Spring Crappie Fishing Tips
The spawn is on at many lakes across the southern US. The water temperatures have risen and if you can catch the conditions just right, you should be able to land a few slabs.
The #1 bait for catching Spring Crappie is without a doubt a live minnow. It has been estimated that over 50% of all Crappie are caught on live minnows. I am not totally sure of the accuracy of that quote, but I happen to believe it. The problem is that sometimes the local bait shops will run out of minnows if the fish are really biting.
Other effective live baits you can use are crickets and grub worms. Earthworms may work, but my experience has been that they are better suited for catfish, sunfish, and an occasional bass. You can also try a cast net to catch some live bait.
Try fishing in the shallow water with a live minnow tied about 18 inches to 2 feet below the unweighted cork. Something you may try if cork fishing is to buy the plastic corks, and drill a small hole and put in a few very small split shot weights. Try casting your line out, and every now and then giving it a twitch. Spring Crappie will be curious about the rattling sound and come to check it out.
Jig fishing can also be effective for Spring Crappie, but jigs can be a bit harder in the very shallow water, unless you are dropping the jig into heavy cover. If you are against the boat dock, or on a ledge, there is no cover to hide you away from the fish. Once the spawn is over and the Crappie begin to move off shore a bit, jigging can be very effective.
Crappie are not a very aggressive fish. The males will be a bit more aggressive than the females during the spawn, but still nowhere near as aggressive as a bass would be. So it is very important to fish slow. If you cast a jig out, reel back slowly, and pause around branches and other cover to allow the bait to drop in the zone.
Spring Crappie fishing can be a blast if you catch the conditions just right. It can also be very frustrating when a front is approaching or has just passed through. Just experiment with different fishing holes and different depths to find your Spring Crappie.