Catching crappie is a pretty fun thing to do because they’re extremely easy to catch if you know where to find them and they are pretty tasty as well. In this post, I’m going to be talking about how to catch crappie from the bank.
There really isn’t a whole lot that goes into catching them because they’ll bite pretty much anything. You just need to make sure you’re using the right bait and strategy for the time of year and location you’re at. I like to keep things as simple as possible so I’ll be talking about the most versatile setup I’ve had results with.
I’ll be showing you what fishing line I generally use, how to set your rod and reel up the right way, what the most versatile type of bait is, and a few other tips along the way. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details on what bait and rigs to use when fishing for crappie.
Crappie Rigs & Setup
The first thing we’ll talk about is what rod and reel to use. We’re obviously fishing from the shore and will need something to cast so you can either go with a spincast or baitcast reel. It’s not really that big of a deal and will all depend on what you prefer. Spincasting rods are easier to use and will give you fewer problems. Baitcasting rods are a bit trickier but are quicker to use and I think they’re more fun.
The next thing we need to do is use the right fishing line. Crappie doesn’t get that big so you’re not going to need a heavy-duty line and you want to make sure it’s not too thick for them to see. I almost always use a braided line as my main fishing line and then I’ll have a fluorocarbon leader. The braided line is normally 10 lb test and the fluoro would be 4 lb test. Here’s how I connect the two lines:
After we have our line on, the next thing we’ll need to attach is the hook. You can pretty much use any old hook you have but I prefer using a 1/32 oz jig head. I almost always use a jig head when I can (over a standard hook) because it’ll add some weight which will help with the cast. You can use whatever fishing knot you prefer to attach it.
The final thing I like to do is attach a float to the line. This isn’t something you have to do but I think it makes things way easier and you don’t have to worry as much about getting snagged. You’ll want to put the float in a spot where it’ll keep your hook above the ground. If you’re fishing in 5 feet of water then you’ll want to put your float 4 feet from your hook. Sometimes you’ll have to adjust things but this is where I like to start.
Crappie Bait & Lures
Once everything is set up and ready to go, the next thing we’ll have to do is figure out what we want to put on the hook. You can use a minnow, worm, fly, or pretty much whatever else they might be feeding on. My favorite thing to use is a small pink soft plastic. Something like the Bobby Garland Pink Phantom from Amazon. Slightly different but similar bait below (a bigger jig head would be ideal).
I like using this type of bait because it stays on the hook better, is easier to deal with, and seems to work the best year-round (in my experience). All you have to do is put the hook through the bottom and out the top. It has a great amount of action in the water and the fish seem to love it. I don’t think the color matters too much with crappie but pink is always what I’ve used.
In certain times of the year, using minnows works really well. They’ll have to be pretty small but you can rig them through the spine or in the lips (make sure the hook is coming out the top). When fish are active they might prefer the action of a live fish and you won’t have to work the rod as much either. Soft plastics will still work fine though.
How To Fish Crappie From The Shore
Crappie is a pretty easy fish to catch but you need to know where to look for them. They like to hang out around man-made objects, areas of cover, and spots with weeds or pads. They like to hang out in those areas and wait until something comes that they can ambush.
If you can’t find a spot like this in the water then you can look for an area with rocks. If there are rocks on the shore then there’s a good chance there will be rocks on the water. They like to be around those as well. You’ll then want to cast alongside cover or rocks and not just straight out into the water.
After I cast out, the next thing I’ll do is start giving the bait some action. I’ll give it three or four quick twitches and then I’ll let the hook settle below the float. I’ll reel in some slack and repeat the process. I’ll normally get a bite after the last twitch when the bait is sinking back down underneath the float.
You can experiment with jigging it up and down, dragging it, or just retrieving it but this is the technique I’ve had the best results with. Sometimes you gotta change it up though but that’s the case with anything fishing.
Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.
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