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Crappie Fishing

Best Places To Fish In Wyoming

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Best places to fish in Wyoming

Ask any seasoned angler the best places to fish, and one of the destinations will always be Wyoming. It doesn’t matter what type of fishing or which fish you want to catch, Wyoming will have it all. You see, Wyoming has a lot of great fishing options such as rivers, lakes, ice, streams, and even fly fishing.

When in Wyoming, you will come across several fish, including panfish, bass, crappie, catfish, walleye, salmon, trout, and more. If you are ready to cast your line in Wyoming, here are some of the most amazing spots to begin with.

Bighorn lake

Located in Kane, the northwestern portion of Wyoming, the Bighorn lake is an excellent spot for trout, bass, crappie, walleye, panfish, and catfish. This area attracts lots of people every year, especially during the start of spring, when everyone is looking for bass.

The native shovelnose sturgeon and Sauger species rely on this place for habitat and spawning. This makes it a good spot when you want to catch some of the native species that aren’t seen often. The Bighorn lake also acts as a spawning reservoir for Channel Catfish, Smallmouth Bass, and ling.

Since there is limited natural migration in this area, it is annually stocked with walleye, which ensures that the fishery is maintained. The walleye used is larger after the strategy for walleye maintenance changed in 2009.

When at Bighorn lake, you get to decide whether you want to fish from the shoreline or a boat. You can also ice fish, which gives you a lot of options when you love exploring the different fishing methods. You will come across groups of people from everywhere in the U.S ice fishing in this area.

It is a good spot with beautiful scenery that you can always admire while fishing. Fishing sometimes is about bonding with family and friends. You get to camp and fish while interacting, which is important in today’s society where we hardly find the time. Take your time to enjoy the beautiful sunset and unwind with your family and friends.

Glendo Reservoir

This 12,000-acre lake is located in the state’s central-eastern portion at Glendo. It is an excellent fishing location for panfish, crappie, catfish, walleye, trout, and more. You get a lot of options when it comes to the type of fish you want to catch.

The Glendo reservoir is famous for perch and big walleye fishing with anglers coming from all the different states to get a piece of the action. Now, you get more than 40 miles of shoreline, which makes this area ideal for fishing from the portage of a kayak or the shoreline. You get to pick which method of fishing suits you best.

The facilities at Glendo reservoir include a restaurant, boat rental, RV spaces with hookups, boat launch, and grocery store. This makes Glendo reservoir a good place to fish for the weekend since you could always make camp.

Ice fishing is popular in the Glendo reservoir since its relatively safe. What is most interesting about this location is its hospitality. You will find it welcoming and everyone is willing to help. Interact with the local anglers and let them teach you a few new things about fishing that you probably didn’t know about.

Did you know that the Wyoming state-record crappie that weighed 2 lbs. 7 oz. was caught in the Glendo reservoir? If you want to break a record, then this is the place to be if you ask me. You know what they say, where there is one there is bound to be more.

Grayrocks reservoir

Located near Fort Laramie, this 1800-acre lake is home to many different types of fish. Anglers from every state come to catch walleye, bass, crappie, panfish, and catfish. You get to explore more than 20 miles of shoreline on your canoe, boat, or kayak.

What makes Grayrocks reservoir an ideal place is the fact that it doesn’t get excessive pressure ensuring that you can fish all year round. This means that you don’t have to wait for a particular season to start fishing. You can go on any random time of the year when you feel like fishing. To some people, fishing is a form of therapy, and you need a location that you can fish all year round.

At the Grayrocks reservoir, you can get to fish from your RV or tent along the south side shore. It is, therefore, more customer-friendly and you can enjoy camping life while fishing. If you haven’t fished from your tent or RV before, then you must visit Grayrocks reservoir

It is located just 10 miles from the local towns of Fort Laramie, Gurnsey, and Wheatland. you can always get new fishing supplies from these points should you want to extend your fishing period. There are a lot of restaurants, RV parks, and lodging in this area should you need the services.

Grayrocks reservoir is a great place for anglers who want to make a weekend experience with family and friends. It has beautiful scenery with lots of camping areas and RV spots to ensure that you can have a nice weekend.

Guernsey Reservoir

Located in Guernsey State Park, Guernsey Reservoir is a 2400-acre lake that is frequented by anglers every year-round. Some of the common fish species include crappie, panfish, catfish, walleye, and bass. You get 27 miles of shoreline, which is great when you want a big catch.

The Guernsey Reservoir has three boat ramps and seven campgrounds, making it an ideal location for camping. If you are the kind of person that loves making a weekend out of your fishing, then the Guernsey Reservoir is a good place. You get ample space for camping, and the scenery is amazing.

The problem with Guernsey Reservoir, however, is that it is severely drained twice per year. At these times, there is not a lot of fish, and you won’t make any great catches. Yes, you could still catch a yellow perch or channel catfish, but it would take you a little bit of time.

This reservoir includes stone retaining walls, trails, water fountains, and dams that make it a great place to visit with family and friends. On the southeast end is the Guernsey Museum, which exhibits the local culture. Visit the museum and learn about the area’s interesting history.

It is a good place when you want to unwind and enjoy a weekend away from the daily hustles of modern life. There are so many activities that you can engage in, and you will always have something to look forward to when in Guernsey Reservoir.

Ocean lake

This 6,000-acre lake is great for crappie, walleye, panfish, and trout fishing.

You could always take part in the Family Fishing Derby if you want to have a good time. Lots of people come from different places to compete. If you want to use fishing to bond with your family, then this is a great opportunity.

North Platte River

The North Platte River offers several recreational activities such as canoeing, floating, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing. Fly fishing is huge at North Platte River, and you will come across several locals casting a line.

The North Platte River basin covers almost a quarter of the entire Wyoming state. You, therefore, geta wide area to fish, which means that you can always get that big one. You get to fish bass, walleye, catfish, panfish, and crappie.

The North Platte River covers a wide region, and you can always get a serene spot somewhere to cast your line. Many anglers take advantage of this fact and just relax while passing the time doing their favorite activity.

Yellow stone National Park

With a cool setting of steep canyons, sprawling meadows, and steaming geysers, Yellow Stone National Park is the place to be. This area has a high concentration of streams and public lakes, making it a great place to cast your line.

The alkalinity level of Yellow Stone National Park is raised by the geothermal activity. This makes it an ideal place for trout, mountain Whitefish, brook, rainbow, and cutthroat. This fish species has been in this area since the 1950s, making it almost too easy to get that big catch.

If you need to fish in the spring, then go the Firehole River to nymph fish. However, the prime months in Yellow Stone National Park for fish are July and August. The Lewis River will give you a great amount of large migrating fish around the month of October.

While fishing in this area, keep a lookout for black bears, and bison. You can make a weekend of it when you go at a time when the wildlife is active. There are also great camping locations in the area that you can always check out.

Jackson Hole

The Jackson Hole, commonly referred to as the Snake River, is a fantastic location for fishing in Wyoming. There are a number of brown trout and cutthroat that make a good catch when you use the right technique.

You could fly fish or boat fish in this location according to your preference. The best time to visit Jackson Hole is during spring and mid-summer. Just two-miles from this location is the National Elk Refuge, the first fly-fishing-only stream in Wyoming.

The National Elk Refuge has clean, clear water that makes it great for beginners who are eager to learn. There is hardly any vegetation making fishing much easier. You can get the chance to introduce a family member to fishing when you visit this location.

Other prime locations in the area include Pacific Creek, Buffalo River, and Granite Creek. You can always find a suitable location when you visit Jackson Hole. It is not advisable to go between May and July due to runoff from snowmelt.

Pinedale

Right at the foot of Wind River Mountains is Pinedale, a little ranching town that provides access to many fishing grounds, including New Fork and Green River. Both of the rivers offer great fishing spots for anglers everywhere.

The Green River provides 8 miles of public access and includes pools, runs, pocket water, and riffles that make it a great place to start with. You get to catch several fish, including Bass, Catfish, walleye, and panfish.

The New Fork is home to experienced anglers, and you could catch a mountain Whitefish, Colorado cutthroat, brook, rainbow, brown, golden, or lake trout. It is a region that attracts a lot of seasoned anglers, and you can always learn a thing or two from the experts.

The fishing season usually starts around mid-June and goes all the way to the end of the year. There is always an abundance of fish because the area does not experience excessive pressure. You will always make a good catch when you use the right technique.

The Wind River Range

The Wind River Range has countless beautiful streams, high-elevation lakes, and wild rivers. It is located in Western Wyoming and ensures that you always have an amazing fishing experience. Some of the fish species in this location are rainbow, brook, trout, cutthroat, and the big golden trout.

It offers beautiful scenery with 13,000-foot peaks and a lot of wildlife that make it the perfect camping location when fishing. You can always enjoy guided horseback trips or backpacking in this remote area. It’s a great place when you want to unwind from the day to day activities of modern life.

Did you know that the 11-pound golden trout was caught at the Wind River Range? Yes, back in 1948, breaking the Wyoming recorded that hasn’t been broken until now. If you plan on breaking this record, then move to the west side of the range.

The east side is not frequently fished, and you won’t get a lot of good areas since it’s difficult to access. You will need a tribal license, then hire a tribal guide to fish in those areas. However, the biggest golden is located on the east side making it worth the trouble.

If you are planning on visiting this region, then the best time to do so is either in the fall or spring. However, understand that snow can render some portions of the Wind River Range inaccessible.

Grand Teton National Park

Around ten minutes-drive from the Jackson town, Grand Teton National Park offers the best settings for fishing. It has plenty of banks and bends that offer great fishing spots for cutthroat, catfish, and walleye. You can also get a breathtaking drift boat experience when you visit Grand Teton, National Park.

The Jenny Lake, located within the park, offers access for anglers who want to get more beautiful scenery. While relaxing, you can fish for lake trout and cutthroat. The best time to visit this location is after the ice melts, which is by mid-May.

Although the lake lacks shore access, you could always use a canoe or kayak. It will give you a new perspective on fishing if you are not used to fishing from a boat or canoe. you also get to experience the natural beauty of Grand Teton National Park while canoeing to the Leigh Lake.

The best time to fish is from mid-May after the ice melts. The area is home to some of the most seasoned anglers in the states, and you can always learn a few new things. The locals are friendly, and you will feel at home.

Conclusion

Wyoming is undoubtedly one of the best states in the U.S with amazing fishing spots. Be sure that you pack everything you need for fishing, including a camping pack. Wherever you plan on going, you will find it hard to leave without making a weekend of it. The scenery is breathtaking, and there is always something new that you can learn.

P.S. don’t forget to check me out on YouTube

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Crappie Fishing

How to Catch Crappie in the Summer

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It is summertime and it means now that it is time for me to go out to the lake, hop on my boat, and do one of my favorite things in the whole world, fishing!

Noah West knows something about catching crappie in the summertime.

That being said, my aim is to catch as many crappies as possible because I want to enjoy a good fish fry this summer. For that to happen I must get ready to hit the lake with the best strategy possible because when it comes down to catching crappie, there’s a bit of a trick to get them to bite the hook every time the line goes in the water.

Here are some good hooks for crappie fishing. size 8-12 are great!

In order to be ready to load my cooler with tons of crappies, I decided to do some research and find out the most effective ways to catch crappies in the summer because it turns out there’s more than just simply throwing your line out into the water and wait for one of them to bite because there are other factors also come into play when trying to catch this type of fish.

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So how do you catch crappies in the summer?

Using a fast action ultralight fishing rod for a quick hook up when the fish bites, make sure you give the crappie what they want which is minnows for bait and fish over brush piles or any cover like logs or under docks in the summertime. Read on and I will explain why.

First we must understand that crappies are a type of fish that lives in the North American fresh waters. They feed primarily on smaller fish species, and these can include the young of the predators which are the muskellunge, the walleye, and the northern pike. They also are capable of feeding on zooplankton, insects, and crustaceans for sustenance during dawn or dusk times by moving into the open waters or approaching the shores.

Following that tangent, crappies tend to be far less active during the day, and have a strong tendency to seek shelter around weed beds, submerged objects such as hollow logs and debris, and even boulders.

They are a fish species that derives from the Canadian French crapet, which refers to the different species of the sunfish family. As a result, crappies are known under many different names such as the strawberry bass, speckled perch, the white perch, the calico bass, and the Oswego bass. There are also certain items that are essential in successfully catching

Having a better understanding of what the crappie fishes are, the type of habitat they inhabit, and even the different ways in which they are known as, is going to give us a huge advantage when going out to catch them. There’s no better way to get the most fish out of the water than preparation, and the more we know, the better.

Need CHUM ? Here’s an article you might like about chum for crappie.

Getting Ready To Catch Crappie Fish

In order to be able to fish we must once again be aware of the fact that just throwing the line in the water is not going to be enough to catch many crappies in the summer. There’s more to understand when you’re out catching crappies in one of the most fun seasons of the year. This includes having knowledge on some items that will help you catch them more efficiently when you’re out on the waters.

Here are some of the things to keep in mind when you’re catching crappie fish in the summertime:

  • Having an understanding of the type of baits that are more likely to lure them.
  • Knowing when are the best times in the day or the evening to go out and effectively catch them.
  • The types of environments in which they are likely to gather in large numbers.
  • Using artificial bait effectively when natural bait is not available.
  • The region’s in which they have the largest populations, so they become easier to catch.
  • Angling methods that work effectively in catching them.
  • The different types of life bait that are bound to lure them.
  • The importance of the weather.
  • The importance of depth in the lake.
  • How to use a rod and a line effectively.

Having awareness on the factors that make crappie fishing the most effective in the summer, is going to help you make the most out of your fishing experience when you’re out on the waters looking to get a good catch for the day. This is also important because you simply don’t want to be wasting valuable time and energy looking to catch crappies during hours of the day where they are unlikely to appear in larger numbers.

There is also an extra hidden benefit to fishing crappie in the summer, and that is the ability to go out and explore new places, which is one the most natural and instinctive drives every person has, the need to travel and explore. Fishing provides the perfect avenue to do just, and if you need some inspiration to get out on your fishing boat, then here are few words of motivation by the professional golfer Jack Nicklaus:

“There are always new places to go fishing. For any fisherman, there’s always a new place, always a new horizon”

Know Your Target

There’s no way we’re going to get on a boat to go on the water and fish for crappies without familiarizing ourselves with them in the first place. That’s like saying that you know the Starbucks secret menu and end up ordering a regular caramel frappuccino. You gotta know what you’re after, and in this case we’re after the crappie fish.

As pointed out earlier before the crappie fish is located mostly in the Northern American regions, and to be more exact, these are the North American regions where you can find them:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee

To get a better idea, here’s a map you can check out:

Source: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/crappie-nation-the-most-popular-panfish-of-this-or-any-other-time/155017

These locations are going to help you capitalize on your catches, and will eliminate the hassle of guessing where to go and find the best fishing spots. Not only that, but if there’s a region you haven’t visited on this list, and you’re curious about it, now is the perfect chance to plan a trip and explore a new area. After all, fishing is all about exploring new horizons and this is a great perk you can take advantage of from the fishing world.

The Sun and Depth Go Hand In Hand

This is to be expected when the research shows that the best times to go fishing for crappies are on the dusk or dawn hours. This means that when there’s less sun out on the sky, there are more crappie fish out on top water levels. However, this also means that when the sun is out, these types of fish are going to stay from these water levels because the heat from the sun makes it very uncomfortable for them to breathe. Especially in the summertime.

So what does this mean for you?

It means that go into the waters to find the crappie fish schools that are trying to stay away from the sun.

Luckily, you don’t have to go to the deepest parts of the lake to find them!

Crappie fish like to stay close to their feeding grounds, and they also tend to stay in water levels that are rich in oxygen. They don’t go into the deeper waters because they won’t find what they need l to sustain themselves at those levels; giving you the benefit of avoiding throwing too much of your line to try and catch them.

Also keep in mind these types of fish have a preference for hiding from the sun in weed spaces and boulders, finding these spots shall give you more options to keep your fishing game even after the sun is out and you didn’t listen to your alarm go off early in the morning. It happens to the best of us.

The Bait That Works Best

Thanks to the fact that the crappie fish has a varied diet, finding a bait for it to catch isn’t difficult. The real challenge is to figure out which one is the most effective out of all of the different types of critters the crappie fish feed on. Also, there’s the question as to whether or not artificial baits work with a similar rate of effectiveness as the natural live bait.

Well, it has been found that out of all the live baits available for luring crappies, the minnows are the favorite choice used by most fishermen due to its clear coloring and ideal small size to attract their attention. This choice is even more popular than the commonly used choices that are worms and insects.

Here is a picture of what a minnow looks like, so you identify right away next time you find yourself in the fishing store:

Souce:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnow

When it comes to artificial baits, the colors matter more than the texture or shape of the bait. Especially when it comes to the time of day and the clarity of the water. For instance, using artificial grubs with bright colors are perfect for bright sunny days and clear waters. On darker waters it is best to use bait that reflect as much color as possible. On cloudy skies, it’s best to go for darker artificial grubs with a flash to them to attract attention.

As far as shapes go, the three most popular choices are the jigs, grubs, and spinners.

Here’s an image of what they look like:

Source:https://www.ebait.com/baitrigs/product/SS-80.html

THE FISHING ROD MATTERS

This is something that may be probably unexpected because most of us think of bringing a fishing rod with some weight added to it that can help us get an edge catching fish. That’s not the case when it comes to crappie fishing. In fact, using heavy rods only ends up working against you because of the fact that crappie fish have very soft mouths and the hook might not catch them properly.

It’s best to use a light or an ultra-light fishing rod with fast action for the purpose of setting your hook faster, and use that extra time more effectively catching fish.

Related Questions

Are there other seasons in which crappie fish can be caught?

Yes, as the matter of fact the winter is an ideal season for catching crappie fish. There’s even a method known as ice fishing in which fishermen take crappies out from frozen lakes and ponds.

Is it necessary to use minnows as live bait?

Although they are the preferred choice, the minnows are not necessary for the purpose of using live bait. Worms and other grubs can also be used for live bait. There are also artificial baits available in case live isn’t an option, or they ran out of them at the fishing stores.

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Crappie Fishing

What Does A Crappie Look Like?

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Out of the many fish out there in the world, the crappie is one of the most fun game fish to catch. It dwells in waters of all 48 contiguous States and in Canada to this day. But despite its popularity, many beginner fishers have no clue what it looks like.

So, what does a crappie look like? Well the term crappie can refer to either the white or black crappie which have slightly different features but have similar shape, sizes and habitats. If you are interested in crappie gear check out my recommended gear page.

They live in freshwater and dwell in areas with underwater brush, rocks and weeds. There’s also a ton of neat ways to be catching them, and interesting facts to these little guys.

Here are some good hooks for crappie fishing. size 8-12 are great!

  • White crappies will have vertical bars on their body.
  • Black crappies will have spots all over.
  • Black crappies dorsal fins will also have needle-like fins compared to white which have a smooth arch.
  • Black crappies are shorter and “stubbier” than the white crappie.
Black Crappie
White Crappie by Michael Mizell

So, I’d encourage you to read on and learn more about crappies and their way of life.

The Difference Between White and Black Crappie

The average crappie weighs in between ½ and 1 pound and measures between 5 to 12 inches. Considering this is the average, the crappie can grow to much larger or smaller sizes. Regardless of the type of crappie, they are very social and can form schools in the areas they live in.

But with all that said, I did mention that there were two different kinds of crappie out there: white and black. Even though the crappie live in all kinds of different parts in the US and in Canada, there are some differences that are worth discussing.

After all, even though you and I call them white and black crappie, the features of their skin aren’t always key indicators of which kind of crappie you caught. Both the white and black crappie can be completely light or dark.

Instead, you want to be looking at more distinct features of the fish to tell the difference.

Color aside, the first big indicator is the markings on their body.

If you can’t tell the difference between their markings, don’t worry. There are other factors as well. For example, you can check the dorsal spines of the fish too. Black crappies will have seven or eight dorsal fins. Dorsal means the top fin. White have fewer of these fins – either five or six.

The other thing to note is that black crappies dorsal fins will also have needle-like fins compared to white which have a smooth arch.

The final distinction is the body itself. Black crappies are shorter and “stubbier” than the white crappie.

Need CHUM ? Here’s an article you might like about chum for crappie.

Where Do Crappie Live?

As I mentioned before, crappies live in freshwater where there is plenty of underwater brush, rocks and weeds for them. That said, now that you know there are white and black ones, they have different dwellings and swimming patterns. Generally speaking, though, crappie will be found in deeper water during the summer and shallow water during the spring.

Getting into more specifics where each type live isn’t too different. They both have the same kind of diet which makes sense since they look pretty much the same. The only big difference really comes down to the water they prefer swimming in.

First off, black crappies prefer the clear water and will avoid any kind of turbid or muddy spots. White crappie couldn’t care less and will leave in either clear or murkier areas. This could be the reason for some white crappies being darker in color.

On top of the water clarity, black crappies also love to be around plenty of vegetation that they can hide in. Again, weeds, brush and the like are things they love a lot. White crappies don’t mind being out in the open. In fact, if you’re looking for white crappie, you might have better luck checking out open water areas in the river.

But despite all of what I said, they’re not just found in rivers and streams as you’d think. Because the crappies don’t have a particular preference for waters in general, they can show up in lakes, ponds, backwaters pools as well. When you’re at larger lakes and reservoirs, they’ll likely be hanging around in the shallow side usually in under 12 feet of water.

What Do Crappie Eat?

Now that you know that crappies can be flexible in habitat to a degree, it shouldn’t be a surprise that their diet is rather diverse. As you might expect, they do eat smaller fish. However, what’s interesting is that they’ll even go after the young of fish that would normally eat them such as the walleye or northern pike. Talk about a bold fish.

Beyond that, crappie will also be eating insects, crustaceans, as well as zooplankton.

What Are Some Crappie Fishing Tips?

If this is your first time going out to catch crappie you are in for a treat. The name of these fish are clearly an injustice as again they are very fun to catch and they are delicious to eat as well. But you can use all of this information above to your advantage to make catching these fish easier and enjoy your reward.

Since you know their diet by this point, you can tackle it from that angle. This will come in the form of your lure. Suitable lure for them are small jigs. Actually, those would be the best bait to be using.

That said, I wouldn’t blame you if you are using live bait. The only thing to note is to ensure the hook is the proper size. If it’s too small, the crappie will get off of it with no problem. If it’s too big, the crappie can’t latch onto it at all.

If you’re thinking of live bait, I would recommend using minnows. All you have to do is hook the minnow right below its dorsal fin and cast it out. Since crappies love small fish in general, they’re going to love munching on these.

Another angle you can approach is their habitat. Regardless of the type of crappie you’re going after, these fish will prefer deeper water in the summer and shallow water in the spring. Use that to your advantage when picking a spot. Even do this during fishing as well. Don’t be afraid to cast into deeper water at times.

Something else worth noting is that crappies also are active during the wintertime making them great for ice fishing.

Crappies also have a spawning phase between May and June, so you’ll have better odds of catching more fish during those times. Trust me, you’ll have a much easier time during that time since a female crappie will lay between 5,000 and 60,000 eggs. The eggs will then hatch between two to five days. As you can guess, they’re fertile breeders and they can over-populate small bodies of water easily if the population isn’t controlled.

Whenever you do catch a crappie, don’t be so quick to move to other spots. Even outside of spawning season, you can find many crappies in a particular spot. Furthermore, when holding a crappie, you want to put its bottom lip between your thumb and bent pointer finger. You want to maintain a tight grip.

Also, before you go out and catch them, it pays to look at state/province fishing regulations. Ensure your permit is up to date and look at additional rules. Some states will have a length and daily limits so take note of those. They may also have a certain amount of fish you can keep in a single day too.

Get Out and Catch Some Crappie

If you can follow the rules and regulations and take note of these tips, you can have a lot of fun catching crappie. Fishing around the month of May and June can ensure you keep reeling in a large amount of fish so long as you have the proper kind of bait. Regardless of it the fish is black or white these fish are a treat all the same.

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Crappie Fishing

Do Crappie Eat Crawfish?

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Generally, most anglers will fall into at least two different camps: there are those who just want to fish for any species of fish whatsoever, and there are also those who want to specialize and try to catch just one specific fish. (I like them all.)

Indeed, there are literally millions of individuals who will attempt to catch such breeds as salmon, trout, catfish, perch, bluegills, and many others. Moreover, among the ones who specialize, there is also a large group of individuals that not only love the sport of fishing, but they will also debate until the cows come home about the best techniques to catch said species.

Here are some good hooks for crappie fishing. size 8-12 are great!

Cody Davis Crappie

One example of this would have to be those who try to catch crappies. Indeed, one of the biggest debates among crappie fishermen would have to be over just what this breed of fish will eat. The short answer is all kinds of stuff, but this leads us to our next pressing question…

Will Crappie Eat Crawfish?

Yes crappie do eat crawfish if they have the opportunity but keep in mind that crappie prefer to eat upward and crawfish are usually found on the bottom. Find a way to present a crawdad to a crappie though and they will eat it.

If you need some excellent crappie fishing lures including crawfish, I have given my favorites in my resources page HERE.

Actually, that’s a bit of a loaded question. Before we get to an appropriate answer for that, we need to fully understand some other questions first:

What Do Crappie Normally Eat, Anyway?

First of all, you should fully understand the normal diet of crappie, and then you just might understand why there is such an intense debate over whether they eat crawfish or not. Generally, crappie will eat such things as zooplankton, grass shrimp, minnows, and immature species of fish such as walleye, bluegill, pike, and even crappie themselves. They will even eat frogs. You might notice that no, I didn’t mention crawfish in that list, but trust me, the jury is still out on this question. Let’s look at the next wrinkle…

What Do Crappie Eat When Food is Scarce?

Of course, we’ve already established that crappie will eat just about anything that they can wrap their mouths around, but what about when food is scarce? Although some anglers still insist that the crappie will still NEVER eat a crawfish EVER, would the crappie do it then? The answer, according to most anecdotal accounts, would be an emphatic yes, they most definitely would.

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You see, crappies are largely known as an opportunistic species. Simply put, they are not picky eaters at all. Their typical food choices such as minnows or small fish won’t be available in the winter or the early spring, and so that means that these crappie will have no choice but to go with crustaceans such as crawfish or insects such as crickets or larvae instead of their preferred diet. Of course, you as an angler can use that to your advantage and lengthen the time you have to try to fish for crappie throughout the year.

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There’s Plenty of Anecdotal Evidence

Of course, even though there are always going to be a significant number of people who insist that crappie will never eat crawfish, there are also plenty of anglers throughout the United States and beyond that have anecdotal evidence that crappie will indeed go after crawfish. For instance, there was a gentleman who was fishing on a well-known river in Ohio, and to begin with he was using the typical minnow bait to catch his crappie.

However, he decided that he wanted to try for some other fish for a little while, so he switched his bait to crawfish. It didn’t take too long before something blasted his line, and although he thought that it was going to be a large bass, it turned out to be a fairly good-sized crappie!

Moreover, there was yet another instance where an individual was fishing on an Illinois river when he was a small boy, and he and his uncle were initially going after the bluegills, but he landed a crappie instead! Although he was just six years old, he was hooked for life! There is yet another individual in Louisiana who said he has cleaned out more crappies than he could count that had the remains of a crawfish in their stomach. Indeed, there are stories like this all over the United States, so you can certainly rest assured that crappie will absolutely go after crawfish if the need arises.

What About Their “Feeding Down” Habit?

Of course, part of the reason why some people are so adamant that you cannot use crawfish as bait for crappie is because this type of fish would have to “feed down” in order to eat them. However, they fail to realize that these crappies will go to some tremendous lengths to get food if they need to. Yes, they will normally “feed up” to obtain food, but if the only way for them to get their food is to “feed down”, then they are not against doing that. All I’m saying is, yes, the crappies will definitely change their behavior if it means that they are in for a free meal.

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Obtaining Your Crawfish

Now that you know that yes, you can definitely catch crappie using crawfish as bait, you’re probably wondering just how you would go about getting the crawfish. Well, there are plenty of ways to do it, but one method would be to go out at night with a flashlight and a dip net and look for them along the streams. This is a good way to find them if you are the adventurous type of course. Another method that some have found to be easier would be to simply look for them during the day. Some people enjoy turning over rocks in order to try to find them. Of course, you’ve got to be quick! You’ll soon find out that these crawfish are very quick! Persistence is key. Of course, once you catch them, you will have another concern.

How Do You Keep Them Fresh?

That’s another good question. One of the best ways to do that would be through using styrofoam coolers. You can fill them with layers of wet newspapers, because you have to make sure that the crawfish are kept cool. However, some don’t like this method because it takes up too much space on their boat. Another way to do it would be through placing them in a flow-through minnow bait bucket. Taking the inner bucket of the exterior bucket will allow the crawfish to continue to have air.

How Do I Hook a Live Crawfish?

One of the best ways to hook a live crawfish would be on an “upwards” trajectory through the tail of the crawfish from the bottom just shy of a half-inch from the end. This method still allows the crawfish to have some natural movement when you cast it out. Another method would be to hook the crawfish through the bony horn of their head. This is a method many crawfish bait enthusiasts prefer because it prevents the crawfish from crawling under a rock and hanging up your line.

Whatever method you choose for hooking your crawfish, you can rest assured that the crappie will indeed go after them. They are hungry fish! Go ahead and try this method for crappie fishing during the off-season, and you just might be in luck.

Darren Enns Author has been married to the same lucky woman for 30 years.

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