How To Fish For Crappie From The Bank
Crappie fishing isn’t hard, but it’s not as easy as fishing for bluegill. You’ll probably run into a few problems when you first start fishing for crappie.
To help mellow out the learning curve, I’ve written down five of my favorite crappie fishing techniques for you to use on your next fishing trip.
5 Tips For Crappie Fishing Near The Bank
1. Spring Is The Most Productive
Crappie tend to spawn in the spring, and that makes spring the best season to target them from the bank. They tend to come out of the deeper parts of the water to lay their eggs in the grass and weeds that line the sides of the water.
In a lot of ways, it’s easier to catch them from the bank during the spring. Since the crappie are so close to the shore, boat fishermen usually have to carefully position themselves on top of the crappie. Not only is that difficult to do safely in shallow water, but it tends to scare the crappie off.
Bank fishermen can almost silently approach crappie beds, and they can easily plop their jigs right on top of hungry crappie.
2. Don’t Just Jig For Crappie
A lot of fishermen think that they have to exclusively use jigs to catch crappie. Would you be surprised if I told you that I’ve had more success with inline spinners?
While it’s true that jigs work, and I’m not telling you to never bother with them, sometimes the crappie will have no problem chasing their food. This is especially true when you’re fishing smaller ponds. There’s simply not enough food for them to sit around waiting for the perfect meal.
I recommend retrieving inline spinners at a medium pace through the weeds and along structures. If it’s a little hotter outside, you can throw smaller crankbaits at a faster pace, and the crappie will snap those up, too.
Using faster-paced baits will at least allow you to test the bite faster than if you just chose to throw jigs. However, if it’s a little cold out, you might want to skip this tip until it warms up.
3. Tip Your Jigs
If you’re using a jig, don’t just drop it in the water. It’ll work that way, but it’ll be more effective if you tip the jig first.
I recommend tipping your jig with corn, crappie bites, or little chunks of a Slim Jim. All three of those work really well, and the added scent will make the crappie more willing to bite.
You can also tip inline spinners and crankbaits, but I’ve noticed that the faster retrieval of those lures usually ends up knocking corn and crappie bites off. Also, it’s sort of unnecessary because those baits create reaction bites. The fish likely don’t care what they smell like if they’re attacking them aggressively.
4. Use A Longer Fishing Rod
While I highly recommend attempting to stray away from just using jigs, I can’t deny that jigs are pretty much the best lures for crappie most of the time. If you’re using them from the bank, you’ll want a really long pole.
You’ll want a long pole for jigging to ensure that you can reach the weeds and structures that aren’t right against the bank. Those areas are typically where a lot of crappie like to sit around, and you’ll be able to gently bounce your lure in those spots indefinitely if you have a long pole.
I personally recommend using a 12-foot pole with a spinning reel, but you can usually use a nine-foot pole without worrying. Anything longer than 12-feet tends to be difficult to maneuver.
5. Use A Bobber
You probably don’t use bobbers most of the time when you fish with lures, but they help a lot when you target crappie.
Crappie tend to suspend at specific depths in the water column for long periods of time. If you’re just a foot off with your depth, you’ll pass right by every crappie in the pond.
It’s difficult to keep your lure at a very specific depth every time you cast it, though. A bobber fixes, that. It’ll allow you to set the exact depth that your lure will stay at when you cast it and retrieve it.
Since you know exactly what depth you’re fishing at, you’ll be able to slowly adjust your bobber if you’re not getting bites. It takes a while, but you’ll know exactly what depth the crappie are at once you get a bite.
However, there’s a faster way to figure out where the crappie are, and you won’t have to waste your time adjusting your depth if you use it. Just buy a castable fish finder. They’re small spheres that you tie onto your line, and they send pictures of the water back to your phone. After a few casts with your fish finder, you’ll know exactly what depth to fish at, and you’ll know exactly where to cast.
If you’d like to read more about how to fish with a bobber, check out my complete bobber fishing guide here.
Crappie aren’t too hard to catch, but they’re definitely harder than bluegill. These tips will help you make the most out of your crappie fishing excursions, and they might just help you beat your personal record.