Category: Finicky Walleye

Crappie Fishing Tips: Keep An Eye On Water Temperature

Crappie Fishing Tips
Crappie Fishing Tips

Many experienced anglers feel that water temperature is one of the most critical factors when considering crappie fishing patterns. Crappie fish will behave differently and will spend time in different areas depending on what the ambient temperature is. For an inexperienced angler, this can seem like unpredictable or irrational behavior. However, once you have learned what to look for, you’ll have the ability to locate crappie any time you want to.

There are lots of websites that give many great crappie fishing tips, but there probably aren’t any that are more important than keeping an eye on the water temps…

If you want to be able to locate the fish quickly, you will need some way to measure the temperature of

Crappie Fishing Tips
Crappie Fishing Tips

the water. An ordinary pool thermometer will work just fine. Another of the important crappie fishing tips is to use a depth finder that will also read the temperature of the water’s surface. Once you know what the surface temperature is you can easily figure out what the temperature is below the surface. Normally it is just a few degrees cooler. Keep in mind that bays that are protected and shallow creeks can be cooler or warmer than large bodies of water that have more motion.

Crappie will usually move from their deep water hideouts when the temperature begins to reach around 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. They will begin to congregate around the entrances to creek channels at this temperature and start migrating toward bays and creeks that are shallower. Crappie fishing patterns for this behavior would include the use of a hair jig or curl tail grub in isolated pockets, stumps, and brush. Trolling jigs and minnows is also a good idea.

When the water warmth starts to warm up a bit more, to around 55-60 degrees, the male crappie will start to search for shallow water spawning beds. Female crappie will be nearby in deeper waters. Crappie feeding grows more aggressive as spawning time gets closer. Use a minnow under a cork close to the spawning beds to catch males, and cast using a slow retrieve to catch females. Crappie will spawn in shallow areas once the surface temperature climbs to approximately 62-65 degrees. Female crappie can be found moving in and around any bushy areas of cover during this time.

Keep in mind that bad weather and cold fronts can slow things down a bit. Depending on the weather, the spawning season may not progress as you expect. Once the temperatures reach 70-75 degrees, the female crappie with venture from their nests and return to the deeper structures that they occupied before spawning and the male crappie will stay behind to protect the nests. Again, a slow cast and retrieve is ideal in this situation. As the water further warms, the males will rejoin the females, and the migration cycle will continue in reverse as they travel back to the deep and cool areas for the summer.

When the fall temperatures cool the water, the crappies begin to move back out through the creek channels for heavy feeding before the winter months. They will likely be seen halfway up the tributaries, close to locations they favored before spawning. When the water temperatures drop into the mid-forties, they will move to deeper water for the winter.

Lures that Tempt Even the Most Finicky Walleye

Choices can be difficult, especially when it comes to the gear in your tackle box. I’m the type of person who gets interested in buying EVERYTHING when it comes to walleye fishing! Cotton Cordell has some very successful lures. The Grappler Shad, the Wally Diver and the Ripplin Red Fin are three that should be part of any Cotton Cordell collection.

The Grappler Shad is a good all around lure. This Shad is designed to look like a natural baitfish in big trouble. Walleyes like to eat anytime, but they find a forage fish in distress the most appealing meal waiting to happen. The eye and body shape are both as natural as can be. The people at Cotton Cordell even remembered to add gill patterns.

The color spectrum covers the simple, basic patterns to the flamboyantly-styled glitz.

The Shad should be your first crankbait choice when hitting colder waters. This lure has a tight wiggle action that is particularly appealing no matter what state of mind the walleye are in. It has the look and motion that make the fish want a closer look.

This is a tough lure and can hold up against the most aggressive strikes. It has bronze hooks that are extra sharp so that you can get a better set. Stainless steel split rings also help this lure keep its heavy-duty status.

The highlight of this lure is the tie-point. It is a bill design that has been given added strength to improve the overall performance. The bill can withstand trolling or casting at higher speeds then similar lures.

Wally Diver

The Wally Diver is the most popular bait in the Cotton Cordell family. This bait was designed to get to the ideal depth quickly. There is a size for every depth. If you need to fish shallow or deep, there is a Wally Diver for you. It can even pull walleye out from the Great Lakes, which is always a challenge.

It comes in a rainbow of colors that any picky walleye would love. It has a slender body and a tempting wiggle that helps with setting the hook. Whether spring has sprung or fall has crept in, the Wally Diver can bring in the walleye.

It is hard to pass up a lure that looks like it is moving while still in the package. That is what makes the Ripplin Red Fin so cool. The molded waves in the side make this lure appear to be in constant motion.

The hollow head adds action as does the Classic V-wake design. It fairly buoyant but that doesn’t keep it from running true. Walleye just love to strike this lure. Most anglers can’t resist it themselves.

Cotton Cordell has made a living producing lures that walleyes just can’t resist. Every tackle box and angler should have a few on hand. An angler can’t go wrong by adding the Ripplin Red Fin, the Wally Diver and the Grappler Shad to their collection. The walleye may be swimming, but a Cotton Cordell lure will keep them from hiding from you. Have fun fishing!