The night time is one of the best for catching crappies during the heat of the summer. Good fishing can be found around boat docks or bridge pilings, especially if you hang a lantern over the water or use a floating light to attract the fish. The light draws aquatic insects, which attract the baitfish and, eventually, draw crappie nearby. Minnows tend to work best after dark.
Seasonal Patterns of Crappies
There are key places to find crappie during the three major fishing seasons. During the spring, they congregate on flats and in pockets around shallow logs and buck brush. During the summer, they use shade as cover, suspending around bridge pilings and under boat docks. During fall, they’ll hang around submerged tree tops, docks and pilings. Don’t expect them to always be deep; the water may be 20 feet deep, but the fish may be suspended near the surface.
How to Use Minnows
There are a number of ways to rig minnows for crappie fishing, but I prefer to hook them through the lips, running the barb through the lower lip first. This allows the minnows to swim more naturally and keeps him alive longer. Also, I prefer shiner minnows about 1-1/2 inches long and always keep baited with a lively one.
Lively Minnows are best for Crappies
Avid crappie anglers will tell you that nothing beats a lively minnow for taking slab sides. Crappies are fun on tiny jigs and will often aggressively attack small spinners like a Roadrunner. But day in and day out, It is a bucket of frisky minnows that provides supper.
In the early spring, cooler temperatures keep minnows fresh and lively. But in the warmer months, you must make an extra effort to keep your minnows active. Changing water every 30 minutes is an effective idea. A handful of ice placed on the top of the bucket, allows the cold, melting water to keep the bait refreshed. It is also a proven fact that Styrofoam buckets, or liners will keep minnows livelier. Styrofoam insulates, and keeps the water cooler, much longer than conventional minnow buckets.