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Whether You Catch for Sport or Food:

Crappie Fishing Rules

No, we're not talking regulations, we're talking awesome. When fishing for crappie, however, often times one will only catch small crappie, and it gets a bit frustrating, especially if you want to keep some to cook. You many think to yourself, "Are there any larger crappie in this place". Well, maybe there aren't. A lot of times, people fish for crappie in smaller bodies of water that don't have a good predator base, and as a result fish over populate and stunt each others growth.So how do you find out if the place you're fishing has any larger crappie? One of the best ways to prospect for bigger crappie is to move away from live bait. More specifically, get away from worms and meal worms.

Smaller fish will nibble at your worms and meal worms all day long, and they will make you a hungry fisherman, after they eat all your bait and avoid your hook. So, move away from live bait and use smaller spoons, spinners, and spinner baits, as well as jigs with tiny grubs on them. The key here is that you are moving these lures and they are bigger than live bait. As a result of this, the smaller fish will not be able to fit their small mouths around the lure, and they probably won't want to chase it, either. If you don't start to pick up larger fish after several outings of these techniques, then you can start to assume that larger crappie don't exist.

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But, you may need to change your fishing locations slightly to tap into larger schools of crappie with the aforementioned techniques. Larger fish tend to like to locate themselves just of the flat, shallow areas where most crappie colonies assemble. These bigger fish inhabit an area where deeper water makes them feel a bit safer from birds of prey, but they don't go too deep, because then they have to deal with super sized bass, musky or pike. So, you want to fish the deeper water right next to shallow flats.

Using crappie lures such as small spoons, spinners, and jigs in this deeper water will increase your chances of catching larger fish ten fold. Live bait fished in these deeper pockets can have similar results, however, make sure that you are fishing with just enough bait to catch the fish, but not enough to allow one to strip of the excess worm or meal worm. This is a delicate dance in fishing for any type of panfish, and is one of the main reasons why so many people move away from live bait in favor of plastics and lures. Spending most of your day tending to your live bait is not much fun at all.

Using crappie lures such as small spoons, spinners, and jigs in this deeper water will increase your chances of catching larger fish ten fold. Live bait fished in these deeper pockets can have similar results, however, make sure that you are fishing with just enough bait to catch the fish, but not enough to allow one to strip of the excess worm or meal worm. This is a delicate dance in fishing for any type of panfish, and is one of the main reasons why so many people move away from live bait in favor of plastics and lures. Spending most of your day tending to your live bait is not much fun at all.

Using crappie lures such as small spoons, spinners, and jigs in this deeper water will increase your chances of catching larger fish ten fold. Live bait fished in these deeper pockets can have similar results, however, make sure that you are fishing with just enough bait to catch the fish, but not enough to allow one to strip of the excess worm or meal worm. This is a delicate dance in fishing for any type of panfish, and is one of the main reasons why so many people move away from live bait in favor of plastics and lures. Spending most of your day tending to your live bait is not much fun at all.

The top picture shows a catch that included sunfish in the late afternoon, crappie nearing sunset, and walleye just before dark.

A pumpkinseed of 7 inches, which is relatively average, just barely hangs onto a small 1/16 oz. jig. They are often found around or near crappie.

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Using crappie lures such as small spoons, spinners, and jigs in this deeper water will increase your chances of catching larger fish ten fold. Live bait fished in these deeper pockets can have similar results, however, make sure that you are fishing with just enough bait to catch the fish, but not enough to allow one to strip of the excess worm or meal worm.