Crappie are freshwater fish that belong to the sunfish family alongside some other popular catches such as bass, bluegill, catfish and trout. This particular sunfish is one of the most prevalent freshwater sport fishing series in North America for various reasons. These sunfish are accessible, fun to catch, don’t require a ton of fancy tackle and they are simply delicious to eat. They are not always predictable making them an exciting fish to hook up. They can act anywhere from very lazy, quick and aggressive. Whether you have a boat or not, you can catch crappie!
What to Expect from Crappie
Crappie can move around depending on the season and water temperature. Spring and summer tend to make for great times to catch these fish but they can certainly be found all year long in fresh ponds and lakes. This fish is transplanted and stocked often and because they are very adaptable, they can be found in abundance around the United States, in every state minus Alaska and Hawaii. There are several species of crappie also making them fun to fish for. Some of the more well known species are papermouths, speckled bass, strawberry bass, speckled perch, calico bass, crappie bass and oswego bass.
Like bluegills, crappies are fierce defenders of their nesting beds, which can make them easier to find and catch during the spawn. They tend to nest in shallow waters along the shore or in vegetation that is protective, swim out to deeper water during the day while coming to the surface at dawn and dusk to feed on small insects. Some of the more aggressive crappie can be found around brush piles.
Recommended Equipment for Crapping Fishing
The list of gear needed is small, hence one of the reasons it is such a popular fishing game. With a rod and line, lures and bait, there is plenty of opportunity to reel some crappie in. When setting up your rig for crappie fishing, you will want something lighter to avoid crappie from seeing it. However, there is nothing worse than a relentless snag, so you want to weigh your options and find something with a little bit of weight so you can get out if needed. As for bait and lures, you certainly have some options. Crappies are not picky eaters. Aquatic insects, shad and minnows are great for luring in crappie. You can find simple minnow and shad lures as well. Many fishing supply stores carry small tackle boxes pre-filled with great lures and jigs for crappie. The reality is, if you put in enough time, you can use just about anything to catch these sunfish.
There are many ways to get crappie on the line. It’s wise to consider a few things. Remember to consider the season so you can spend less time figuring out where they like to dwell at different times of the year and more time casting. Speaking of casting, this technique, along with vertically jigging are the most popular ways to fish for crappie. Another thing to consider is the time of day, remembering that crappie tend to feed at dusk and dawn, making this a very active time of the day on the water.
Catching crappie is not only fun, but it makes for a great meal. This panfish is very tasty and done well with a frying pan, olive oil and lemon garnish. It has a pretty mild taste making it an easy fish to use with various recipes and cooking styles. It is soft, flaky and quite delicate to the touch.
This fish gets a lot of attention for these reasons. Who couldn’t resist easy to find, simple and inexpensive gear, fun and delicious? It’s not surprising that crappie is at the top of the list for freshwater fishing.