When is the Best Time to Fish for Crappie 2020?

The time of the year generally offers a good and long way to determine your plan to catch. Knowing the method to use in order to hook a big crap is one of the important things to consider here. Aside from that, you must also need to know when is the best time to fish for crappie.  Actually, there is no best month to have a good crappie catch. Yet, there are many good months for fishing crappie.

In addition to the strategy of fishing that you must have to follow, also consider the location where you want to fish. Keep in mind that crappie always exist in groups and catching one at a specific spot may let you find more of them within the same place. The best thing to do here is just to come to the right place.

When is the best time to fish for crappie based on the season of the year?

Fishing crappie can be done all year round and you can actually get a catch of it in no specific time. However, depending on the season of the year and catching a big one may determine when is the best time to fish for crappie.

When is the best time to fish for crappie: During the SPRING

One of the most exciting seasons of the year to catch crappie is during the springtime. It is this season when the crappie breed within the shallow waters on temperatures of about 55OF. Knowing this, you can generally cast your minnow and bobber within the bank to get lots of fish.

Yet, the crappie breed on various depths based on the water clarity. When the water is clear, the crappie go deeper in a clearer spot thus moving near within the surface of the murky water. Mostly, the crappie stays on a depth of about 20 feet if the water is basically clear. Meanwhile, having the crappie for just about 1 foot below is possible on non-clear water.

When is the best time to fish for crappie during spring is within the period of early March to late May. Most anglers usually utilize a trolling motor as they move slowly gearing towards the shoreline. Get close to the shoreline focusing on rocks, vegetation, and wood debris. 

Ways on catching crappie in the spring

When is the best time to fish for crappie during the springtime is when the snow begins to thaw and that the temperatures creep back into more tolerable levels. If this is the case, immediately run into your favorite pond. Have a thermometer with you and examine the water temperature. 50 degrees water indicates that crappies are on their way.

Finding fish is the initial way to catch them and use a GPS fish-finder. Once you already find one, just go near the shoreline and flip a jig measuring about 1/32 to 1/16 ounce into the shallow water. Do it slowly as move and make sure that you get in touch with each nook, rocks, wood debris, and vegetation. A pea gravel bank is also a good location for crappie breeding.

when is the best time to fish for crappie

The moment you find crappie immediately stops and go on fishing on that same spot until the fish discontinue biting. Another point to consider when is the best time to fish for crappie during the spring is the moment that the cold front brings the crappie to the deeper water and focus more on the steep banks. But, always keep in mind that crappie always gets near the bank.

Also, try to consider casting a small jig from the bank if you are on waters that take high fishing pressure. Basically, retrieve the bait with the rod end immediately right on the air. Most likely, you will able to get a strike near to the boat once the crappie follows the bait afterwards.

When is the best time to fish for crappie: During the SUMMER

Fishing at various water depths is necessary during the daytime of summer season. During this time, the crappie gears towards the vegetation in the water with a depth of 15 to 20 feet. Go for a trial and error method through fishing on a specific area for a certain time period. In case, you are not lucky enough for this, it is better to move out and look for another spot.

Vertical jigging is actually better once you fish around vegetation cover. Do this and you will definitely have many crappie bites. Moreover, when the months become hot, consider to fish during the night. It is usually the night lights that will get the interest of insects and tiny baitfish that will generally take the crappie’s attention.

Generally, the crappie will still bite on regardless of the water temperature. Most anglers suggest that groups of crappie within the shore seem to face a single direction. It would generally be discerning to take an approach over the crappies in the right direction. In case you are not getting any bites when you fish for crappie, then use different jigs or better to slow down and use a heavier one.

Summer Crappie Fishing

Crappie’s post-breeding period is within September when the crappie seems to stay in the brush of the water measuring 15 to 20 feet or around 10 to 15 feet underneath. Focus on timber that stands along the creek and over brush piles located on the main lake. You can consider vertical jigging as you fish within the brush.

The other productive strategy to fish for crappie within big reservoirs in summer is to fish on concrete bridge piers. Give emphasis on piers within the water that has a depth of 20 feet. In case you did not find any success in locating and catching crappie after more attempts, try to move on a different pier.

Moreover, try to fish on deeper brush close to the thermocline, a spot where the warmer water meets the colder water, within the hot summer months. Do this by using a light wire hook with a tiny fathead minnow that hangs on the side of the boat. When is the best time to fish for crappie during summer is on the hot months of July and August. And when you fish for crappie on these months, consider doing it during the night.

There are available artificial lights that may help you in your crappie night fishing like the docks’ floodlights, street lights, floating and submersible lights. These lights generally attract insects and tiny baitfish that will captivate crappie afterwards. It is actually better to fish during the daytime and on various depths until you finally locate the crappie.

Ways on catching crappie in the summer

Generally, during the summer season, the numbers of crappie become less predictable. It basically depends on the movement of baitfish and crappies when the water within summer gets warmer. Initially begin on a 10 feet depth and work underneath 20 feet down. Moreover, the crappie must not be that shallow yet not deep as well.

Basically, try to look for water structure where the crappie can hide such as the brush and piers. Searching for this structure will allow you to see groups of crappie. When is the best time to fish for crappie during summer is on twilight or at night. Do this the moment crappie returns near to the shallow waters.

Moreover, you can also use GPS in locating crappie within the thermocline. Basically, turn the sensitivity of the GPS device on the highest level. This will eventually result in two opposite bodies of water. That is the two water layers that meet within the thermocline.

 If the crappie is hiding, try to get them out by jigging. Simply put a jig over the line with a painted circular weight and a hook from the bottom. Begin jigging within the surface and continue to reduce the line. Moreover, the jigging action may prevent trapping over the weeds to provide more efficient fishing.

When is the best time to fish for crappie: During the FALL

The crappie is highly predictable and too aggressive when the fall season comes in. When is the best time to fish for crappie during the fall is within the months of October to November. You will generally notice crappie in shallow water within the levels of 10 feet.

Ideally, you can fish crappie within the docks during this season. The docks are basically the best location to find crappie during the fall. Just simply cast the jig from the corner of the dock and allow it to sink for few seconds. Retrieve it slowly afterwards.

Also, keep in mind that crappie will also transfer into the shallow water during the warm temperatures in the fall season. In this time, you can get them within the brush piles where they usually inhabit on their breeding period.

Ways on catching crappie in fall

Similar to the spring, the temperature during the fall reduces as it becomes easy to determine the next location of the crappie. Generally, this condition leads the crappie to return into the shallow waters where they are hiding in the springtime. Within the months of fall, search for crappie on the water within 10 feet underneath the top of the water. Aside from being easy to catch, the crappie catch within this season tends to be bigger compared to that being caught in another season.

When is the best time to fish for crappie: During the WINTER

when is the best time to fish for crappie

The winter season necessitates the crappie to inhabit the deep water which is about 20 to 40 feet deep off the shore. Slow retrieval is generally needed to have a good crappie catch. Within the warm days, the crappie will then move into the shallow water.

If you are asking when is the best time to fish for crappie, winter would basically be one of it. The crappie comes in big school during this season and getting the right spot will definitely give you a successful catch. Usually, the crappie forms in groups close to the structures.

Ways on catching crappie in winter

Crappie fishing during the winter is actually challenging compared to another season of the year. However, you can generally be successful for crappie fishing during winter. You must have to put in mind that crappie fishing during winter demands for tons of patience. There would generally be less fish biting during the cold season.

Lack of competition and better opportunity are two of the most important considerations to have a successful catch. Moreover, keep in mind that crappie will move slower when they are in the cold water. Because of this, the slower retrieval may be dangerous during the winter. Aside from that, the less competition and fewer lures within the water provide the crappie with a great snack.

Remember not to retrieve the line too quickly in a way that the fish are not able to catch up. Searching for crappie during the winter is the most challenging part of your fishing. But, the moment you already find them, your search is finally over. They are always in groups or school of fish providing you with lots of targets.

When is the best time to fish for crappie during the winter season will be in the afternoon because it is during this time when the temperature is warm.

The Best Season of the Year to Fish for Crappie

When is the best time to fish for crappie within the year-round is actually during the warmer months. Crappie will be seen mostly to engage in their breeding grounds in the late spring and eventually feed aggressively before and after. However, you may find them smaller during this season. Perhaps, if you are aware of their hiding place and breeding grounds you will definitely have a good catch.

Moreover, in summer months, crappie will feed all throughout the day but it is in the morning, late afternoon, and within the night when they really bite well. The crappies are well distributed within the water in various locations at this time. But, always bear in mind that they usually hide close to the structure so a GPS finder would be helpful to find them.

During the fall season, groups of crappie crazily feed and vigorously eat in preparation for the leaner months of the winter season. When is the best time to fish for crappie for most serious and professional anglers within the year is in the winter. Luckily, those who really venture out will successfully catch the largest crappie of the year during this season.   

When is the best time to fish for crappie depending on the time of the day?

Now that we have an idea when is the best time to fish for crappie based on the season of the year, let us now find the best time for crappie fishing depending on the time of the day.

Early Morning

The best time to fish for crappie during the day is on the early morning. Basically, you just have to give emphasis and exert your fishing effort during the dawn up to around 2 hours after sunrise. Crappie can see better during the dim environment because these fish have good color and great visual abilities.

Moreover, the water in the early morning of the day is generally cooler compared in the later day. This allows the crappie to leave the cover and chase down on minnows and aquatic insects. Also, it is good to expect to see crappie moving closer to the shore during the morning. Knowing this, you can basically catch crappie within the bank and on docks if you fish without boats.

Aside from that, in the early morning of the day, crappie is generally located within 4 to 12 feet in the middle of the water column. As the day gears towards the middle of the day, the crappie moves deeper. And by 10 am, the crappie gets too far from the shore.

Late Afternoon

When is the best time to fish for crappie is basically good during the afternoon or within the evening time period. Give emphasis on fishing from around 2 hours prior to sunset. Basically, the late afternoon water is much cooler compared in the later time of the day.

Once the sun gets down from the daytime sky, the sunlight suddenly becomes harmless to fish. This will eventually invite plankton and tiny minnows to venture out of the cover and feed. Moreover, baitfish of small sizes will attract large predators including crappie. When is the best time to fish for crappie within the day is on late afternoon until the dusk through the time of the last light leaves the sky.

This time, the crappie also begins to move near to the shoreline. You can actually see crappie within the 10 to 15 feet water level during the near sunset. The moment the insect activity picks up over the surface, it will elevate the feeding actions of the fish underneath.


When is the best time to fish for crappie during the day is on the nighttime and the fishing activity is actually highly rewarding. In case there is available food for the fish and the light is sufficient enough for the crappie to detect their prey, the fish will then feed on through the night. However, the crappie will find it hard to find food at this time if there is no moonlight available at all.

Crappie generally has a great opportunity to find their prey within 1/3 of the water level when there is a full moon present. With this natural phenomenon, you will know that those below 4 to 5 feet will completely close to darkness. The crappie will then feed on minnows and insects within the water that is a couple of feet.

For most fishermen, when is the best time to fish for crappie would be during the night through the help of artificial lights. Moreover, headlamps and lanterns are basically advantageous. Fishermen will eventually lower down their light sources within the water column in order to attract tiny fish which crappie will feed on.

Another way to bring some insects to attract fish is through the use of floating LED lights. Always keep in mind that the more number of insects present, the greater the chance of being eaten by the mosquitoes. Moreover, the light will brighten the upper part of the water column to provide a feeding environment for the crappie.

A full moon night is also a good chance for the crappie to feed all through the night. So, the next morning, expect to see slow crappie movement.

Things to Remember when Fishing for Crappie

Do not fish for crappie during the day when:

  • It is late spring and summer

During this time, the crappie holds tightly to the cover and any structures as they maintain hiding within the shade. Moreover, the crappie needs to be in the shade as they do not have eyelids. So, a bright sunny day may not be a good deal to find a good catch.

  • Early morning, late evening, and nighttime of winter

Any strike in the temperature within the water, even with just minimal degrees, can give an elevation in the feeding crappie attitude. In case you are looking for chilled crappie, it is actually essential to slow a little bit down.

Final Thoughts

Most anglers, especially the novice ones, kept on asking when is the best time to fish for crappie. Generally, crappie can be found in schools all throughout the year. Yet, the best thing to remember here is to find the appropriate location where crappie concentrates the most. Since, they basically come in groups, having a single bite will most likely give you great numbers on the same fishing location.

Aside from that, you also have to learn the appropriate bait the fish wants. This will basically help in making jigging work. Crappie go down deep into the water during the summer heat and in the early cold winter. However, during the spring and fall season, you can have a good crappie catch within the shallow water. Knowing all these will generally provide a successful crappie bite regardless of the time of day it is.