Spring crappies

Mr. Lehey
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Spring crappies

Unread postby Mr. Lehey » Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:05 pm

Where and how do I find crappies in the spring? I know when it warms up a bit they move shallow but what about before that? Do they move halfway between their winter and spawning spots? I just can’t seem to figure them out. What’s everyone’s thoughts?


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headgear
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby headgear » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:54 am

North end of the lakes will get the most sun, I usually move around on some bigger flats and check different depths. Sometimes I find them deeper in 10 feet or so of water and sometimes very shallow.
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:15 am

I'm struggling myself. Surface sater temps been around 45 =/- lately. Last week found a pocket of water that was 50ish. Had two bites and then hooked one shallow.

Been pretty windy but been taking a ride with the graph. Surface temps yesterday about 47, marked a lot of fish in 10-20 feet, was throwing mostly shallow at first, then started going deeper. Got blown around a bit to have much control. Just using a jig. Probably need to anchor over the marks and use a slip bobber.

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Jonny
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby Jonny » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:07 am

They love the sun when the water is cold. Caught a bunch this weekend fishing in 5-6' of water and I might have had a foot of line under the smallest bobber I own. Light jig and a minnow and it was nuts.

They were staging in a "deeper" hole close to where they spawn. Also caught some near current in the mouth of a backwater, suspended.

Don't be afraid to think outside the box. I've caught spring crappies in downright stupid places. 1' deep sandbars, middle of a 2' deep backwater near a patch of new weeds. Kinda like deer hunting. Go where others aren't and you might be surprised. The fun part is you can sometimes find other fish with them. Not rare for me to catch walleyes or nice bass mixed in. Pretty common to catch a couple snot rockets as well. Got 3 this weekend actually.
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:22 am

I look for the longest coves on any body of water that has arms coming off. I want calm water, slope banks and sunlight. I move quick until I find one. Then I probe around and cover every inch of water from 5’ to right up against the bank. Once u find em, the majority will all be at that depth so now u can skip the other stuff. I position my self so my shadow is not in front of me where I am trying to catch a shallow crappie.

Points, oxbows, steep banks, beaver trenches, beaver dams etc. are all great places to start your search. Good luck!
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headgear
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby headgear » Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:34 am

Uncle Lou wrote:I'm struggling myself.


I still have ice on most of my lakes, talk about a struggle. Hope to get out one of these days.
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby Mr. Lehey » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:59 am

Was out this past weekend and found fish suspended halfway down in 10-13ft of water. Anchored and casted minnows, jigs with twister tails and Minnie Mites under slip bobbers and not a bite. Found another spot in 6ft of water with fish suspended above structure about 2ft down again not a single bite. It was cold and breezy out so maybe we just need a warm up for fish to get active??
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby Jonny » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:07 am

Mr. Lehey wrote:Was out this past weekend and found fish suspended halfway down in 10-13ft of water. Anchored and casted minnows, jigs with twister tails and Minnie Mites under slip bobbers and not a bite. Found another spot in 6ft of water with fish suspended above structure about 2ft down again not a single bite. It was cold and breezy out so maybe we just need a warm up for fish to get active??


Yes. Although if they are suspended they are usually active so I'm kinda surprised you didn't catch anything. Try going lighter or with something that flutters when it falls, and keep it light weight. Big weight scares them if its shallow, and the flutter or slow fall is dynamite for crappies, at least in my experience.

Gold flutter spoons and rocker jigs have put more crappies in my belly than anything else I have ever tried.
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby jporcello » Sat May 16, 2020 1:27 pm

What’s an all around not expensive crappie rod and reel set up?
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby DhD » Sun May 17, 2020 6:44 am

jporcello wrote:What’s an all around not expensive crappie rod and reel set up?


I buy Scheels brand rods mostly. The warranty can't be beat and the quality is good. For crappie I would suggest medium light action. As far as reels, I used to buy all pfluegers, but these days I find myself using more Shimano. Both are good for the price, but I find the Shimano are a little tougher. I can be hard on gear so I lean towards those. A 1000 size reel should be more than enough. I would spool up with 6 lb suffix 832 if I was going crappie fishing. Gives you the sensitivity to handle small jigs, but still the strength to deal with bigger fish. It's not cheap, but well worth it. Tip with a couple feet of floro if need be. Hope that helps.
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby P&YBuck1 » Sun May 17, 2020 1:21 pm

Son and I been crushing crappies using combination of plastics and live bait.

Many use minnows which are excellent but don't forget the good old piece of night crawler.

Good lures to use are Cubbie Minie Mites, tipped with worm but hook gap is small so may have hook set issues at times.

Try my buddies Kalin Scrubs, dynamite action: https://www.acmetackle.com/collections/kalins. Looks like a tiny frog body so just a little twitch you get great movement.

Out today we caught them in 56 degree water in about 7-8 foot of water with weed tops at about 4-foot of water. Kalin scrub with small bobber and small/jig minnow was the trick.

One tip, I like to use Pencil bobbers and like to have them weighted so they are not fully vertical. The reason is crappie bites can be both positive and negative so this allows me to detect either action.

Good luck fishing!
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Mon May 18, 2020 1:28 am

jporcello wrote:What’s an all around not expensive crappie rod and reel set up?


Depends on how u plan on fishing for the tasty treats. I prefer to vertical jig with a 10’ rod. I prefer a rear reel seat for balance and comfort. Some of the cheapos feel like a buggy whip to me and I don’t like. A good one can be had for around $40. I put a plastic $3 fly fishing reel on it. I prefer the plastic cause it doesn’t rust when constantly dunked in the water. I spool it with 10# test of the cheapest line Wally World has. I like a heavier line cause I’m in thick brush which often frays lighter line. Plus a heavier line slows the fall of the jig. I use a 1/16 lead head feather jig. In spring I don’t believe color makes a hoot. If u get it in there danger zone and they can see it they are gonna thump it.

If casting for crappies is your mo then I would pay more attention to the reel than the rod. We’re talking pan fish here not tarpons. For me I like a 7 ft light or ultra light action. 1 reason is cause I’m heavy handed and will rip there lips off with a heavier action rod. The other reason is cause typically if your casting that means your not pulling anything out of heavy cover. Get u a spinning reel with a tall spool. Tall spools cast better than short ones. I’m not married to any particular brand and have pulled in slabs with no name brands. I would spool half the reel with cheap 20# test. It’s just filler that line never sees the water and the good stuff is pricey. Then I would splice in some braid. Yes braid! It has no memory like mono and won’t leave ya pulling twirly birds out of your reel. Then on the end splice in about 3’ of 6# test and have a ball.

Just my .02
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jporcello
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Re: Spring crappies

Unread postby jporcello » Mon May 18, 2020 2:10 am

Boogieman1 wrote:
jporcello wrote:What’s an all around not expensive crappie rod and reel set up?


Depends on how u plan on fishing for the tasty treats. I prefer to vertical jig with a 10’ rod. I prefer a rear reel seat for balance and comfort. Some of the cheapos feel like a buggy whip to me and I don’t like. A good one can be had for around $40. I put a plastic $3 fly fishing reel on it. I prefer the plastic cause it doesn’t rust when constantly dunked in the water. I spool it with 10# test of the cheapest line Wally World has. I like a heavier line cause I’m in thick brush which often frays lighter line. Plus a heavier line slows the fall of the jig. I use a 1/16 lead head feather jig. In spring I don’t believe color makes a hoot. If u get it in there danger zone and they can see it they are gonna thump it.

If casting for crappies is your mo then I would pay more attention to the reel than the rod. We’re talking pan fish here not tarpons. For me I like a 7 ft light or ultra light action. 1 reason is cause I’m heavy handed and will rip there lips off with a heavier action rod. The other reason is cause typically if your casting that means your not pulling anything out of heavy cover. Get u a spinning reel with a tall spool. Tall spools cast better than short ones. I’m not married to any particular brand and have pulled in slabs with no name brands. I would spool half the reel with cheap 20# test. It’s just filler that line never sees the water and the good stuff is pricey. Then I would splice in some braid. Yes braid! It has no memory like mono and won’t leave ya pulling twirly birds out of your reel. Then on the end splice in about 3’ of 6# test and have a ball.

Just my .02


I have a 12’ rod for vertical jigging but I’m looking for something to cast and reel in crappie. Thank you for the advice.
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