When and Where do Crappie Spawn?

When Do Crappie Spawn?

Where do Crappie Spawn? – In the spring, crappie spawn. Crappie migrates from deeper water to shallow breeding grounds in the spring. When temperatures reach ten °C (50°F) – 15°C, spawning begins (60F). As the temperature rises, so does activity, with peak breeding activity about 20°C (68F). The start of the optimal weather varies from year to year, although it usually happens between late April and early June.

Crappie usually moves into shallow water to spawn after a few days of warmer weather. In the same waterbody, crappie spawning often coincides with smallmouth and largemouth spawning (Often occurring after smallmouth bass but before largemouth bass).

The crappie will travel to their summer habitat once they have done spawning. The precise habitat varies depending on the body of water. Crappie are structure-oriented and will spend the entire year in dense cover. If the crappie are suspended deeper in the water column, there is an exception.

Where Do Crappies Lay Their Eggs?

Crappie prefers shallow water with some kind of flora or structure nearby to reproduce. The breeding sites have extremely shallow water depths. In 1 to 5 feet of water, nests are commonly found.

Structures such as submerged plants, stumps, branches, and trees will be used to build nests.

Breeding occurs most often in the water that warms up earlier in the season. This refers to wind-protected north shore back bays on lakes. Spillways and headwaters are frequently affected in rivers and reservoirs, as the water above the spillway has warmed in the sun. If the river is somewhat slow, it can be treated as a lake, and calm back bays are just as likely to become spawning grounds.

Several males will frequently breed with a single female. Then, in a depression made by the male, the female lays a high number of eggs (up to 65,000).

The eggs are protected by the parents, as they are in many sunfish species. The male crappie will guard the eggs until they hatch. It takes 2 to 5 days for crappie eggs to hatch.

Because crappie are schooling fish, much individual fish can be found in the spawning region at any given moment. They’re also prolific breeders, which makes them resistant to overharvesting (but not immune!). This is fortunate because they are one of the best-tasting freshwater fish, and they are frequently sought for retention.

Last Thoughts

The information provided above is specific to black crappie. White crappie behavior (spawning, breeding, and seasonal movements) is quite similar to that of black crappie, albeit white crappie are known to breed a few weeks later. White crappie prefers temperatures that are slightly warmer than their black crappie cousins.

You can’t go wrong with Crappie Jigs if you’re seeking lure ideas for spring crappie fishing (Amazon Link).

If you’re a fly fisherman, check out this article for a more in-depth look at crappie on the fly.

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.