When Is The Best Time To Fish For Crappie? | Best Crappie Catching Times

Crappieps may be among the easiest fish to catch, yet they are the most difficult to find at all times.

Their nomadic habits mean that they rarely stay in one place for more than a day or two at a time. They are quite predictable throughout the spawning season, but that explains why many fishermen concentrate on that period.

One reason Crappie are so difficult to predict is that they often feed on plankton suspended in open water, feigning through their carefully spaced gills. They also eat small fish, aquatic insect larvae and an assortment of crustaceans.

Best Time of Day to Catch Crappie

Early Morning

Crappie fishing is generally very good from the early morning daytime. Crappie has fairly excellent color and thickness perceptive visual skills that enable them to see much better in reduced-light scenarios than most of their prey items. Early morning water can also be much cooler than it’ll be later in the day therefore crappie will be eager to depart cover and venture outside chasing minnows and aquatic bugs.

At nighttime crappie generally will go into shallower water chasing a lure. It is possible to anticipate crappie to become much nearer to shore in the morning when they’ll be once the sunlight actually gets overhead. This implies individuals without boats can catch crappie in the lender and out of docks. Throughout the first morning, crappie is seen in warm water 4-12 feet deep normally mid-way upward in the water column.

As the dawn creeps together, you are going to begin discovering the crappie moving farther from shore and to deeper water. From 10 am, crappie is going to be too far from the beach to fish without a ship unless it’s possible to come across some notable cover with both thickness and also a ready food supply.

Late Afternoon

Crappie fishing is also quite great in the late afternoon/evening time period right up till dusk. Crappie have fairly excellent color and thickness perceptive visual skills that enable them to see much better in reduced-light scenarios than most of their prey items.

This gives them a distinct strategic advantage over the instances they search. Late day water can be much cooler than it’ll be later in the day therefore crappie will be eager to depart cover and venture outside chasing minnows and aquatic bugs.

As the sun gets lower in the night sky, the sun gets less jarring to fish. This may incite plankton and tiny minnows to begin venturing from the feeding and shade. Little baitfish will draw bigger predators such as crappie which adore minnows. Crappie fishing is generally fairly good in the late day right up till dusk after the final remaining light leaves the western skies.

Crappie will also begin moving nearer to the coastline again. As insect action over the surface picks up, this may definitely wake up fish feeding action under.


Crappie will feed in the night given there is available food and sufficient light to permit a crappie’s sensitive eyes to discover prey.

Crappie is going to have a great deal of trouble finding meals on dark nights with minimal to no moonlight.

Normally, moonlight can only penetrate the upper couple feet. This implies anything under 4-5 feet will be a near-complete shadow. Crappie will probably be feeding on the few feet of water on minnows and insects.

Most crappie fishermen have undergone excellent night fishing utilizing artificial lights to draw crappie. Many anglers will reduce chem sticks and other light sources down to the water column that will bring in small fish and finally crappie to nourish.

Floating LED lights may be a wonderful way to bring insects that attract fish. Keep in mind, the more pests you draw, the higher the prospect of being eaten by fleas so that really is really a balancing act. The light will behave like moonlight and actually light up the upper water column that crappie and other sharp-eyed hunters may flourish feeding in.

It’s also important to notice full moon nights, crappie will feed during the evening. This usually means the morning following a complete moon, crappie fishing can be very slow because crappie will have been feeding all evening and are likely complete. I usually recommend early morning crappie fishing but you can sleep on the morning following a complete moon, not feel terrible for this.

Where to find Crappie?

Crappies are all nomads, drifting throughout natural lakes, reservoirs and large river systems. They sometimes ignore cover and structure. In 1 study on a Tennessee reservoir, crappies were recovered up to 18 miles from the website where they had been labeled.

The whereabouts of all crappies are dependent upon the weather and season. Movement patterns from natural lakes differ from people in reservoirs.

Natural Lakes

Crappies start to bite soon after ice-out or whenever the water circulates into the mid-’40s. The fish move into shallow, black-bottomed bays or channels linking lakes. These warm water hot quicker than other locations and possess the oldest plants of plankton.

In lakes that absence shallow bays or stations, start looking for crappies only outside weddings. Finding them may be difficult since they might be sprinkled.

When temperatures climb into the mid-50’s, crappies start moving gradually into the neighborhood of their spawning locations. Black-bottomed bays frequently lack nesting habitats, therefore crappies go to regions with tougher bottoms.

Spawning in natural lakes

The very best spawning places have sand, rock or gravel bottoms. They have a moderate development of submerged or emergent vegetation and therefore are rarely deeper than 5 feet. Many crappies go into bays or canals sheltered from prevailing winds, but the most significant fish generally predominate on main lake shoals., points, humps and rock piles. Some crappies nest nearby inlets and outlets.


Before spawning, crappies congregate about entrances to creek arms. The top arms have dense stands of wood, active flows flowing, and maximum depths of 20 to 35 feet. As the water warms, the fish start moving up the creek stations toward their spawning grounds. Start looking for these along creek station drop-offs or at secondary coves off the primary creek arm.

Spawning in reservoirs

Assess for spawning activity at the back end, on shallow things, onshore apartments or close inlet flows. Shallow, timbered coves away from the primary lake will even draw in spawners. Massive crappies usually nest at 3 to 4 ft; smaller fish grinds shallower.

After spawning, crappies begin filtering the primary body of this lake. The very best post-spawn places include drop-offs across the creek station and close to standing lumber, stumps, brush and fallen trees near the channel.

So how do we know when Crappie are spawning?

Water temperature is your huge determinant that tells us if the fish have a pre-spawn, spawn or post-spawn manner and where we are gonna locate them.

Water Heater

Water temperature is a sign of spring Crappie action but not a complete assurance of where fish are what they are doing. That is because early spring weather is frequently shaky with water temperatures and fish place changing so.

You have always got to test water temperatures. Crappies follow it to the T. Watch out for the approximately 60 to 62-degree markers. This is the perfect Crappie fishing period.

Best Time for Each Season


As spring water temperatures grow towards 50 degrees, Crappies start shifting toward cortical regions, which frequently happen in reedbeds close to the mouths of bays.

A few consecutive days of warm serene weather generally begin drawing crappies into the extreme rear ends of bays and channels. Throughout these mid-pre-spawn states, Crappies normally relate to and nourish around bombarded wood cover such as fallen trees, underwater logs and beaver lodges across the coast.


Throughout the summertime, the vast majority of the crappies congregate in heavy water to remain cool once the water temperature is at its summit. Prime locations include rock piles and humps that shirt off in 12 to 20 ft and have several weeds.

Crappies also hang across coastline breaks and advantages of slowly tapering points. A number of the greatest slopes have cabbage. Even though crappies normally relate to a kind of construction, they are able to suspend more than a featureless bottom.

As surface temperatures approach 55 degrees pre-spawn Crappies begin actively constructing nests. By 60 levels Crappie ought to be spawning in earnest.


As autumn arrives and the water temperature begins to drop, Crappie begins to migrate to container sites. They form narrow schools along the lines of weeds or simply within them.

As the weeds begin to die, the fish gather in rock piles and submerged islands in deeper water. In late autumn, they move away from the building and suspend themselves above water. Some fish gather near the spring holes where the temperature is warmer than the surrounding water. They stay in these regions throughout the winter.

Locating the places in the basin is as simple as looking for the drainage area when the lake is going to empty. Crappie follows this route to take them to deeper waters during the winter.


Finally, when winter hits, the crappie will settle into the water also will feed on insects and minnows.

Nevertheless, we can normally say when the surface temperatures in shallow bays are between 38 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit Crappies are someplace within the pre-spawn style.

In the bottom end of this range, ancient pre-spawn crappies are usually inconsistent and flighty. Roaming shallow weeds in the mouths of bays until weather conditions stabilize.


What is the best month to catch crappie?

The Crappies are attracted to woody cover at any time of the year. A great pattern would be to fish shallow in the spring and fall and then fish hard during the winter and summer.

What is the best bait for crappie?

Minnows, worms, insects–just about anything could capture a crappie’s interest. You do not need to be concerned about the color of the lure, and you are only throwing them exactly what they’d be eating anyway. Minnows are the favored used by many, and some tip a jig using a live minnow to get a double-whammy.

How do you fish for crappie at night?

Jigs and minnows are the ideal crappie baits, day and nighttime. However, at times it is worth it to change the menu for discriminating nighttime diners. In case of crappie are feeding on shad brought to your lighting, shad can outproduce minnows.

Is Crappie fishing good in the fall?

Fall is just one of the Best Time To Catch Crappie from the Northeast, next only to spring up. As the water starts to cool, crappie is on the go. The October crappie snack could be excellent, particularly for large crappie. … Crappie will proceed in shallower during low-end intervals and back out to deeper regions during the day.