Crappie Fishing Tips

The Best Crappie Fishing Tips

Welcome to Apex Fishing Tips, this section of our website is committed to crappie fishing. On this web page you'll learn about crappies (black and white crappies) and crappie fishing. The information provided below will help you catch bigger crappies, more often. Our crappie fishing tips, tactics and information are both helpful and educational.

First, you'll find 11 crappie fishing tips that can increase your success at catching crappies, specifically white crappie and black crappie. Our crappie fishing tips are helpful to both expert and novice anglers. We're constantly adding new crappie fishing tips and if you have any tips on how to catch crappie please share them by contacting us.

Along with 11 crappie fishing tips we're going to educate you on black crappie and white crappie. We've also provided you with the latest world fishing records for crappie. If you still need more information on how to catch crappies, we've provided some additional resources. We also have some amazing photos of crappies other anglers have caught.

11 Crappie Fishing Tips

  1. One of the easiest ways to catch crappie is by using a traditional bobber, split shot (weight), hook and a minnow. The split shot is optional if you want your minnow to swim freely. We prefer to hook the minnow just through its upper lip instead of through both lips or through its back. This allows the minnow to breath, live longer and swim better. However, this method will make it easier from a crappie to remove it from the hook or have it fall off when casting.
  2. If you're going to use a bobber and fish more than two and a half feet deep, you'll want to use a slip bobber instead of a traditional bobber. Slip bobbers allow you to set the depth of your live bait using a small knot on your line, while making it super easy to cast. This also makes it easier to test different depths and find crappie suspended in water.
  3. Crappies will bite on other types of live bait if minnows aren't allowed where you're fishing. Small earthworms, mealworms, waxworms and other kinds of insect larva can be used to catch crappie.
  4. There are also many different jigs, spinners and lures that can be used to catch crappie. A combination of a jig head and a soft plastic grub are typically the most successful. You'll want to test different color combinations and presentations to see what works best to get crappie to bite. Soft plastic grubs with curly tails seem to perform the best.
  5. If you're going to use a jig or a lure, make sure you use a loop knot. This gives the jig or lure more free movement and better action underwater. For live bait setups, use an improved clinch knot to tie the hook to your line.
  6. Some anglers swear by crappie rigs, which is a store bought rig that allows you to suspend multiple hooks and bait from one fishing rod. This gives you the ability to test different live baits at the same time, like a minnow and a mealworm. If you don't want to spend the money on a store bought crappie rig you can make your own.
  7. Crappie spend a lot of their time around underwater structures and cover, aquatic vegetation, brush piles, dock pilings, rock piles, submerged trees or large branches and weed beds. When you find areas that are optimal for crappies, you'll want to fish above, below and around it until you locate them.
  8. Make sure you try different depths before you change up your bait or jig strategy. Crappies will usually be suspended in a column of water and if you're too shallow, or too deep, you won't get a hit. A lot of anglers fail to catch crappie because they don't cover every depth before changing their strategy or moving on to a different area.
  9. Speaking of water depths, you'll want to find a topographical map with water depths for the body of water you're fishing in. This is an extremely useful and affordable method to make sure you're covering all of the depths in a area before you change strategies or move on to another spot. A topographical map is also useful to mark where you caught crappie and at what depth.
  10. In the spring months crappie will start preparing to spawn and will be found in shallow water. In the summer months crappie will have finished spawning and move back into deeper water. In the fall months crappie will start to follow bait fish into the shallows and start bulking up for the winter months. In the winter months crappie move into deep water and become very sluggish. You'll need to pay attention because their bites will be very light and are easy to miss.
  11. Crappies aren't like other game fish that require a hard jerk to set the hook. In fact, crappies are also known as "papermouths" among anglers, because of their soft mouth tissue. A soft, but firm jerk is enough to set the hook. Get your line tight and reel it in without too much vigor. A lot of anglers think they didn't set the hook when they jerked it through the lip of the crappie.

About Crappie (Pomoxis)

White Crappie (pomoxis annularis)

Black crappies (pomoxis nigromaculatus) and white crappies (pomoxis annularis) are two popular game fish native to North America. Crappies are known as a panfish, which is a species of fish that doesn't grow larger than the size of a frying pan. Crappies can be found throughout the United States in lakes, reservoirs, rivers and ponds.

Black and white crappies are on average between 4 to 8 inches in length, but with the right conditions they can get considerably larger. In the wild, crappies feed on small bait fish, crustaceans and insects. Black crappies tend to eat more insects and crustaceans as adults, while white crappie tend to eat more bait fish. Crappies require very little skill to catch, and they are a great first game fish for kids.

Crappie Fishing Records

The below International Game Fish Association (IGFA) crappie world fishing records are up to date as of 2021.

Crappie Fishing Pictures

A black crappie caught while fishing

A picture of a black crappie (P. nigromaculatus) caught on a fishing trip.
(Credit: iowadnr2 / Flickr)

A white crappie caught while fishing

A picture of a white crappie (P. annularis) caught on a fishing trip.
(Credit: iowadnr2 / Flickr)

A huge catch of crappie from a fishing trip

A picture of an angler with a stringer full of good size crappies.
(Credit: Maryland DNR / Flickr)

Crappie Fishing Resources