How To Catch Crappie In the Dog Days of Summer – TruWild Life


By Goose Gutzman | August 1, 2022


I hear from a lot of people that catching Crappies in the summer is difficult or they may have trouble catching any at all. Truly, catching Summer-time Crappies isn’t too difficult, anglers just need to adjust their tactics a bit to find consistent action.  

#1 Where and When to Catch Crappies

In most of the lakes that I fish, the Crappies relate to weeds. Sometimes you will find them directly in the weeds and sometimes they will relate to the weed edge. If you can find Cabbage weeds or Coontail you are likely to find fish, if you can find a mix of both it’s even better. If you have side imaging, use it to scan the weed edges looking for schools; they will appear as little dots. Once you see these dots on your graph you will want to drop a waypoint where you found the dots.

The one thing about the dog days of summer that remains consistent just about anywhere you fish, is that it will most likely be an early morning and an evening bite. However, don’t be discouraged if you can’t be out early or late. You can catch them during mid-day, especially if you’re targeting fish over the lake basin in deeper water.

#2 Bait

Trolling the weed edges is also great way to find them, once you find them you can jig for them using various types of plastics or minnows if you prefer to use live bait. I prefer to use plastics because the minnow can tend to come off the hook while fishing and you may not notice. Often this can happen when you get stuck in the weeds and try to pop your bait free. This leaves you fishing bait less, whereas with the plastics, you can fish them aggressively and cast farther without worrying about losing your bait.

The plastics I've been using are the Tioga, Baby Rockfish and T.I.P curly tails and I also use other Plastics like a Panfish Stinger, Triple ripple curly e, and Billyrub plastics. Everyday can be a bit different in terms of what the fish want most, let the fish tell you what profile and or what sizes to use. 

#3 Set-up

Your rod and reel selection are just as important as your bait when it comes to chasing Summer Crappies.

I like a light to medium-light action rod paired with a Piscifun Viper X 1000. Having a reel that has smooth operation and a smooth drag makes for a perfect one two punch makes also makes a big difference especially when you're pitching a jig and reeling back slowly. The drag system is important as well, because the mouth of a Crappie can rip rather easily. Having a smooth drag will keep more of those big slabs pinned on the hook.


Don't let the Dogdays of summer discourage you from chasing Crappies. Get started early morning at the crack of dawn or head out for an evening trip as the sunsets. By using the tips above, I have no doubt that you will be able to locate and catch Summer Crappies on your home water!

August 01, 2022 — truwild life


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