Prespawn Crappie Catching Tips
Crappie is temperamental little creatures. Even the most seasoned fisherman knows that as soon as you get them figured out, and you’re on a roll, they’ll change their preferences and start to cause a challenge again. If you’re looking for tips on how to catch pre-spawn crappie, it’s worth bearing in mind that what may work wonders one day, may fail to yield positive results on another. However, with a little research and a substantial degree of patience, you can get great results if the environment is right.
As an enthusiastic angler, I like the challenge that pre-spawn crappie pose. There’s a much higher sense of satisfaction in reeling in a temperamental fish, knowing that I had to put in a little extra effort to get my prize. As a result, I’d like to share what I’ve learned so far, to make it easier for you to net crappie without trial and error.
A Guide To Find and Catch a Prespawn crappie
1. Time it right
Pre-spawn periods tend to range between the middle of January through to mid-April before the spawn starts. What works in the January and February period tends to be different later in March and April, as the temperature of the water can make a difference to the location and bite of the fish. It’s not just the time of the year that affects success rates.
However, The time of day you head out can alter conditions as well, changing water clarity and temperature and driving crappie into different depths and locations. Take some time to get to know where pre-spawn crappie is located at different periods, how to monitor its habits and How you can optimize your chances of success.
2. Watch the weather
Crappie has set patterns in response to certain weather conditions, which you can work with when you know how they behave. My experience has shown that I can get the best yield for pre-spawn fish following on from a mild warm period, just before a switch towards cooler weather.
At these times, the males will start anticipating the cold front and fan out for nests in shallower water. Females migrate to shallows at the same time on the hunt for food. Because of this, you can concentrate on more shallow areas that are easily accessible, using the weather pattern to avoid going deep.
In colder periods, the crappie goes back to the deeper water to benefit from the additional cover afforded by the distinct bottom structure. The more light penetration there is (for example on calm, sunny days), the deeper cover crappie will seek out. Rainy periods will drive them back to shallow reaches.
3. Recognize the strike
If you’re not used to the feel of a hit from pre-spawn crappie, it can be easy to miss it. Pre-spawn don’t announce they’ve taken the bait with much of a fanfare, and it can feel as if you’ve just snagged the lure on a leaf. Stay alert to any changes and set the hook the moment you sense it. Once you’ve caught one, remain in the same place and gauge the same depth, as you could be in line for several more consecutive casts.
Good video on 3 Stages of Prespawn by Linder's Angling edge
4. Lure hid crappie with a jig
If you’re not keen on the idea of going into deeper waters to catch pre-spawn crappie, I’ve discovered a handy little trick to attract pre-spawn when they’re holding in deep edges of thicker cover. Use a jig and jigging pole, and pull the jig flush and tight against your rod tip eye.
Filter your way through the cover and pick your fishing hole, and lower in. Patience is key to attracting the crappie, and your line will have enough vibration just by holding stationary to get their attention to the lure. When you feel the bite, keep the line and set your hook, then back the fish out.
While this is just my experience, you’ll need to spend some time researching your area to find what works for you, when you come to see and catch pre-spawn crappie. I hope my tips help to start you off. Let me know if you have more techniques that I’ve not covered here, and feel free to share the post if you find it helpful.
For more information on pre-spawn crappie fishing tips, check out John Merwin’s article here (which features a great recipe for when your trip’s a success!
I hope you have found this brief article interesting on How to Find and Catch Pre-Spawn Crappie. Be sure to leave your comments below. Thanks!