What You Should Know about California Crappie Fishing

By: Daniel Eggertsen

How much do you know about California crappie fishing? You don't hear a lot about fishing for crappie in California so many people do not realize just how abundant this species is here. In fact, many people may even think that crappie do not live in this area. However, it is interesting to know that even though California is not one of the most well-known places to catch crappie it doesn't mean they are not there. You may be a little surprised to learn that many of the lakes in California have a large supply of crappie most anytime of the year. Below are the names of a few of the lakes and where they are located in California.

If you are fishing in Northern California there are several lakes where you can find crappie. Lake Oroville, Clear Lake, Lake Berryessa and Folsom Lake are a few. Central California has Lake Camanche, Lake McClure, Pine Flat Lake and The Delta Lake. Southern California is home to San Vicente Lake, Big Bear Lake, El Captain Lake and Lake Sutherland. Of course, there are plenty of other lakes in California where you can find crappie, these are just a few. Any one of these lakes would be a great place to fish for crappie when in California.

There are two main types of crappie which are called the Black crappie and the White crappie. The Black crappie is recognized as being dark in color with spotted sides and seven to eight dorsal spines. These are more common in the northern part of California. White crappie has six dorsal spines, is lighter in color and can have eight or nine bands located vertically down its side. These are more common in the Southern areas.

The best techniques to use when fishing for crappie are casting, trolling, still-fishing and drifting. The one you choose will depend on the lake you are fishing and the weather conditions. As any angler knows, different conditions require different techniques to have the most success. The fishing conditions will also determine the types of rod, reels and other equipment you will need when fishing.

You will find that the crappie will usually travel in schools, which make them easier to catch because when you find one there are normally more around. Spring is always the best time to fish for crappie because this is when they are spawning. During this time you can have a lot of success fishing in medium to shallow water. Live bait, spinners and jigs are the best to use with the techniques listed above.

In the summer the crappie will be deeper in the water during the day but they can still be found in the shallows during the early morning and late evening. Live bait, jigs and spoons are great choices for bait. In the fall live bait and spinners work great during the morning and evening hours while spoons and jigs are recommended for the middle of the day. In the winter the crappie are not quite as active so you have to move your bait slower during this time than other seasons. Using small worms and jigs are recommended for the best results.

Some of the best locations anytime of the year to find crappie will be near grassy areas, stumps, brush and any other covering artificial or natural. There are different methods available that you can use for catching crappie that can be very successful. Trolling is one of these methods in which you use several rods to fish with at one time. Other methods include jigging, drifting, casting and still-fishing.

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