Crappie Fishing Tips:
The main appeal of Crappie is they taste fantastic and they are fun
to catch. They are a small fish species and rarely get over 1.5
pounds but there are occasionally some Crappie that are taken that
get much bigger and the big ones can give up a great fight on light
A Crappie's method of eating is to suck food into their mouth
because they do not have the jaws, teeth or mouth membranes designed to chomp down on prey like other fish. With this in mind, the Crappie baits that are most effective are small and because of their thin delicate mouths a light touch with light equipment is necessary.
The best rod is usually a long ultra-light rod. Some people go as
far as using a Fly Rod or a Noodle Rod, which was originally designed
to fishing open-area rapids for trout. You want the light action but
still are able to reach out and drop your baits into the clear spaces
in the middle of thick weed cover. When you are a smaller species of
fish living in a lake like Wabigoon Lake or Dinorwic Lake, there is a
gauntlet of Muskie and Pike teeth to deal with, which is why they
hide in the weeds. The Crappie want to stay in thick cover for
protection and because there is more food. You also want to use light
line. Four-pound test is a good line to start with. It's thin enough
to tie on the tiny jigs and lures you will be using but still strong
enough to pull your fish out of the weeds.
There are all kinds of Crappie baits available on the market but a
small hook with a small piece of worm or a 1/32 to 1/16 oz jig tipped
with a worm works best. If you have tiny minnows available to you
then a minnow on a hook and a small trout float work great. You can
also put a tiny minnow on a tiny jig but you have to let the Crappie
get a good hold of it before you set the hook. It's not like Walleye
fishing where you set the hook right away.
You want to be in the weeds or on the edge of the weeds. Sometimes
in late summer the Crappie will head towards areas with lots of sand
and logs. They go there because that's where the Smallmouth Spawn and by late summer there are lots of baby bass to feed on. Generally your best bet is in the weeds in a back protected bay.
You have to look at what kind of weed cover you have. If it's open
spots in the middle of thick weeds then you use a float and a hook
with a tiny piece of worm. If you have clear paths running through
the weeds then you can cast a tiny jig and make slow jig motions
while you retrieve your line. If you do sharp jigs you will attract Pike and lose your jig. In some lakes tiny lures and spinners work great but
in Wabigoon and Dinorwic, there are so many Pike that you would have to use steal leaders or lose all your lures. Really Small lures will
not work properly with leaders.
A Great Crappie Trick:
An old trick, which work great for Crappie, Perch, Bluegill and even
bass, is to throw your anchor out into the thick weeds and drag a big
mess of weeds a few feet away from the main weed bed and then just
fish straight down from the boat. When you drag the weeds out you
stir up the bottom and shake little bugs loose from the plants. This
attracts Crappie and Perch like crazy.