Catching Crappies from Shore

(Photo courtesy of In-Fisherman.com)
(Photo courtesy of In-Fisherman.com)

Rod, reel and lure tips to catch crappie from shore

Opportunities for catching crappies from shore and other panfish exist throughout North America during fall and winter in areas where ice cover isn’t a factor. Within an hour drive of my central Maryland home, several small lakes produced crappies over 3 pounds – and we catch lots of fish over a pound. In other highly populated regions of the East and Mid Atlantic, similar action awaits the angler on foot, as crappies hold near cover that’s only a cast away in numerous small lakes, ponds, and tidal waterways.

Crappies in smaller environments often aren’t drawn to main-lake basin areas because they don’t exist. Millpond crappies might, however, gang up in the deepest area near the face of the dam – and anglers should check for spillover fish that have washed into the pool just below the dam during periods of high water. In farm ponds, crappies might also hold near cover elements in the deeper areas near the face of the dam. Meanwhile, slabs that live in deeper tidal creeks relate to concrete structures like bulkheads and bridges, or to wood cover that has washed in from storms.

Riprap and boulder areas also draw fish as these spots heat up on sunny days and draw baitfish; plus they provide relief from current and offer shade. Beaver lodges, fallen trees, and sunken brush also exist in some waters. These spots also draw bass, chain pickerel, and channel catfish.


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