Some of the NAF editors share their best ideas for landing those pesky panfish.
During summer's heat, a nighttime fishing trip is the ticket for crappie-fishing success.
The image of a typical midsummer crappie fisherman has changed little over the years. Many still envision him as a simple man sculling a jonboat with one hand and working a cane pole with the other, a bucket of minnows at his feet.
Conditions were perfect. The lake’s calm bays were soaking up the sun’s energy, and I knew big bluegills would be drawn to these spots. I headed toward the north shore, where the spring sun had the most impact.
A Norman Rockwell portrait of crappie fishing would probably depict a scene on a still-water lake or reservoir. But a growing segment of anglers has discovered that to find abundant slabs, you have to go with the flow.
When planning your river strategy, always consider the water level, which dictates where the fish will hold. The fish respond to water-level changes of only an inch or two, moving into shallow backwaters when the water rises and out to deeper areas when if falls.
McClellan works his way in and out of creeks and large coves, keeping an eye on his depthfinder and on the surface of the water. Often, he'll spot the telltale rings left by small shad flipping on top.
Brad Whitehead knows crappies. Though he’s just 30 years old, the Muscle Shoals, Alabama, guide grew up with a fishing rod in his hand. And he logs more time each year chasing crappies—about 225 days, conservatively—than some anglers do in a decade.
River panfish habitat is extremely diverse, so it’s best to rig three rods three different ways, so you’re always ready for what’s next.
Serious panfish anglers are always on the hunt for the hottest bite, which means looking for lakes jammed with bull ’gills, broad-shouldered ’crackers, slab crappies and sag-bellied perch.
The crappie is sportfishing’s undisputed King of Spring. Here's where to find 'em shallow in the spawning season, and when.
Sixty-seven lakes and reservoirs, in 19 states, hold specially tagged fish that could turn into cash or prizes for lucky anglers! Read on!
Follow this water temperature roadmap to big crappies all year.
Sometimes complex trumps simple when it comes to bringing crappies to the boat.