When Is The Best Time to Crappie Fish? Facts to Digest!

best time to fish for crappie

The crappies’ nomadic behavior makes it easy to catch, yet very difficult to find on a regular basis. Crappies are usually seen in shallow waters, particularly during evening and early morning. However, crappies rarely remain in a single place for many days. Nevertheless, around the spawning period, crappies become easily predictable.


There’s a good explanation for why crappies can be difficult to pattern. Mainly, crappies thrive by feeding on planktons, which stay in open waters. Additionally, they eat crustaceans, small fish, as well as larval aquatic creatures. At daytime, crappies move their way to the deep waters, and they can be caught at any time of the day.

So, with regards to the question, “when is the best time to crappie fish?” the truth is, there really is no best time because catching crappies is possible to be it in summer, winter, spring, or fall. The most important thing is being in the right location.

When crappies are spawning, it is when they are easiest to catch because it is then that they are at their most active state. On the early stage of spawning, crappies gather outside the feeding areas and start to move into the shallow waters. As the weather stabilizes and the water begins to warm up, the crappies become extremely active.

Mid pre-spawning, crappies move into the reed cover or flooded wood. At this stage, crappies hesitate to leave where they are at, thus, making bobber methods effective in tempting crappies to bite. During late pre-spawning, crappies move to the deeper part of the reed beds where they start to form nests in areas through a mixture of soft bottom and sand. The broken reeds, on the other hand, serve as cover protection against predators and birds.

After spawning, crappies go back to the lake and suspend themselves near the entrances of canals and bays. They are scattered in the weedy flat, which is situated between the drop-off and spawning area.

What are the Indications that Crappies Spawn?

The temperature of the water serves as the big factor that indicates whether crappies are in a spawn mode. However, it is not a guarantee of the fish’s location or their activities. This is primarily because during spring time, the water temperature is unstable and the location of crappies varies. The perfect time for fishing crappie is when the water temperature reaches a 60 to 62-degree mark.

What is the Best Way to Fish Crappies during Spring Time?

Crappie fishing during spring time is immensely exciting as it is the season for spawning as well. Crappies typically spawn around shallow waters at a temperature of approximately 55-degree Fahrenheit. Depending on how clear the water is, crappies spawn at varying depths.

On clear waters, crappies are found at a depth of up to 20 feet. On murky waters, they are found one foot below. This usually takes place between early March and late May. For a greater opportunity to catch crappies, try moving near the shoreline, particularly near vegetation, rocks, or woody debris.

What is the Best Way to Fish Crappies during Summer Time?

What is the Best Way to Fish Crappies during Summer Time

When the water temperature rises during the summer, most crappies gather in deep waters to stay cool. The prime places are rock stacks and humps because they have weeds. Crappies are also hanging along the banks of steady points. There are some of the best paths with cod. While crappies normally concern a certain type of structure, they can be suspended across a featureless base.

If you are looking to crappie fish during summer, you need to realize that fishing should be done at different water depths. Crappies usually swim their way to vegetation at a depth of 20 feet. To fish crappies during summer, adopting a trial and error method, by fishing in different areas, would be the best approach.

On vegetation cover, applying vertical jigging to get several bites from crappies is considered effective. As the water temperature increases, it would be best to crappie fish at night. The use of lights will capture the attention of small baitfish and insects, thus, drawing the attention of crappies as well.

Notwithstanding the water temperature, crappies will continue to bite. According to anglers, offshore crappies head to only one direction. Hence, it is prudent to approach them in the proper direction. If all else fails, try using different jigs, such as the heavier ones, to get more crappie bites.

What is the Best Way to Fish Crappies during Fall Time?

Crappie becomes extremely predictable and aggressive in the fall. This is the case between October and November. At this point, you can find crappies in shallow waters, typically at levels of up to 10 feet. At this stage, the ideal fishing areas are on the docks. Through the edges of the dock, cast your jig and drop for a few seconds. Then, you can slowly begin to retrieve.

What is the Best Way to Fish Crappies during Winter Time?

What is the Best Way to Fish Crappies during Winter Time

Winter time is the best time to crappie fish at a water depth between 20 and 40 feet and a temperature between 38 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Applying the slow retrieval method is considered effective. Crappy tends to move into shallow water during a period of warm days. It might be one of your best moments for crappie fishing. In cold weather, crappies live in big schools. They normally gather in closed areas.

As the weeds start to die, the fish gather together in rock piles and deeper water. Some of them gather near spring holes because of the warmer water temperature. Crappies usually remain in these places all through the cold season.


So, when is the best time to crappie fish? Crappie fishing can be done at any time of the day and any season. The main factors that need to take into account when crappie fishing is the location and the water temperature.

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