John's Journal...

Fish the Right Depth for Crappie

Day 5: Gathering Spots for Crappie

Editor’s Note: To catch crappie at any time of the year, you need to find the right depth to fish for them. Over the years, I’ve learned that fishing at the correct depth influences whether or not you catch more crappie more so than the kind, the sized and/or the color of bait you use.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewYou can wait until the peak of the spawn and fish down the bank like everyone else does then. Or, you can fish the gathering spots before and after the spawn to take the crappie that the bank-bound anglers never will catch. Charlie Ingram, a crappie guide on Lake Eufaula, in Eufaula, Alabama, mentions that crappie like to hold in the mouths of creeks and on points leading into spawning areas. On most lakes, bass fishermen will sink brush on points in 8 to 10 feet of water, where the crappie will hold just before and just after the spawn. And, even during the spawn, you’ll find crappie in that 6 to 10-foot depth that have gone to the banks to spawn and then returned to deep water or hold in that deep water, waiting to move up to spawn. “Remember that not all crappie spawn on the same day, in the same area,” Ingram says. “Crappie move back and forth from shallow to deeper water during the first of the spawn. So the most-consistent place to catch crappie is in the gathering areas, where they gather before and after the spawn.”

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewTo catch more crappie, attempt to identify the depth of water where the crappie will hold before you leave your home. The spawn and the air temperature often will help you pinpoint where crappie will concentrate. But, realize, too, that crappie move up and down the water column as the water warms up during the day. My teachers in the sport of crappie fishing have taught me that knowing the depth crappie will hold at each day will impact my success as a crappie fisherman every time I fish.

Crappie: How To Catch Them Spring and SummerTo learn more about crappie and how to fish for them from the masters of the sport, click here for “Crappie: How to Catch Them Spring and Summer, a new eBook from Amazon’s Kindle by John E. Phillips. Or, you can go to and type-in the name of the book to find it. You can also download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or SmartPhone.

Check back each day this week for more about "Fish the Right Depth for Crappie"

Day 1: How Kent Driscoll Uses GPS to Find Open-Water Crappie
Day 2: Kent Driscoll’s Trolling Tactic for Crappie
Day 3: How to Catch Extremely-Shallow Crappie
Day 4: Locating Open-Water Crappie
Day 5: Gathering Spots for Crappie

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Entry 671, Day 5