Warmer temperatures kick off crappie craze

UNDATED – Chilly shallows are beginning to warm, thanks to higher temperatures and more daylight hours.

Take advantage of the warmer weather by targeting crappie as they move into shallower water.

Indiana is home to two species of crappie: black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) and white crappie (Pomoxis annularis; hereafter referred to as crappies). Both are commonly referred to as panfish and can be found in many of Indiana’s streams, ponds, and lakes. The two species have some differences in water quality preferences but due to their similarities, they are managed jointly with a 25-fish daily bag limit. 

Crappie are an excellent eating fish that are easy to catch and clean. Crappie fishing is best during the spring and fall when crappie move into shallower water 

Spawning takes place in late April and May when water temperature reaches about 55°F. 

Smaller bodies of water in the southern part of the state will warm up faster.

Use crappie jigs or live bait such as minnows, and focus your efforts around areas with sunken logs, standing timber, brush piles, weedy edges, or docks.

Find great locations on the Department of Natural Resources’ Where to Fish Map. You can also find the best crappie fishing locations listed on the DNR crappie fishing website.