Once you begin catching crappies in smaller lakes, it is around the time when larger, nearby lakes finally begin to be freed of ice. A week or so after ice- out these lakes will have open water: making a perfect environment for slab crappies. Slab crappie are characterized by their 12 to 13-inch length (or above) as well as being avid eaters of forage. As the months go on, the water temperature in smaller lakes begins to warm. This allows both bait fish and crappies to move to the shallow weeds and channels. However, the location of crappies in small and large lakes can differ depending on the amount of plant life and nutrients in the water. A lake too rich in nutrients will be uninhabitable for big crappie. When fishing for crappies, be aware that you may have to change location depending on the water temperature, weather, or levels of nutrients.
Large lakes differ from smaller sized lakes due to the change in depth. Large lakes take a couple weeks to completely reach a temperature suitable for bait fish and crappie to live in the shallower areas. This means that the crappies will typically be found in mid to deep water as well as on the outskirts of weedy areas where bait fish thrive. How exactly do you uncover where these fish are located? How do you determine the water depth? How do you understand the landscape of the lake? The most helpful tool for these jobs is to use a fish finder. All the information that a fish finder provides you, will make crappie fishing easier.
One frequently asked question from our readers is, “Why do these changes in temperatures and seasons move crappie around the lake?”. The answer to this is amazingly simple: food. Crappies follow their food to the warm shallows where they will gorge before the nearing spawning season. Their food allows them to build up the needed energy to survive through spawning. This is also why you typically see crappie in deeper water after a long period of cold temperatures.
Fishing for crappie can be difficult, but with these tips and tricks, you will know just how to catch these beautiful fish!
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