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Blog - Crappie

bobber fishing for crappie

Pro Bobber Fishing Tactics for Pre-Spawn Crappie

Pre-spawn crappie fishing delivers some of the best action of the year, and the fish’s behavior lends itself ideally to fishing and jig beneath a bobber.

A childhood thrill returns to Terry Blankenship every spring when pre-spawn crappie fishing heats up at Lake of the Ozarks. The Missouri guide and tournament angler recalls how excited he would get watching a bobber zip underwater when he was a kid, bobber fishing for crappie. Blankenship continues to experience that excitement today, albeit with a more sophisticated bobber setup.

“We all love our bobbers,” Blankenship said. “Bobber fishing for crappie is a little bit like topwater fishing for bass. It’s just something, if you have done it a bunch, you are kind of focused on that bobber, and when you are fishing with artificial lures instead of minnows you have to be pretty observant and pretty quick with it. It kind of keeps you a little tense if you feel like you are in a position to get a bite. It winds up being pretty much like the excitement of a topwater bite because of the way crappie sometimes hit it and knock it to where it goes down so fast, but other times they just barely nudge it or turn it sideways.  That’s why you really have to pay attention to it.”

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Crappie on Bobby Garland Mayfly

Bobby Garland Announces New Mayfly Crappie Bait

Learn about the Mayfly, an innovative new crappie bait to be released by Bobby Garland this summer.

Great fishing secrets are hard to keep, and word has gotten out that a new Bobby Garland bait – The Mayfly – is on schedule to “hatch” in July. So rather than letting rumors confuse the facts, here are full details about this cool creation in advance of its summer availability.

The Mayfly is a 2.25-inch insect-profile design that stays true to Bobby Garland’s reputation of product innovation specific to crappie fishing. This new soft-plastic bait is loaded with features appealing to multiple senses crappie rely on for feeding.

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spring crappie fishing

How Expert Anglers Keep Up with Spring Crappie

Warming water temperatures prompt crappie migrations toward spawning areas. Learn how to find and catch spring crappie.

When crappie initiate their move toward spawning areas, anglers from Oklahoma to Connecticut head to the lake!

The primary pre-spawn and spawn trigger is water temperature. Across the country, crappie pre-spawn movements begin when water temperatures approach 50 degrees, with crappie moving to staging areas close to spawning flats and banks. When the shallows maintain a temperature close to 60 degrees for several days, bedding may begin. Nests are constructed moderately firm bottoms, generally in protected areas. This yearly ritual may begin as early as February in the Southern states or as late as early July in states along the Canadian border.

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crappie fishing catch

What Do I See? Your Guide to Interpreting Live Sonar

Learn how to make the best use of live sonar technology to improve your crappie fishing efficiency and catch more fish.

Early “Fish finders” were used primarily to find fish, as the term suggests, and to determine bottom depths and locate structure. Over time, technology has evolved, creating far clearer and more detailed pictures and many types of views and allowing anglers to determine bottom make-ups and find both structure and fish far more effectively

The latest electronics technology, live sonar, makes it far easier for anglers to recognize fish species, target specific fish and see how the fish react to lure presentations. It is highly popular for crappie fishing and extremely helpful if you know how make the best use of it.

Live sonar technology, which reveals high-resolution images of fish swimming and responding to lures, is available now via Garmin’s Panoptix LiveScope, Lowrance’s Active Target and Humminbird’s MEGA Live Imaging. For Dustin McDaniel, an Oklahoma tournament angler and guide (GFB Outdoors Guide Service, 417-437-5047), the ability to interpret what he is seeing on his Garmin 1222 unit with its Panoptix LiveScope transducer, has become a game-changer.

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Crappie Guide Barry Morrow

Crappie Guides and How to Shorten the First Time Learning Curve

Hiring a crappie guide can be extremely beneficial and more cost-efficient than you might imagine. We spoke with several veteran guides about how to make the most of a guided fishing trip.

The start of a phone call once had crappie guide Brad Chappell wondering if he had unknowingly caused real problems. The caller said her husband had spent $6,000 on crappie gear and wanted to know why Chappell was “making” him buy all that stuff. Her husband, a fairly recent guide client of Chappell’s had been calling regularly since the trip to ask specifics about Chappell’s gear – one week about electronics, the next about rod holders, the next about baits… But Chappell hadn’t TOLD him to buy anything!

Then, with a smile in her voice that Chappell could hear, the caller said she was really calling to thank him because while her husband really had spent that much money, the two of them were truly enjoying crappie fishing together!

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ice fishing crappie catch

Ice Fishing Soft Plastics – Overlooked Presentations for Panfish & Walleyes

Learn the benefits of adding soft plastic lures to your ice fishing arsenal and how to use those baits effectively.

I can easily recall my first time ice fishing with soft plastic lures because it was my first time ice fishing. I fished with a couple of fishing industry friends, both veteran ice anglers from Minnesota. Jigs and spoons owned the ice fishing world at that time, and few ice anglers ever used soft plastic lures. To me, though, it seemed like the same lures I used for vertical presentations to cold-water crappie and bluegills on open water should work through the ice. So, I begin my ice pilgrimage by going against the grain, using a soft plastic crappie bait on a jighead that wasn’t even an ice jig.

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dock crappie

Winter Tips for Catching Crappie from Docks

Fishing from marinas and other docks provides a great way to consistently catch crappie during the coldest time of the year. Here’s everything you need to know.

You will never hear Chris Edwards call himself a winter crappie dock-fishing expert, but considering this avid outdoorsman’s history with the activity and the container of splashing slabs hanging in the water nearby, there’s no doubt he could.  

Edwards has a lifetime of dock fishing experience across Oklahoma that began in his youth when his parents had a place on Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees. Thereafter, he’s always had a dock somewhere in the state – Texoma, Keystone, Ft. Gibson and Eufaula. He’s made sure of that with one season and one purpose in mind: January to March crappie fishing.

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