Crappie are a fun kind of fish to fish for. They are found in many lakes, as are other kinds of panfish. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to catch crappie, and people of all ages can enjoy fishing for crappie.
The way I like to fish for crappie is with a bobber and a small jig. It’s a really simple setup that will allow you to catch crappie in just about any lake that you go fishing in. You might also catch bluegill, perch, and bass bobber fishing.
Here is what you do. First, pick out a small jig. I’m a fan of pink and white, but any color will do. You don’t want to use a large jig or a heavy jig, just something that will drop down a couple feet without taking down the bobber with it.
Once you have your jig on there, you will want a bobber. There are a couple different styles, but it won’t make too much difference what kind of bobber you are using. Both round bobbers and stick bobbers work equally well.
Attach the bobber about two feet above the jig. Wind the fishing line around the bobber a couple times so that it doesn’t slip out of place.
For bait, I would suggest worms or minnows. If your lake doesn’t allow for live bait, I would try the Berkley gulp line of scented artificial baits. I’ve caught crappie and bass on them many times. They really do work and are great on lakes where live bait is not permitted.
After you’re all rigged up cast out the bobber and let it sit until you get a bite. If your bobber goes under lift the rod and set the hook. Reel in your fish and take a picture!
If you don’t get a bite for a while, reel in the bobber a little ways and see if that helps. If you need to, reel it all the way in and cast out to a different spot.
Bobber fishing takes patience, but if you find the right spot, you can catch a lot of crappie and it’s a lot of fun.
Casting for crappie
If bobber fishing is too boring for you, try casting for crappie. It’s pretty much the same tackle setup, but without the bobber attached. You can still catch fish from shore and have a lot of fun casting for crappie.
You will want to pick out a jig and bait. Again, keep it small and light.
Once you are all rigged up, you just cast out the jig, let it sink down a bit, and then you reel it back in.
The speed that you reel in will depend on how active the fish are. If the fish are active, you might reel somewhat quickly. If you aren’t getting a lot of bites, you might slow down and vary your speeds to see what works for the conditions.
Trolling for crappie
The last method that works really well is to troll around in a boat and either cast out along the shorelines for crappie, as outlined above. Or, you can work the bottom more like jigging for walleye if you are on a slower troll.
If you are going to be jigging for crappie, you will want to use a heavier weighted jig to make sure it makes it to the bottom. There isn’t much to it, you troll slowly around the lake and you let your jig bounce up and down off the bottom of the lake until some fish comes along and takes the bait.
The cool thing is when you are fishing the bottom of a lake, you never know what is going to hit. You might get a crappie, you might get a northern pike, or you might get a catfish or walleye. Sometimes you even get rougher fish hitting your line depending on where you are fishing.
Crappie fishing is simple an fun
Unlike bass fishing which can require a giant tackle box with worms and lures for every occasion, crappie fishing is relaxing and fun. You can catch crappie or pan fish in just about every lake and they are really good eating fish. The best part is, crappie fishing can be fun for the whole family. Even younger children love fishing for crappie!
So, go out, catch some crappie and enjoy yourself.
P.S. I unpack more ideas in Creative Genius