The focus always seems to be on fishing for crappie on a kayak, a boat, or even a little aluminum flat-bottom with a trolling motor. No one ever talks about fishing for crappie from the bank, even though anglers definitely do that, in abundance.
There is a high strategic advantage to fishing for crappie on a bank, especially when they move into shallower waters throughout specific parts of the year. Crappie doesn’t sit still in the middle of a lake, after all. They move around quite a bit. If you play your cards right, fishing crappie from the bank can be very profitable.
Tips for Crappie Fishing from a Bank
Crappie aren’t inherently crafty fish—they just happen to move around quite a bit. There are a lot of different rigs for fishing crappie, mostly because there are several different ways anglers have to go after them.
1. Spring bank fishing for crappie
Springtime is the best time for fishing off the bank. That’s because crappie tend to move towards shallower water for the spawning season. Some come in early, sticking close to the bottom and hanging around in areas that warm up rapidly in the sunlight.
2. Summertime is good too
The only big change in the summer is that crappie prefer a little more cover. That includes columns under bridges, rocks on the bottom, weeds, and under piers. They’ll jump out of their cover to search for food early in the morning and late in the evening but won’t go far.
3. Best time of day
As we mentioned above, early in the day and late in the afternoon are the best times to fish for crappie on the bank. This is during the spring and the summer, not fall and winter.
4. Bank selection
Avoid shallow banks with wide-open water. You want steep banks where there are a variety of play places going on in the water. You want weeds, piers, underwater driftwood, rocks, and anything of that nature.
5. Don’t bother fishing midday
Anglers will generally be honest with you on this one. While there might be the occasional angler that will talk about the bucket full of crappie they caught the other day around 1 o’clock, it’s not likely.
6. Dock fishing counts
Vertical jigging from a dock is a fantastic way to catch crappie, and it still counts as fishing from the bank. Don’t worry, it’s not cheating. What fishing from the bank primarily means is that you aren’t going on the lake in a boat.
Best Rig to Use
There are several ways to approach this. For instance, if you know the crappie are in the weeds, hanging around the pillars, or hiding under rocks, go vertical. A vertical jigging spoon is a very successful setup in the middle of the day, when the crappie are in hiding.
Live bait, such as live minnows have more success in open water, early in the morning and late in the afternoon. This coincides with the time when most baitfish are lurking outside their hiding spots.
A slow but steady bobber rig is a great option as well. All you need is a soft plastic and a bobber. Move the bobber slowly every now and then, and the rest is history. If you get the opportunity to do so, purchase a castable fish finder.
The iBobber is great for this, and it will give you a vivid picture of where the fish are and where to put your rig. It’s also beneficial because you will know if your rig is working or not because you know where the fish are.
Bank fishing for crappie is fun, and you will find a lot of success if you go at the right time of the year and day. Rig setup is just as important as it is on a boat. In fact, not much changes except for where your feet are planted and where they’re not.
One of your best friends is an iBobber, or something similar. Your advantage on the bank is enormously supplemented when you know exactly where the fish are. Consider fishing on the dock as well, especially once the early morning has passed or before late afternoon.
Visit the OutdoorWorld Reviews homepage for more expert crappie fishing tips!