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Crappie fishing in a nutshell

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A quick guide to catching one of Arkansas fishermen’s favorite

Pro Sportsman Online Depending on the time of year that you take a fishing trip, tactics used to catch crappie can vary. For example, if you take a trip in the middle of June or July, you won't find the crappie in shallow water.

Wintertime is shallow water fishing. You'll have to fish closer to the surface, no more than five feet, in the cooler water. This depth can vary depending on several things: the clarity of the water and water current. Water with current is cooler than standing water in summer and, possibly, warmer in winter.

One thing that can force the fish to be shallower is the oxygen content. If the oxygen level gets very low, say below twelve feet deep, fishing deeper would not produce.

During the spawn, crappie require very specific conditions to reproduce. I've heard it said that the fishing activity increases as the full moon nears and during the full moon activity slows and crappie become less active and the least productive time would be during the full moon.

Live bait seems to work better than jigs on a full moon, because it is more likely to catch the attention of a crappie. I always prefer to use artificial anytime I crappie fish, but many times minnows outperform jigs. Many fishermen use a jig tipped with a minnow on the hook.

Slower presentations are required when fish are inactive. When the fish are more active, it takes a little more lure action to get the a large slab's attention.

Favorite lure colors vary greatly from angler to angler. The lead-head varies depending on depth. For water five feet or less, use a 1/32 ounce head.

Continued on Page 9 CRAPPIE (cont.)

Crappie can be found in hundreds of thousands of lakes and rivers all over the United States and is one of the most abundant fish in the country and can be caught even by inexperienced fishermen.

I've found that crappie are not loner fish. Where there's one, there will be many more. That's what makes crappie fishing one of my favorite types of fishing. Some anglers aren't concerned with how many fish the catch but the experience of being outdoors.

For me, being outdoors is great but how many I catch is paramount.

There are two species of crappie: The Black and White. The black crappie gets its name from its darker appearance with black spots covering most of its sides. The white crappie are lighter in color. During spring, the male white crappie changes color and looks very much like a black crappie. I guess it's

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