Early Season Slabs: How To Catch Crappie In The Spring

Crappie migrates to the shallows to spawn as the water gets warmer and longer days. Anglers have the perfect opportunity to catch these speckled critters. Spring is prime slab season and, if you are a crappie expert, it can be one of the best times to fish all year.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an experienced hunter, these tips will help you stay on top of your game. After you have learned a few basics about how to fish with your reel and line, it is time to start thinking about early season strategies that will improve your catch.

We are here to help! Here are a few of the most trusted spring slab tips.

Here are more tips

  • How to Catch Crappie in Summer
  • Fall Crappie Fishing Tips
  • Winter Crappie Fishing
  • How to predict where monster slabs will be found every season, even summer. Never leave home empty-handed again!
  • How to select the best lure and technique for each situation
  • Secrets from crappie legends that will.Change the way that you fish slabs.
  • Live bait: How to get the best out of it, rig it as a skimmerChampion of the tournament, and turn the odds in your favor.
  • How to improve your spider-rigging setup.
  • Here are some tips for master night fishing when the heat really is on.
  • Tips and techniques that workAll the time, all the time.
  • there’s more!

Spring Crappie Fishing Tips

Spring is for the shallow

Crappie will wait for spring in the deeper waters of deeper water during colder months. As the water temperatures rise, males will make their way to spawning areas and prepare their beds for females. The females of the species will initially wait in transitional areas. These areas are deeper than the spawning spots but not as deep as the winter holes. Once the spawning has started, the females will move into the shallows.

The migration will occur later if you move further north from the Gulf Coast. This can happen in southern Florida or Louisiana as early as January. In Ohio, it may occur late February or early March.

You need to get more sunlight and warm water temperatures. If the crappie starts moving, it is pretty obvious that they are moving when the lilacs bloom where you fish.

There is no single spawning season in the US. This is because the winter water temperatures in Thibodaux in Louisiana are very similar to the summer in Baudette in Minnesota. As you might expect, the spawning season doesn’t occur in the same month in both of these crappie hotspots.

Expect the spawn to occur when the water temperature reaches 56-60 degrees.

Warmer weather means crappie anglers should focus on potential spawning areas and shallow water.

Crappie move to cooler climates into channels, tributaries, and backwaters in search of warmer water and the habitat that they need to spawn. They will move to five to six feet of water in warmer areas, and cluster near the cover they seek.

What time does crappie spawn? and how you can make the most of it!

Where does crappie spawn north?

Spring crappie fishing in Louisiana

You should look for a vertical and submerged brush

Crappie lovers cover–that’s what every papermouth enthusiast knows.

You may not know that fish can quickly replace the ones you caught, so you can continue to hunt the same spots day after day. As the spawn continues, there can be intense competition for shallow cover. It’s possible to return day after day and catch fish that have moved into prime locations after previous denizens were removed.

Submerged brush piles are best in shallow water. You can fish directly over and besides these structures using a slip or fixed flotation like the Thill Crappie Cork.

Zoom 011045 Fat A-Poundert Curly Tail Grub, 3-Inch, 10-Pack, White Pearl

Remember that crappie is hungry and will often eat their prey from the bottom. When selecting depth, it is important to be cautious and not leave your terminal tackle visible against the surface.

Sun means surface

The top few feet of the water will feel warmer on sunny days than the depths. This is often a sign that crappie will be found in the spring to absorb the heat.

As spring arrives, sac-a-lait try to get rid of their winter-induced sleepiness. Because they are cold-blooded, they must move to warm water to allow the heat to penetrate their body. This is similar to how you would do in a hot bath.

They will also be more active due to the warmth.

We love to use spinning lures to catch these fish. Spring slabs will eat anything, so you can reach for any kind of spinning lure. Springtime is when they are more open to biting, but like all things, you should keep your retrieves slow and methodical.

Crappie is predators that hunt in ambush. They won’t follow the lures you throw through the water. To trigger a strike, it is important to run the lures above them and not below them.

Crappie will return to the surface in cool weather or when predators are present

It doesn’t always feel like spring is warm and sunny. If the weather is cold, the crappie will likely move to the transitional areas and stop spawning.

They won’t usually return to their winter holdings but will search for deeper water. The same applies if they are being hunted by predators like walleye.

These conditions are ideal for crappie hunting. We look for shallow water and weed beds to hide in. Once we have located them, we will run our spinners across them, allowing them to fall into the tops and then retrieve them.

It is important to choose weed beds with a buffer zone of water. This creates space for lures to flourish, attract interest and produce strikes.

These gentlemen are tearing them apart!

Last Thoughts

Spring is the best season for crappie and the thrill of early-season slabs can be addictive!

To preserve future fishing opportunities, it is important to always release pregnant females. This helps to sustain the spawn and ensures a plentiful crop of crappie next season.

Are there any other tips you would like to share? Do you have a favorite?

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.