Any experienced Crappie angler knows that in order to develop an effective crappie fishing technique and become successful at this sport (or as some call it, religion) you must go through some trial and error. You simply must determine what works best for you. If you are fishing basically the same areas, it is much easier. If you fish new territory often, it is important to consider seeking advice from locals.
Perhaps one of the most important facets of trial and error is establishing a set of criteria, determining what you know to be true of a particular area at a particular time of year, and applying these facts in an organized manner to determine what works best for you.
As was mentioned previously, one of your best resources when it comes to crappie fishing is experienced locals. Anglers really have more to share than stories about the one that got away, and luckily, most of them are eager to share what they know with those of us eager to learn from their expertise.
Some things it is always beneficial to know are:
* What type of cover is being utilized by the crappie in your area?
* Do the fish bite better late in the day or early in the day?
* How deep should you fish to maximize your catch potential?
* Are the crappie biting better with jigs or minnows?
* What type of jigs are getting more hits?
In both the winter and the summer, crappies tend to move into deeper water, and this makes them harder to locate. Use trolling motors to fish multiple depths until you are able to find the fish. In the spring crappie tend to be most abundant in cover located near the shore. In the autumn, you may find a combination of deep and shallow fishing technique must be utilized.
The bottom line is that you really must systematically determine what works best in what areas, taking into consideration the time of year and bedding habits of the crappie in your target areas, and nothing takes the place of trial and error.
Crappie tend to have tender, fragile mouths. For this reason, fishing from bridges or other high structures is rarely productive. When fishing for Crappie, you simply can not set the hook like you would when fishing for bass, catfish, or other types of fish. Always remember to set the hook gently.
It is commonly accepted that it is best to simply keep the slack out of your line, reel slowly, and gently raise the fish into the boat or net it. It is also commonly accepted as truth that while you might fish for catfish, for example, bobberless, it is much more difficult to feel the hit of a crappie on your line.
For this reason, most experienced crappie fishermen use bobbers. It makes it much more easy to fish at the depth you choose, and makes it much, much easier to visually notice when you have a hit on your line.
If, in spite of this, you want to fish bobberless, you really have to watch closely. Often the only noticeable effect on your line will be a twitch, brief tightening, or loosening of your line to let you know you have a bite.