Crappie Fishing Michigan | Lakes in Michigan and Fishing Guides

Michigan has an abundance of crappie fish and is a popular panfish delicacy throughout the state. Also, anglers love filling in their gap during the closed season for walleye, bass, and catfishes with some pretty crappies. However, catching crappie isn’t a walk in the park.

You need a lot of patience and dedication to catch this tiny fish. However, things can get easier once you know where to target the fish.

So, to aid you in crapping fishing Michigan this season, we have come up with the top suggestions for lakes to catch crappie. Plus, you will get a complete guideline on the state rules for panfish angling since crappie is a type of panfish.

State Rules For Crappie Fishing In Michigan

The Michigan rule for crappie comes from the state’s rule imposed on panfish. So, let’s clarify what panfish is. You need to understand that it isn’t a scientific term. Rather, anglers use the word ‘panfish’ to refer to smaller freshwater fish, including crappie, rock bass, bluegills, yellow perch, etc.

Michigan rule for panfish says that you can only catch 25 crappies each day. Also, you can’t keep more than 50 crappies in a two days fishing season. So, you have to follow this rule, or you can receive fines and cancellation of your fishing tickets for the entire season.

Crappie Fishing Michigan: The Top Lakes to Target Crappie

During the early spring, crappies will gather in shallow water. It is their spawning time, and also, they are the early birds when it comes to spawning. As soon as the ice starts melting, crappies will find shallower water in lakes, and right there, you can land them and enjoy the delicacy.

The following list includes the best spots and lakes for catching crappies. You can get them in abundance in these spots almost throughout the year.

South Manistique Lake

South Manistique Lake is a secret place for crappies. Yes, the 4000-acre lake is famous for yellow perch and walleye. But its crappie collection is unknown, and so, you can enjoy some solitude while landing the fish as well.

Since the past decade, the lake has seen an incredible growth of crappies, and you can count on the numbers. The lake is only a few minutes drive from Curtis, and you shouldn’t find it difficult to reach it.

You can plan to start from Wolfe Bay, the western side of the lake. Crappies come here during the early spring for spawning. You will find them in shallow coves during this time. As the season advances, you can move towards Norton Island and Long Point in search of crappies.

You can use minnow to allure these fishes at ease as they patrol around the weeds.

Tippy Dam Pond

Don’t be fooled with its name. The Pine and Manistee rivers fed the 1540-acres land. Its shoreline and islands offer a perfect hiding place for crappies.

You can even get the black crappies here as it is their natural habitat. However, even without the black crappies, the lake has enough vegetation and sunken timbers to keep crappie anglers interested in the lake.

Mark Tonello is the biologist of the Central Lake Michigan Management Unit, and he claimed that the lake has more crappies than anything else. On top of it, most crappies they surveyed were around 13 inches long, whereas, the average crappie grows up to 9 inches.

So, it is like a hidden treasure of crappies in Michigan. You can get your prized catch here. You only need to cast the fishing line properly and wait until crappies bit the bait.

Nonetheless, the shoreline is full of snags, trees, and stumps in Tippy Dam Pond, and it will increase the rate of lost baits and lures. You can slip-bobber with your minnow to keep your bait secure.

Greenwood Reservoir

Greenwood reservoir has maintained the consistency of a good amount of crappies for a long time now. It is a combination of stickups and small islands and is full of flooded timber. Thus, it has the perfect habitat for crappies.

It is no wonder why crappie lovers flock in the southern part of the reservoir during the early spring. You can get them at ease, even from the boat ramp. The average length of crappies here is 10 inches, but people have reported larger catches too.

On top of everything, the reservoir offers a scenic beauty that doubles your crappie fishing fun.

Silver Lake

Silver lake is famous for walleye, but of late, it has seen a surge in crappie growth thanks to the growing amount of weeds in its water. The lake has a maximum depth of 25ft, and it offers plenty of places for the crappies to live, hid, and spawn during springtime.

The lake is mostly structure-less and is located in Oceana County. Since the lake is still hidden from crappie lovers, you can land your favorite panfish peacefully, and there’s no one to disturb your loneliness.

The lake has a link with Hunter Creek, and you will often see crappies going up in the creeks. Anglers report catching 14 inches crappies. Although it is a little difficult, you can get plenty of 10-12 inches crappies in the lake.

Hamlin Lake

Thanks to the abundance of bluegills in Hamlin Lake and its fame in all corners of Michigan, crappies have remained underfished here. So, it could be a great place to explore for you if you are a crappie lover.

With 5000 acres of land, Hamlin Lake usually consists of two lakes; the shallow upper lake and the deep lower lake.

The good part about the lake is you can find crappies in both sections of the lake. It will depend on which time of the year you come to fish. Generally speaking, the upper lake with shallow water and weeds offers a suitable place for crappies.

Conclusion

When you plan for crappie fishing in Michigan, you can try out a few lakes. But coming during the spawning season of crappies will yield a better result. We have mentioned the top five gems for crappie fishing here. These lakes have an abundance of crappies that even a novice angler can catch a few of them at ease.

You can, however, try your crappie luck in Fremont Lake, Croton Dam, Center Lake, and Union Lake as well.

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