Bonus coverage: Fishing the crappie spawn
This is a great time of the year to be a crappie fisherman.
As the water warms into the mid-60s, the speckled fish head en masse into the shallows to spawn.
It’s a time when even beginners can fill their stringers or the live wells on their boats and feel like a pro.
Spring is the time of the year when the crappies are most accessible for the average guy or gal. They can be caught by the dozens in the winter and summer by fishermen with advanced electronics on their boats. But at no time are they easier to reach from the bank than in late April and May.
Many Kansas fishermen already are finding out. Within the last week, the shallow bite has exploded at reservoirs such as Milford, Perry, Clinton, and El Dorado.
Want to join the party and catch a limit of the tasty panfish? Here are a few tips:
- The males move in first. Often dressed in their dark spawning colors, they fan out the nests and set the stage.
- The larger, egg-laden females often hang in the brush or along drop-offs along spawning banks and wait for the water temperature to get right before they move in to spawn.
- Rocky or gravel banks that are protected often attract spawning fish.
Not all of the reservoir’s crappies spawn at the same time. Guides will tell you that good spawning habitat attracts a constant mix of incoming and outgoing crappies. Once some fish are done spawning, others will move in to use that habitat.
The spawn will last as long as a month or more, with crappies spawning at different times in different arms of the reservoir. Water temperature and length of day are the two determining factors.
Have you caught a big bass this spring? We want to see it.
We encourage our readers to email photos of you with your prized catch, and we might use it in our next newsletter. Please include your name and a little information on how the bass was caught.
Same way with a technique you might want to share. Or an experience that you will remember for a long time.
Until next time, may your casts be true and your lines be tight.
Brent “Lunker” Frazee