John's Journal...

Proven Night Crappie-Fishing MethodsClick to enlarge

The Great Light Debate

Editor’s Note: Any time a writer mentions where crappie will be at a specific season, he only can be sure he’s explaining where some of the crappie will be found. During both the cold winter months and the hot suClick to enlargemmer months, I’ve caught crappie at 2-feet deep and in 20 feet of water on the same day. In the spring of the year during the spawn when the crappie usually are shallow, like you, I’ve taken crappie in 1-1/2- and 15 feet of water. The truth about crappie fishing is there are no absolutes. The suggestions I’ve made this week produce crappie for me most of the time in most of the areas I fish at night in hot weather. Hopefully, they’ll do the same for you.

Whether to use floating lights that sit down on the water or lanterns that Click to enlargehang out above the water is a constant controversy in nighttime crappie fishing. Proponents of the floating-light philosophy believe that high-intensity bulbs used in most floating lights send beams deeper into the water and attract more microscopic organisms, baitfish and crappie. The anglers who adhere to the lantern philosophy are convinced the lanternClick to enlarges not only put light in the water to attract microscopic organisms but also draw bugs. These bugs fly close to the water, fly into the lantern, fall onto the surface of the water and provide a bug slick that attracts baitfish to the light to feed on these bugs. When I’m crappie fishing at night in the summer, I want every advantage I can find to catch more papermouths. I use two floating lights on either end of my boat and a Coleman lantern in the middle of the boat to give me deep-water lights to attract deep crappie and a lantern that puts out light and heat to leave a bug slick. I’ve found that on some nights I can catch crappie in 1-1/2- to 2 feet of water under the lantern and at 15- to18-feet deep under the floating lights.

Tomorrow: Night Fishing Safety

Check back each day this week for more about "Proven Night Crappie-Fishing Methods"

Day 1: Night Crappie Fishing
Day 2: Drop-Offs and Docksides
Day 3: Bridge Pilings
Day 4: The Great Light Debate
Day 5: Night Fishing Safety


Entry 365, Day 1