looking for.". Here are three of the best crappie lures. On each of them is an ultra-light spinning reel. As opposed to having to reel extremely fast to keep the jig from hitting the bottom. Focus on the north end of the lake or body of water you are fishing. They spawn in those leaves, sticks, and limbs beginning in the mid-60°F range, usually in the last week of March to the first week in April.". You can cast a spinnerbait... Jigs. If you missed that December bite in Florida, or the January bite in Arkansas, no worries. Because active crappies are always shallow in these waters, we use my 1/32- to 1/16-ounce River Critter jigs under fixed floats. Latest. They stop spawning in early January and don't pick up again for six weeks or more. So, please be patient as we upload our vast amount of information. "The earliest shallow movements in these lakes happen around the first of March," Harrison reports. 16 Proven Bass Lures to Fill Your Spring Tackle Box. "They go where the main river or creek channel runs close to a cove," he says. Crappie spinner lures like the Uncle Buck's Panfish Creatures - Beetle with Spinner tend to work a pretty wide variety of fish, and crappie are no exception. It's a week-to-week thing. Minnows are an awesome bait for crappie but there are so many really good lures on the market. Especially in the bigger reservoirs, bream anglers may have to sort through a lot of big slab crappie when fishing for early spring bream. A 5-hour drive north takes us to the crappie frontier. Since bass are reluctant to leave their nests during this period, the bass angler has to present irritable lures to get the bass to move off the bed and feed 1. It's been the primary tactic for so many and for so long it's hard to remember things being done differently. I’m just going to touch on the basics here as this is a section that warrants its own article. This is sandwiched between pieces of lead that form the “head,” with line-tie holes on the blade’s top edge and holes for two treble hooks on the bottom. The process unfolds over decades. This FLW champion gives his recommendations for the ultimate spring bass tackle box. Conditions may dictate otherwise, but I would start there. Tactics morph gradually for spring crappies. In Virginia, he likes Kerr Reservoir and Lake Anna, where crappies move shallow around mid-March and stay through April. Go with what you like to fish with.
2020 best early spring crappie lures