Many seasoned fishermen believe that the best of all crappie fishing tips is that the temperature of the water itself happens to be the absolute most important element that determines the behavior and whereabouts of crappie. If you are an angler that agrees with this statement, this quick reference will help you to better determining where your fish are most likely to be at any given point during the year. This way, you can focus more on crappie fishing and less on looking.
Look for crappie to be holding between 30 and 50 feet deep. Use a vertical presentation, fishing straight down with live minnows.
Schools can be found at depths between 20 and 30 feet deep since they will be starting to migrate towards their spawning grounds in larger tributaries.
Migration towards spawning areas has begun. Look for the crappie to be lingering in deep banks off of channels or around sunken wood or tree stumps in depths between 10 and 20 feet deep.
With spawning preparation fully underway, most crappie will be headed for the arms of the tributary. Aim for migration paths in the channels of creeks and never pass up a channel bend or an area that seems to have rather convenient cover for these fish.
Now your bites will start to seem rather aggressive as crappie are fueling up before the spawn. At this time you will be able to fish for crappie as shallow as 1 to 3 feet along their structural hideouts.
This is when the males will tend to the nest and the females will linger beyond the cover as they wait for the water to continue to warm a little. Some will already be spawning in the shallower areas.
You are now in the midst of spawning. If you are having difficulty catching fish, try and go for the crappie that are still in the pre-spawn stages by backing off a bit.
While some fish will have completed their spawning, continue to treat the waters as if spawning is in full swing. You may need to head to deeper water if the fish you are catching are rather small however.
Post-spawn fish will now be easily located in around their bedding locations until the temperature of the water rises a bit further. Some of these fish will be found around cover that is near to where they spawned.
Once the spawn is over, many anglers retire their fishing gear until next year. However, if you aim for the zone of between 6 and 18 feet along the ends of some flats, you could be lucky at this time.