Tactics for Summer Crappie Fishing

Have the right lures. What bait you choose will have a big impact on whether or not the crappie feel like biting for you. Crappie can often be unpredictable so it’s a good idea to bring a couple of different bait options with you even if you’ve fishing this exact same place before. What they loved yesterday, they may suddenly decide they don’t want today. Lure color and type are some of the most important things to consider when crappie fishing in the summer, especially if dock fishing.

Know how to present it. With crappie, it’s all about the presentation. You have to entice them to your bait and then you can bring them right in. It helps to know where the fish are at in the waters so you can choose the right place to drop your line. When dock fishing, many people try to shoot the jig right at the dock pilings at the back of the docks.

When this happens, the crappie will usually hit the jog at the first 1-2 feet of the fall. If you don’t get any hits on the fall, wait it out and let your lure sink to the bottom then slowly pull it back towards you. Fast, jerky motions will alarm the fish.

Work an area completely before moving on to somewhere else. Sometimes you will start fishing and get quick bites right away. Other times the crappie will shy away from you and it will take some patience to get those fish biting. Try to work the docks by shooting at every piling for a bit before you decide to move on.

The same tactic can be applied not at docks but at brush pilings and other areas of the water where the crappie like to stay in the summer. With these three tactics, you will be ready for summer crappie fishing. In addition, try to look for quiet little places that don’t see a lot of boat action. These will be prime locations for crappie fishing.

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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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