How to fish for a crappie from the bank in summer
When it comes to crappie fishing in summer a lot of anglers argue that it is easy to fish for a crappie from the bank – especially if you use a jig instead of live bait. Jigs are artificial bait that deliberately look like small, colorful fish on a lead sinker. This artificial bait lures fish in by creating jagged, jerky motions in a vertical position rather than a horizontal one with live bait.
During the spawning season, crappies spawn in the same place by the shore every year. When summer arrives, they begin to venture further from the shore, when fishing for them from the bank is the ideal place.
To fish for a crappie from the bank in summer, you will need:
- Jigs (bring several for replacements)
- Long fishing rod
- Fish baskets (the wire ones that sit in water to keep the fish alive are a good option)
- Waterproof footwear and clothing (just in case you have to go into the water in rocky areas)
Luckily, as crappie are more likely to be in abundance around the bank than at the shore, you’re likely to catch multiple crappie during your fishing session! Coverings are the best places for finding crappie, but be careful not to get your line tangled in the brush – that’s where waterproof footwear comes in handy.
Crappie fishing at night in summer
Fishing for crappie at night in summer is arguably the best time to go fishing. Crappie seem to bite far more in reduced light, but fishing at night can be tricky for some anglers. This is why some anglers would argue that the best time to fish for crappie in summer is during the day.
The best night to go fishing for crappie is one with a clear sky. Crappie rely on the light from the moon, so your best bet is to go fishing when the full moon is out and the clouds are away, otherwise you’ll have to rely on artificial light that can scare away the fish.
This is because crappie are slower to catch without sufficient light, but with a bright moon, you can catch crappie within the top 3 feet of the water.
The main thing to remember when fishing for crappie at night in summer is to be patient. Crappie will swim towards the top of the water so they can use the moonlight for navigation, but it’s mostly a game of luck.
If the clouds are out and you have to rely on artificial lighting, the crappie might not bite. Again, it’s a game of luck, as some anglers have found artificial lighting benefits their nighttime fishing!
How deep do crappie go in the summer?
During the warm summer months, crappie will only go into deeper waters to regulate their body temperature by swimming to the cool depths. The deeper the water gets, the less oxygen there is, so crappie aren’t likely to linger in deep water for too long.
It’s all about finding the right area between cool water and oxygenated water. Crappie aren’t likely to swim by the surface unless it’s at nighttime, where they rely on the moonlight to navigate through the water.
Typically, crappie are likely to swim between 12-18 feet in the water during summer.
When the temperature is very warm in summer, crappie are more likely to hide themselves in shaded areas such as deep creeks and river channels. This can make fishing for crappie tricky, so bring some waterproof clothing and footwear just in case your line gets trapped!
In this case, look 20 to 30 feet from the surface. You might find lowering the sinker to the bottom and slowly reeling it up might trick the channel.
In August, when the temperature is likely to be the highest, there’s not much point fishing more than 15 feet below the surface, as the oxygen levels will be very low.
Best time of the day to catch crappie in summer
Anglers have varying opinions about when the best time of the day to catch crappie in summer is. Lots of anglers will argue early morning or late afternoon is the best time, whereas others will say nighttime fishing is the best time.
Truth is, it all comes down to skill level, personal preference, and a lot of luck.
Early morning or late afternoon fishing is a good time to catch crappie in summer, as the crappie are likely to swim within 12-18 feet to the surface. They will often go to the cool depths to regulate their temperature, and then they will swim to the top of the water to make use of the daylight.
During the hottest time of the day (midday), they are likely to swim closer to the depths to avoid the heat.
Nighttime fishing, on the other hand, can be a great time for catching crappie as they won’t travel down to the cool depths. Instead, they can remain in the cool water closer to the surface without swimming down to the deoxygenated water below. However, nighttime fishing comes with a lot of luck.
Crappie rely on moonlight to navigate through the water, which means anglers should ideally fish for crappie when the sky is clear from clouds. Otherwise, they might have to resort to artificial lighting, which can be hit or miss.
Crappie fishing with minnows in summer
Fishing for crappie with minnows in summer is one of the most popular bait tactics. The key to catching crappie in summer is to use a minnow attached to a jig. This is because jigs move vertically in water – especially running water like creeks where crappie like to hide in summer to catch the cool, flowing water.
You want to rig a minnow to the mouth of the jig, and then slowly reel the jig to the surface. Crappie are stacked on top of each other along a channel, so you want a jig with a fairly large head to touch the bottom.
The biggest problem with using minnows to catch crappie is that minnows don’t do well in the heat. You’ll need a good bait container to keep the minnow lively and fresh.
Best bait for crappie in summer
The most common and successful bait for crappie in summer is minnow. When attached to the head of a jig, crappie are very likely to bite the bait as the jig flows vertically through the water. As crappie stack on top of each other along a channel, this is the best way to secure a bite.
Remember that crappies are particularly ravenous in summer, so it’s best to use large minnows around (or bigger than) 3”.
When the clouds are out, or if you’re fishing at nighttime, your best bet is to use an artificial bait with a lot of color. Crappie rely on the moonlight to navigate through the water, so using a colorful bait that catches the light will lure them in.
In most cases, the best bait for catching crappie in summer is certainly minnow. The only problem with using minnows as bait is that minnows don’t cope well with hot temperatures. This is why you need a good bait container to keep the minnows cool, fresh, and lively.