Get Ready for Spring Crappie Fishing

It’s February and the fishing bug is starting to bite many of us.  Football season is officially over and NASCAR is just getting started, so it is a good time for spring Crappie fishing action.

Before you hit the water, you need to check your tackle.  Make sure that you have fresh string in your reels and that your rod eyes are in good shape.  Make an inventory of your tackle box as well and stock up on missing needed items by going to your local sporting goods store or buying them online.

Fishing for Crappie in the Spring can be frustrating.  It can be difficult to catch the right conditions with all of  the fronts moving through, the increased winds, and rainfall that comes with Spring.  And finding them can also be difficult.

Crappie will often move in as the water temperature gets above 52 degrees. But the actual spawn may not happen until water temperatures hit between 52 – 60 degrees.  Before the spawn, you can often find the Crappie holding during the day in about 10-12 ft of water.  But when the spawning activity occurs they will move in shallower.

During the spawn is  the best opportunity for successful bank fishing in lake waters since the Crappie are in closer.  In a creek or river system, they will often head upstream.  If you are fishing below a dam, the Crappie will run up below the dam.  This is often a great place to catch a limit of slabs if the conditions are right.

It can be hard to predict the Crappie’s biting patterns during the Spring.  One day you may find a spot that is really producing, and the next day you can’t buy a bite.  Be flexible with your bait and location during this time.  Minnows and small jigs are usually very effective.  You may also have success with worms, crickets, and crayfish.  Try to figure out what the fish may be feeding on, and try to match it.  Be sure to fish your bait slow if you are using artificial lures and jigs.  Also, if you are fishing in a spot that is not producing, then don’t be afraid to move.

When looking for a fishing spot, look for cover of some sort.  An underwater ledge or drop off close to deeper water is a good staging area for fish to hold.  Also look for shallow stumps, lily pads, and rocks.

Warmer water doesn’t hurt either.  Always remember that the rivers that feed lakes come from the North, and the dam will be on the South side of the lake.  So, the shallower water on the North end of the lake will warm quicker that the water on the South side.

Spring Crappie fishing can be very rewarding if you catch the conditions right.  Pay attention to the weather forecast, check your local fishing reports,  and go out and catch a mess.