Where and How to Catch Fall Crappie

Where to Find Fall Crappies

Like all fish in the fall, feeding is a priority.  Crappie will be found in areas within a close proximity to available food and cover.  Crappies do much of their hunting amongst the weeds and shoreline vegetation which conceals smaller baitfish, insects, and other food sources.  Where weed lines meet steep drop-offs in lake bottom elevation contours, fish have access to multiple habitat zones.  In low light conditions such as morning, evening, or cloud cover, baitfish and Crappies alike will venture out of the weed cover to explore these transition zones.  

How to Catch Fall Crappies

Sonar can help identify contour breaks. Steep drop offs attract fish and your sonar can help you mark them.  Covering some ground with an eye on the sonar will help you eliminate marginal habitat so you can focus your efforts in productive locations.  After you have an optimal set up on a contour and cover transition zone in lower light conditions, drop a jig into the water!  White-haired jigs work great when tipped with a small piece of nightcrawler. The white color attracts attention from afar, and the crawler just can’t be ignored when a crappie gets up close.  Drop the jig as deep as you can in the zone you are fishing, and slowly bring it back up.  Crappie tend to congregate in one area if the food and preferred habitat are present. Bobbers with bait can be used if you are consistently getting bites at one particular depth.  Ultra-light rods give the sensitivity needed to detect even the lightest of strikes.  Light, four-pound mono is inconspicuous and perfect for smaller, crappie sized jigs.