Summer is finally here. With summer comes many concepts as to whether crappie are catchable. In my opinion, this can be one of the best times to catch slabs but with different techniques.
As I travel to fish the Crappie Masters Bass Pro Shops tournament trail, I get a chance to fish very diverse lakes and rivers in different parts of our beautiful country. I also get to meet crappie fishermen on these trips and hear their stories. I’ve learned that many fishermen stop fishing for the slabs after the spawn thinking they are uncatchable or too allusive. In reality, they are catchable and can be easily located.
Crappie, although very sensitive to changes in their environments, are very basic in their lives. They must seek areas with food, protection, and appropriate water conditions (oxygen, clarity, and temperature).
After the spawn and a short recovery period, their number one priority will be to eat. Summer can be one of the best seasons to catch them as they begin to seek food to replenish their bodies. This can mean they will feed daily based on the sunlight, moon phase, location of newly hatched shad minnows and insects.
Mornings, nights and evenings can be bonus times to catch some sizeable fish and in good quantities. Here in Alabama, before 10:00 a.m. and after 2:00 p.m. are best as the light penetration will be lower as the sun is on an angle. This allows shadows to be formed underwater for the fish to use for protecting their eyes and hide from the food.
Many fish will follow schools of shad and eat based on when the daily weather and moon conditions are right. One of the appropriate baits to catch these fish are crankbaits. I like the new Johnson Fishing Shad Cranks as they mimic this food source. Pushing or pulling these baits can be very productive.
Be sure to check out our articles in this month’s edition to see the varying ways to catch a bonus limit of fish during the summer!
God Bless and Good Slab Hunting,
Dan Dannenmueller, Publisher