Crappie

Crappie

Crappie

Techniques

  • Crappie are school fish that are easiest to find and catch when they move into shallower water to spawn. They also like heavy cover, so look for water 3-8 feet deep with sunken trees, tule beds, cattails, lily pads and undercut rocky banks.
  • Look for water in the 60-65°F range (most likely in March, April, and May).
  • The most popular method is to jig fish. Bait fishing is also possible.

Tackle & Equipment

Tackle: Any light freshwater tackle such as light spinning, spin casting, bamboo poles and long fly rods.

Other Equipment: Stringer or fish basket.

Bait & Rigging

Jig fishing: Use crappie or mini-jigs in the 1/32 to 1/8 oz size range. Tie the jig directly on a 2-4 lb test line. Cast short and accurately from boat or shore. Allow jig to sink to desired depth and then retreive smoothly and slowly (or use a twitching action with the rod tip).

Bait fishing: Live minnow recommended. You can fish from shore, dock or boat. Change depths if the action is weak. Typical rig is shown below:

SAMPLE RIG

rig_crappie3

Best Bets

Best spots include Clear Lake, Camanche, Berryessa and Black Butte. Other good spots include the back sloughs and ditches of the Delta.