Crappie does spawn in the spring and are much easier to find in large quantities at this time, but the truth is crappie can be caught any time of the year. Perhaps the key to catching more crappie in the winter months would be to understand their seasonal habits and fish accordingly. Most importantly, know that fishing for crappie during this season may pose a challenge, but is well worth it!
When the weather begins to get warmer, crappie fish begin to migrate toward the shallows. Leaving their deeper water homes, they prepare to spawn. The timing and duration of the spawning will be different depending on the lake conditions, weather patterns, and current weather conditions.
Look for crappie during their migration, in structure such as piers, brush, and undergrowth. You will readily find them eager to munch on anything they can find because of their need for fast moving, to get to their destination.
When fishing in the late parts of winter and early spring, remember that the northern most sides of lakes and bodies of water tend to warm first, and most crappie will move to the warmer areas, and need to feed. Murky water also tends to heat faster than clear water, and your chances of getting a good catch in these types of areas is very good. Look at the layout of the lake or area you will be fishing. Where are the most ideal places for crappie to be at this moment?
In actuality, fishing for crappie during the winter months is the most predictable time of the year as far as fish behavior is concerned. During the cold time of the year, these fish will always be found in the deeper parts of the water. Using a depth finder and concentrating on the deepest areas is a great way to find the crappie for which you are looking.
The tendency for crappie to seek seclusion in structure might deviate during this time of the year. You can also find the crappie suspended in the water about midway, but looking for baitfish, such as shad, is a good way to locate the crappie you seek. With depth in fishing, tailor your fishing tackle, fishing line and rod to deeper waters. Be sure that you consider the importance of line strength here.