Black crappies are easiest to catch in spring, when they move into shallow bays and channels to feed. Fishing is also good during the spawning period, when you'll find the fish in emergent weeds or brushy cover.
Although minnows are the number - one bait, black crappies will also strike small spinners, jigs and crankbaits. Fly fishermen have good success on wet flies and ice anglers catch good numbers of blacks on jigging lures.
Look for black crappies in shallow, mud - bottomed bays in early spring. These waters warm earliest, attracting baitfish which, in turn, draw crappies.
A slip - bobber rig baited with a small minnow hooked through the back probably accounts for more crappies than any other rig or artificial lure.