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How to Adjust for Summer Crappie Fishing

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"Summer crappie fishing is much different than fishing for Crappie in the spring. The main reason of course is the weather, more specifically the temperature of the water. Both White and Black Crappie spawn in the spring. In the southern states this can mean mid March to early April while it can be as late as the end of May before Crappies in the northern states spawn. After spawning occurs Crappie will often go through a phase were they are very actively feeding and are easy to catch."

   When summer rolls into town there are some significant changes that occur in the Crappie. Consider that this species, like every other species of fish, heads for deeper water as the temperature gets hotter. Crappie are not as tolerant of hot water as other fish are. This can be both a good and bad thing. Crappie in deeper water are much harder to catch but are also much easier to find.

   Crappie as a species are attractants to cover, specifically they love to be around wood. Standing timber is perhaps the number one place to fish for Crappie in the spring. In the summer however you will rarely find standing timber is water deep enough to suit the needs to this species. This is why it is very important to own and know how to use a depth finder / fish locator. You will find in almost every lake somewhere submerged trees or other form of acceptable cover. When you find these areas you will likely find the Crappie as well.

   Remember that this is a species that is very vulnerable to predation. If you are seeking crappie in the two to three pound weight class you must remember that these fish did not get this large without having the ability to avoid predation. Generally the harder a place is to find and the more cover it has the better the fishing for true trophy Crappie will be.

   Once you find an acceptable place the question then becomes how you should fish the area. The Crappie can be a very particular fish in summer. You may find a large school of Crappie in twenty five foot deep water but not catch a one if your approach is not sound. Typically when you find a large school of Crappie they are not all feeding. You may find an area that has several submerged trees or other form of cover and see a huge amount of fish on your locator. In fact you will often see more fish in a location than you ever have before. In summer it is true that ninety five percent of the Crappie occupy as little as two percent of the water. They key is that only certain ones feed, and they like to feed at specific depths.

   When you start to fish an area position your bait about a foot from the bottom, if you do not enjoy success you should at five minute intervals move your offering a foot higher in the water until you find the fish that are active. Keep close attention to where your line is in the water at all times so you can determine the true feeding point of the school of fish you have stumbled upon.

Author:  Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best crappie fishing information possible.

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