Shallow Water Crappie.

Is there a certain time of day that the Crappies will be in shallow water?

To answer this question we have to understand why the crappie will leave the deeper cool waters they usually like.  They’re hungry or they’re spawning.  So the best answer is that it is all about the temperature of the water.

Let us talk about the first motivation for moving to shallow waters, hunger.  Bait fish move to shallow water for a variety of reasons, the cover is usually better, the water is slower, water has more oxygen and there is more food for the bait fish here as well; however, there is one problem, shallow waters are warmer and crappie prefer cool water. 

Another strong motivator is of course spawning.  Spawning occurs when the water temperatures are between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spawning occurs in the spring, this time is often considered the best time for catching these pan fish, and requires a lot of energy from the fish.  During this time the crappie isn’t a very picky eater so the trick is simply getting a flashy hook in front of the fish’s mouth.  No, really, I spent a whole day catching these guys with nothing more than a stainless steel hook.  Of course some fancy presentation will certainly make you look like it is all skill rather than a very hungry fish.

 With all of this in mind you can find crappie in shallow waters at anytime of the day if the waters are cool.  If it is not spawning season you want to find recently lit areas in the early morning and in the rest of a hot find areas that have been in the shadows for a while where the bait fish are, fallen trees are a great start.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow crappie fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on crappie fishing since 2004.

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