John's Journal...

Springtime Crappie

Fish Man-Made Structures

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: You can catch some nice-sized crappie in the prespawn, if you know where to looClick to enlargek for them.

Find Underwater Highways and Railroads - Many man-made lake impoundments encompass underwater places where railroads and highways once crossed creeks and rivers. If you locate those old roadbeds, you'll discover plenty of prespawn crappie holding on them. Too, underwater bridges, bridge pilings and other vertical structure will provide places for crappie to concentrate nearby in almost any depth of water where they feel comfortable. Also, remember the drastic water changes usually present on either side of bridge pilings, since engineers often construct pilings on the edges of underwater creek channels. During the prespawn, you can almost always find crappie holding somewhere on a submerged bridge piling.

Fish Concrete - Prespawn crappie will look for warm water close to deep water. Concrete bridges, locks, dams and piers catch the heat from the sun and transfer that heat into the water. Often you'll catch crappie where you find concrete. Many anglers have had success taking crappie during the prespawn near a concrete loading doClick to enlargeck on the edge of a creek channel. If you build a brush shelter next to the concrete, you'll have one of the most-productive spots on the lake or river to catch crappie during the prespawn.Click to enlarge

Catch Discharge Crappie - If you can locate a creek or an area of the lake with a warm-water discharge coming from a factory or a plant, you'll also find the most prespawn crappie there. The fish will move into these warm-water discharges because that's where they feel the most comfortable and where they'll find the most bait. Look for the crappie to hold in the first or second eddy pool closest to the warm-water discharge yet out of the current.

For more information about how to fish crappie, go to and learn about John E. Phillips’ book, “The Masters’ Secrets of Crappie Fishing.”

Tomorrow: Winning Crappie Recipes

Check back each day this week for more about "Springtime Crappie"

Day 1: Catching Icicle Crappie
Day 2: Finding Prespawn Crappie
Day 3: Hunting Crappie
Day 4: Fish Man-Made Structures
Day 5: Winning Crappie Recipes



Entry 396, Day 4