Growing up learning how to catch crappie, I heard lots of talk about catching them in the Spring during the spawn. My Dad and I quickly learned that catching crappie in the Winter can be every bit as eventful as in the Spring. If you’re willing to brave the cold, you might find yourself having more success catching crappie in the Winter.
How To Catch Winter Crappie
When the water temps start dropping, so do the crappie. During the Winter months, your electronics are your best friend. This is because the crappie typically will school up in deeper water on structure, and are a bit harder to find if you don’t have good electronics. Lots of times, submerged trees, and other structures that crappie can hover around is what you want to look for. I mainly fish Lake of the Ozarks when I am trying to catch crappie in the Winter, and I look for submerged brush under and in front of boat docks.
As far as presentation goes, I feel like the slower, the better. I have seen times where little to no presentation is the best presentation. If you’re trying to haul in those cold-water slabs, sometimes you’ve got to slow your presentation to practically nothing at all.
Personally, I always use artificial baits like a Bobby Garland Baby Shad, but if you want to really up the odds at catching crappie in the winter, live minnows can do just that. The Winter pattern can make the crappie a little harder to convince to bite, but once you get them biting, it’s game on.
Switching to a lighter setup for catching crappie in the Winter isn’t a bad idea either. Having a lighter action rod will help with feeling the lighter bites this time of year. Depending on how clear your lake is, a lighter line could help convince those hesitant crappie to bite.
Lastly, fishing around the dawn and dusk hours can be a huge key to success when catching crappie in the Winter. Often times, the changing light conditions will turn the crappie on to feeding. So, if you have to pick a time frame to be on the lake catching crappie, I’d try to plan on dawn or dusk for your best odds.
There are many tactics to keying in on catching those Winter crappie, and those that I have listed may or may not be new ideas to you, but if they are, go give them a try. You might just find yourself in the same shoes as myself in that you enjoy catching crappie in the Winter more than any other time of year.
My Crappie Jig Of Choice
As I mentioned earlier, my crappie jig of choice is the Baby Shad from Bobby Garland. My favorite color is the “Blue Ice”. If you’d like to shop for all things crappie fishing before your next trip, head on over to https://www.modernoutdoortackle.com/.