How To Catch Crappie In The Winter | Crappie Fishing Tips

When it is winter, living beings all around the world face trouble getting food. Well, humans are living beings too, (in case you forgot) since you probably do not face much trouble finding ‘any’ kind of food. But, you still do find it difficult to catch crappies in winter, don’t you? So, you are no different from other living beings in certain ways as you also are a victim of nature. However, unlike other beings, you are not completely helpless. You have the myriad of equipment to help you catch the crappie while you row on a boat with your terrestrial body.

In fact, all you need to do to catch crappie in winter is to know how to find them, where to look and what to do. These are definitely different from what you do in other seasons. Because as the weather affects the smaller species more, they react more vividly. In order to catch crappie in the winter, you need to know how to catch crappie in the winter. We will inform you about how crappies behave in winter and what you can do to find and hunt them.

The Things A Fisherman Should Know

 The only reason you need to use different strategies for catching crappie in winter is that they behave differently. If you do not know why and how differently they behave, how will you formulate your strategies? So, here is a list of characteristics and activities that come with a crappie in winter

1. They Change The Depth They Stay In Based On Temperature:

This is, apparently, the most common change that occurs with winter approaching. When the temperature is not that low, the crappies will stay in shallower waters most often. Because in warmer temperatures, the upper part of the water stays warm. Since the topwater is more exposed to the sun and other forces of temperature, its temperature changes more rapidly and clearly.

Therefore, when the temperature starts cooling, the topwater gets really cold, making it uncomfortable for the crappies. While the deepwater remains much warmer than the top layer. As a result, when it gets colder, crappies start to stay in deep water.

2. They Change Their Depths Based On The Time Of Day As Well:

Apparently, it is not just the temperature at different times of the season that makes crappies move but the time of the day as well. The reason, however, is the same. In fact, the temperature of the top layer does not stay the same throughout the day. It might be the lowest in the morning and highest in the afternoon.

Therefore, the crappies may tend to stay in the deep water in the morning and move to shallower water in the afternoon. While this may not happen every day but it does happen quite often to take note.

3. The Metabolism Decreases:

Each animal has coping strategies for the adverse weathers. Winter is considered an adverse weather often. Because it is harder to get out and look for food in it. Even ants store food for winter. However, crappies cannot do that. Therefore, they have a special coping mechanism. This is- decreased metabolism. What this does is make the crappies less hungry. However, the less hunger leads to less aggression. Therefore, the crappies won’t chase food for long or even fast. They will give up if they find that it is too hard to catch a lure.

4. Better Vision:

In winter, the water, apparently, gets clearer. As a result, crappies can see better. They can see even the lines better and be careful as they move.

Apart from that, they also notice color more in winter.

5. Colder Temperatures Take Them Under Shelters:

One thing you already know is that crappies prefer deep waters when it gets too cold. However, based on both availability and choice, crappies often take shelters like under trees, woods, boat docks, bridge pilings, etc. Apart from that, they may be available in creeks as well. It completely depends on the weather, where the crappies decide to find comfort in.

6. They Are Available In Creeks And Windy Places As Well:

A common mistake that anglers do is that they expect crappies to be in creek channels rather than creeks in winter. However, they often hide in creeks. Apart from that, wind does not drive crappies away from the shallower and more open areas. In fact, you may even find crappies swimming and doing their jobs there. Because wind often carries their food and they need to eat, right? So, they go there in search of survival and comfort.

7. They Tend To Move In Groups:

In winter, specifically, crappies tend to move in groups. This makes it much easier to catch a lot of them when you just find one. The reason why they move in groups is probably for both safety and warmth. You know, crowded places get warm quite quickly.

8. They Will Tend To Bite Less:

Due to decreased temperature and metabolism, crappies will be less active in winter. This is not hard to understand because we humans show a similar reaction to colder temperatures. Waking up early in the morning is never easy in winter. So, for whatever reasons, the fishes do that too despite always being in the water, they tend to bite less. This is mainly because they are not as hungry and they only bite when they think they have a food in view and they could use a snack.

However, it is essential that they feed themselves and they will eventually bite no matter after how long they bite and look for food.

So, these were what you should know about how the crappies behave in winter.

How To Catch Crappie In The Winter: The Tips You Should Keep In Mind

Now that you know what crappies do in winter and maybe what they feel too, it is time for you to know what you should do to catch them in bulk. Here are a few tips that will definitely come handy when you want to know winter crappie fishing tips.

1. Know Where To Look:

As you already know that crappies change locations based on the temperature. You would be a fool if you did not consider this and kept looking everywhere without a plan. We will talk about the depths later; let us cover which part of the lake or water body you should be looking in. Most anglers make the mistake of looking only in the creek channels in winter. But, the crappies are often hiding in the creeks itself. Then, you can also look in open water under windy conditions. Crappies do not run away from there in winter either. So, you see, the mistake is that you consider many of the places to be out of bounds for the crappies whereas they may be hiding exactly there.

The good news, however, is that after you look hard and find at least one crappy, you will end up striking the treasure of a group of crappies and coming home with meals for days.

2. Slow Your Fishing Down:

With the decreased rate of metabolism and temperature, crappies get lazy like humans too. You cannot catch them if you move too fast with your lure or when fighting them. They will eventually just give up and get back to whatever else they were doing. This is because they are not even that hungry; they are just saving up for the future. So, it is best if you take things slow and let the crappies feel relaxed. They should not be rushed and scared.

3. Use Smaller Lures/Jigs:

The crappies are not even hungry much and even if they are, they won’t eat much. Apart from that, with lesser energy from lesser metabolism, the crappies won’t be up from much of fight either. In these conditions, the crappies will either not go after bigger lures or give them up after a mild little bite. This will give you barely enough time to catch them. Therefore, offer them what they can take. Shift to smaller or medium-sized lures and jigs in this season so the crappies spend more time with the lure. You can start by fishing with 1/32 ounce jigs.

4. Fish With Lines With Lighter Tests:

With a slower metabolism, lighter food in the stomach, and lesser strength, you cannot expect the crappies to be heavy or in fighting spirits. They cannot even eat the whole lure, how will they break your line? Therefore, it is best if you change to lighter tests in winter. That way, you will get the energy to be in the water for as long as you need to be. And, the crappies will get fewer warnings about danger as well.

This is because, as you already know, they have better vision in winter as the water is clearer. So, it will be harder for the crappies to detect the thinner lines. You can try fishing with lines weighing from 6-8 pounds.

5. Deep Water In The Morning And Shallow In The Afternoon:

Well, you know that crappies tend to change their depth quite often in winter. Most often they stay in shallower waters. But, when it gets too cold, it is best if you look in deep waters. Specifically, mornings are quite cold in winter, so you should fish for crappies in deep water in the mornings. And, in the afternoons, as the water warms a bit, fish in shallower waters. Because most anglers have found this method helpful.

6. Use Your Electronics Well:

If you do have a depth finder or a GPS, you will be a fool again if you do not use them. While you might think that the location of the crappies is not predictable, which is true, you still have a chance of finding them. For example, you might know that the crappies are going to be more available in places with shelters. Whether they are or does not matter. A depth finder can find these places with shelters and you can look there first. If they are actually available, your work just gets done faster, right? Furthermore, the depth finder can find the crappies themselves for you. You just have to buy a nice one and learn to read it properly. It will definitely need some practice but for that, you need to use it.

As for GPS, you might get better catches at a certain place one day and chances are you will again the next day. So, a GPS will help you mark that location so you can easily find it again. Use these technologies to get a better hold on where to find the crappies.

7. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Colorful Lures:

The crappies often prefer colors at this time of the year. You can attract their attention by adding some color or sparkle in your lures. Apparently, this will bring in more crappies than you expect.

8. Take Your Time And Have Patience:

In winter, things are slower than any other time of the year.  Therefore, catching crappies and finding them will take longer than before. If you give up within the first few hours then you will never catch crappies in winter. You have to wait, look for them, keep important points in mind and keep waiting. It is more a game of patience than a game of thrill.

In Conclusion:

If you do not change your strategies with the changing season, you will never catch enough crappies to satisfy you. The first step before approaching any enemy is knowing them. You should know how crappies react to the changing conditions in winter by now. Then, you have to formulate your strategies. You should be able to do that really well if you keep the tips we gave in mind while fishing. Lastly, you have to implement your strategies well. So, you know now how to catch crappie in the winter. All you have left to do is have enough patience for doing it.

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