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Crappie Fishing

July 09, 2021

Crappie Fishing

Crappie fish is a freshwater fish, regarded as  panfish, and it is among those best-tasting fish. The common name of the fish belongs to many different fishes from the sunfish family. 

Crappie has a silvery scrappy flattened body and has dark or olive markings on the body. Usually, weigh about  1 to 3 pounds and present in the water bodies with slow currents.





There are some other names for crappie fish, and these are 

  • crappie bass

  • strawberry bass

  • papermouths

  • speckled bass

  • white perch

  • calico bass

  • speckled perch

  • Oswego bass


Crappies are not difficult to catch but finding them is a great challenge. If you want higher catch rates than fish for crappie in  the morning and the evening as crappie are actively feeding during this time.

The best season to catch crappie in California is the spring season. Crappie is usually present in the form of schools, so you can catch many crappies with a single cast or not at all. 


As crappies are easy to fight with, the fishing tackle is light and straightforward.

The light spinning rod with a flexible tip and a light spinning reel with a monofilament line is good.




Crappie fishing lures are inexpensive, so there is a wider range of lures to choose from for fishing. However, jigs are the universal lures for the crappies. 

Live baits can be a better option. The bright color attracts the fish more frequently.




The baits and lures producing life-like action make the game easy for you.


Some certain tips and tricks might help when you are fishing for crappie.

  • The best tactic is to stay mobile. If you can't catch a fish after certain casts, then move on to the next spot.

  • The most important key is to learn about the bait height in the water column. Crappies usually strike bait from above rather than below.

  • Another thing that might be helpful is casting and retrieving jigs. More often, erratic movements are enough, and sometimes slower actions might do wonders. Suspending the jig under the bobber might also be helpful. 


California lakes are the home to the crappies. Crappies are mostly found in shallow water at about 10 feet or less in California lakes. Some of the best crappie fishing spots in California are

  • Isabella Lake

  • Clear Lake

  • El Capitan Reservoir

  • Hodges Lake

  • New Melones Lake

  • Berryessa Lake

Isabella Lake:

The 11,200-acre reservoir among the rugged hills of Sequoia National Forest is one of the best crappie fishing lakes in Southern California.




The areas closer to the dam have a high population of crappies. Both white and black crappies are present in the lake. The common crappie fish weight is  1.5- to 2.5-pound.

Clear Lake:

Although the lake is considered the  “Bass Capital of the West,” it can be dubbed California’s crappie capital. The 43,600-acre lake offers the best habitat for crappies. Dock fishing in spring is the best method in the clear lake.




Both black and white crappies are common here in the size and weight ranges 10 to 12 inches,2 pounds  or more. You can fish for crappie throughout the spring.

El Capitan Reservoir:

The 1,500 acres water reservoir 30 miles away from San Diego is known as one of California's best crappie fishing spots.




In springtime, shore fishing is the best option. Brush piles throughout the north end provide a crappie habitat.

Hodges Lake:

Spreading over 1,200 acres, Hodges Lake is one of California’s most reliable crappie factories.




The lake is open from February to October. The best fishing time at the lake from sunrise till sunset.

New Melones Lake:

One of the best of North California’s crappie lakes, having significant populations of both black crappie and bluegill. The spring crappie season starts in March, and the best crappies are in April. The biggest crappie is caught in the autumn season.




Crappie weight ranges from  1- to 2-pound.  Beetle spins are the best choice. You will find crappie at a depth of 30 to 60 feet, the fish usually schooling with bass. 

Berryessa Lake:

In the 1980s, the lake was the powerhouse of the crappie, but the lake faced a serious decline in the crappie’s population in the ’90s. The 20,000 acres lake is the biggest water reservoir in Northern California. 




Crappies have a migratory lifestyle in summer. So, for the springtime crappies, Capell Cove is a good target place.

So what are you waiting for? Go and satisfy your crappie fishing passion. 

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