How to catch big crappies
How to Catch More Crappies than You Want
Crappies are one of the best tasting fish I have ever eaten, I like them better then trout. The meat is pure white and is firm and full of good mellow flavour. Crappies are a panfish, similar to bluegill and sunfish. When I was a young man, a lot of local fishermen called crappie, ' calico bass '. Luckily for us fishermen they are considered a panfish and are not restricted in most areas, like other bass are when it comes to fishing laws. Here in Pennsylvania we are allowed to catch 50 crappies a day with no size limitations.
Crappies are 'little hellions,' they are full of energy and despite their small size they can make a normal fishing rod bend to the breaking point and cause a reels drag to become active, the energy and taste are two reasons why crappies are such a great fish to catch.
Crappies come in two types or varieties, there are black crappies and white crappies. Crappies live throughout the U.S in many ponds, lakes and streams, I guess if other panfish or even bass can thrive in the water, then crappie can also. Crappie look similar in size and shape to other panfish, except they are a lot more silver colored, with black spots, and they have upturned noses. They are actually a very nice looking fish, and the silver or shiny color shimmers in the sunlight.
Crappies can be caught year around. In the spring and fall months they move near the shore areas, and in the summer they move out in more deeper and cooler water. They are probably the most active in the early spring months when they move towards the shores to spawn, they become very aggressive and tend to bite and attack anything that is cast or moves near them or the nest, making it pretty easy to get a stringer full of crappies in a short time in the spring season. The nests look like hollowed out depressions or dishes in the mud or gravel on the bottoms of the ponds and lakes. If you walk slowly around the edges of the water, you can see these nests and often see the crappie in and near them. Once you spot one of the nests, casting your bait near it will usually produce a quick strike.
In the summer or warmer months, they often hang around stumps, trees, and other debris areas and underwater structures for shading and protection. Casting near these areas in the summer and warmer months will often be very productive for catching a mess of crappie. In the fall time of the year, they move towards the shores and become more aggressive again in their feeding and biting. This aggressive feeding and biting continues throughout the cold winter months, which makes crappie a great fish to catch while ice fishing in the winter.
The best time to catch crappies is during the daylight hours, with early morning after sunrise and in the late afternoon towards early evening hours being the best times. Crappies love minnows with a passion, and when it comes to live baits there is no better choice than a small minnow. If you don't have or cannot get live minnows, then use jigs or any such lure that looks as realistic as possible to a live minnow. But when you use an artificial minnow make sure you keep the lure pretty active, so it simulates a live minnow as much as possible, if the fake minnow just sits still, crappie have been known to look and then just pass by, they seem to prefer live minnows and bait instead of dead ones. Crappies have a abnormally soft mouth, so be aware that if you jerk your rod too hard, to set the hook, you can rip it right out of the crappies mouth, resulting in losing the fish.
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