Popular ways to angle for crappie
| HOOD OUTDOORS
The species that is generally referred to as best eating fish in the south is the crappie.
Today I will be discussing some crappie techniques for different seasons that come from many different sources, including my own experience. I do not consider myself a crappie expert, but I have fished for many a crappie on many different Texas lakes. I fished as most do, mainly in the early spring in the extreme shallows and sometimes in the winter on those deep submerged brush piles.
White crappie are more cold-natured than the black crappie. The white crappie is most active in and around 62-degree water and the black crappie is most active in about 70-degree water.
As the water cools in early fall the crappie move into shallower depths along shoreline structure. They may be found close to weed lines, rocky points, flooded creek channels or a variety of other habitats.
Crappie love structure. If you can find deep water in the winter with trees or some type of structure, you will eventually come across some fish. Use your electronics and look for structure and bait.
In the winter, oxygen levels may have the fish suspended at many different depths. In the summer, the crappie will generally be suspended above the thermocline.
Most any type of fishing equipment can be used for crappie. It may be as simple as a cane pole or as sophisticated as a high dollar ultralight spinning outfit.
The newer man-made rod material has made the detection of “soft” strikes much easier, which can improve your catch ratio. The real point to be made here is that a lightweight outfit with lightweight monofilament (6 pound test or smaller) will generally fool the fish easier.
The most used artificial lure for crappie is the lead-head jig. The most popular crappie baits are soft plastics on a leadhead and roadrunner type spinners.
Crappie frequently move up from beneath to take a lure, and thus many anglers prefer to suspend their jig from a small bobber. Drift fishermen will often times tie two jigs to one line, with one jig a foot or two higher than the other.
Small minnows are typically the best live bait for crappie. When using minnows, a small hook (size no. 4, 6 or 8) should be used with a light split shot placed about a foot above the hook.
Some crappie fishermen also tip a leadhead jig with a small minnow on occasion when fishing is slow.
Other popular live baits for crappie, particularly during winter, include a large assortment of insect larvae. Waxworms and mealworms will work well when placed on a small hook or tipped on a jig.
HOOD COUNTY FISHING REPORT
Granbury water temperatures are in the low 60s and continue to fall with the passing cool fronts. Small stripers and sand bass are numerous mid-lake on feeding flats. Look for the birds to point you to active fish.
Crappie fishing is good on minnows fished on structure in 10 to 20 feet of water. Largemouth bass are good in numbers with an occasional bigger fish to 7 pounds possible.
Numerous black bass are feeding with the small stripers and sand bass. Catfish continue to be good on cut-bait near creek channel ledges.
Squaw Creek tilapia are good in numbers. Best bait is worms fished under a cork. You can catch them with a cast net as they are considered an invasive species.
Largemouth bass continue to be excellent on jigs and soft plastics near creek channels and points. Channel catfish are good on baited holes in the creek channels as well.
Possum Kingdom sand bass are excellent mid-lake on slabs. Striped bass are fair to good on Lake Whitney near the State Park on live shad. Lake Bridgeport hybrids and sand bass continue to be good to excellent on most days mid-lake under the birds.
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