Best Time to Catch Crappie – All about Seasons & Time of Day

At some point, you may have pondered whether those fish with pure, flaky, white flesh, the ones seen in freshwater, can be eaten. Well, those fish go by the name crappie, and according to anglers, crappies are the best-tasting freshwater fish out there.

The crappie is otherwise known as the speck, calico bass, strawberry bass, or by its more sophisticated name, sauc-au-lait. They grow from 5 to 12 inches on average and weigh a pound. But the largest to be ever caught weighed as much as 6 pounds. Talk about huge! So how and when to catch one?

What is the Best Time to Catch Crappie?

The best time to catch crappie is the time when temperatures are not too hot. This means, early mornings or even the night if there is a bright moon or you bring crappie lights, as these fish are very attracted to light sources.

Crappie is also a favorite for ice fishing for a reason. There is no real wrong month or season to go for crappie, but the winter months can be a ton of fun to spend time on a lake ice fishing for crappie with your family and friends.

Best Time of the Day to Fish for Crappie

Crappie is considered an ideal catch for a couple of reasons. For one, it is near the top of the list for being a popular North American game fish. Its diet is diverse, so you can go for many fishing ways to catch them. There are artificial lures, using bobbers, or casting light jigs, the last method being the most foolproof way.

Besides this, they tend to swim in schools, meaning if you catch one, you can be sure there are more lurking nearby. Leave your fishing nets in the water as we will be reading more on the perfect time to go crappie fishing.


Crappie is known for swimming deep during the day when the water gets hot. Early morning is perfect for catching them, particularly during dawn until just after sunrise when the temperature cools.


Late afternoons are ideal for catching crappie. When the day is at its peak, crappie will find shade under the docks. They also become inactive and a bit sluggish in hot water. Challenging, but be sure to bait them right.


Under nighttime conditions, crappie may be easier to catch in areas where there is light. On warmer months, especially on moonlit nights with clear skies, crappie will show in abundance.

Best Time to Catch Crappie by Season

Just like the time of day, seasons are also worth noting when angling for crappie. Although there’s no single best month to catch them, you could at least choose your timing more carefully.

Seasonal crappie fishing tips help you get the best catch. Add your various fishing techniques in the mix, and you can be sure to get a memorable crappie angling experience.


Temperatures over 50 degrees are favorable for crappie spawning. Spring is the most productive month to fish for this kind of fish as they gather in the shallows, so you can take your fair share.


Warmer waters make crappie movements less predictable for the anglers. They usually flock near piers and stick to structures. Thermoclines are also ideal spots for crappie fishing, where warm water meets cold water.


Shallow waters are where the crappie will mostly stay, at approximately 10 feet of depth. These make them easy targets, and most crappies are adults already, making them bigger and better catches.


Crappies are well-loved among the ice fishing community, not for all anglers. They go deeper when the water is cold, at 25 to 40 feet. So go fishing in the afternoon when it is a bit warmer.


Crappie anglers should make it a point to do advance preparation anytime they go fishing for crappie. Picking a good fishing spot is not all.

You also need the right gear and to know crappie’s movements at all hours of the day and for all seasons. That way, you get to go where the fish are biting and get yourself a mighty crappie catch.