It is no surprise that the spring months are the months when a lot of fishermen/women try to get in as much fishing as they can. Those who like to catch crappies also fall into this pattern.
What they are missing is that the fall months offer some of the best crappie fishing you can hope to find. There are many fall crappie fishing techniques you can use to bag lots of them.
Sure, the spring can be a comfortable and fun time to go fishing. The crappie spawn is in full swing and it can be easy to catch your limit.
Fall can be equally fun and rewarding. In fact, outside of a few weeks when turnover can make fishing a bit tough, I believe fall is and excellent time to catch crappie, and slabs in particular. What I want to do is provide some tips that will help you develop more of an appreciation for crappie fishing during the fall. I also hope that these tips will help you catch a stringer full every time you go out there this fall!
Here is a cool video of a guy fishing Lake Grapevine here in north Texas. This is one of the lakes I fish all the time!
WHERE ARE THE CRAPPIE?
First, while there might be a lot of crappies around in the fall months this doesn’t mean that you’ll have an easy time finding them. In the summer and winter months they can be found deep in the water. But fall is a bit different!
In the springtime you’ll find them in shallow water, because this is spawning season.
In the fall these fish tend to be suspended. What this means is they can either be deep or shallow. Fall is kind of like a mixture of all the other months put together.
I wrote an article covering tips on crappie fishing that talks a bit more about the season as they relate to crappie fishing
Here are some guidelines you can follow for locating them:
- In the early fall the summer is just ending. So you’re still going to have some pretty high temperatures. The crappie fishing methods you use in the summer shouldn’t change in the early fall. This means fishing deep.
- When we get to the middle of fall this is where you’ll get your best fishing. Crappies of various sizes will be located everywhere and
anywhere. Here’s a tip. If you have certain spots you focus on in the spring for targeting them, then go back to these spots in the mid fall. Your chances of finding lots of crappies go up.
- In the late fall once the water temperature gets to be below 50 degrees, then you’ll want to start fishing deep again.
Here is a cool article I wrote on fall crappie
HOW TO CATCH THEM
The goal is to catch not just lots of crappies in the fall, but bigger ones to. So what we’re going to first recommend is that you find some stumps in mid depths.
Yes, there’s a higher chance that you’ll get hung up frequently as a result of fishing these areas. You will lose some terminal tackle, but it’s worth it. Going with a weedless presentation should help in this regard. Switching to 6 or 8 pound test line will sometimes allow you to straighten the Aberdeen hook and retrieve it, rather than losing it all together.
You can also look for stumps, brush and tall grass in shallow areas of the water. Just be sure that when you target for these areas you don’t scare the crappies away and be sure to fish them shallow.
Docks and barges work as well to catch crappies, but you’ll want to use vertical jigs in these areas. Be sure to stay in close proximity to these structures though and make use of slow presentation as well as slow retrieval. This is where I do most of my Fall crappie fishing!
HOW TO LOCATE THE RIGHT DEPTH
You’ll want to make use of multiple poles in order to locate the right depth. The best way to go about this is to set up 3 poles and put similar bait on each of them at varying depths. Begin with one of them at 5 feet deep, the next pole can be about 10 feet and the remaining pole can be about 15 feet.
You’ll want to alter depths in order to be sure you cover every combination until you get to the bottom. After you’ve done this, then be sure you have a way to keep track of what depth the crappies are biting at. When you’ve discovered this, then you can place all of your poles at that particular depth.
This crappie fishing basics article covers the importance of finding the right depth as well as some other important topics
FINDING THE RIGHT COLOR JIG
Crappies have particular colors of jigs they like, especially in the fall months. You can make use of the process just discussed in the previous paragraph when it comes to finding the right color of jig. Crappies are going to prefer different colors on different days, so no one color will work all the time.
Use the process mentioned previously with three poles, just make sure you use 3 different lure colors. Make sure you start all 3 poles at the same depth. Change depth (all together) every 5 minutes or so until you find what color they like. Then once you’ve found a color that appears to be working use that color for all three of the poles.
During the fall months, I have found that white, chartreuse, pink and combinations of these colors work pretty good. Try these first to see if they get you any hits. But make sure you have a wide variety of colors and types available. You never know what the crappie will like on a given day.
Here is an article I wrote on crappie jigs if you are interested!
So in conclusion if you want to enjoy some good crappie fishing in the fall, then the right techniques are all you need.
It all starts with you understanding how to locate them. In the early fall you’ll need to fish them deep. In the mid fall you’ll want to test out different depths until you find one where the crappies are biting, because the switch up a lot due to inconsistent water temperatures.
In the late fall you’ll need to fish deep again. Fishing around the right structures and in areas where there are stumps,
brush and tall grass is also important.
Test in order to make sure the color of jigs you use are working. With these tips and techniques you should have no problem catching lots of crappies in the fall. Yes, sometimes fall fishing will get frustrating, but catching more/bigger fish is not that hard and you can avoid crowds.
I hope that you found this article helpful. If you have some cool techniques that I have not mentioned here, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.
Good Fishin’ to you,