Try wade fishing for Crappie
4/5/2019 3:40:32 PM


If you’re tired of fishing from a boat or the bank and want to make your fishing experience more adventurous without much effort, wade fishing for crappie is about as simple as it gets. There is no boat involved, not a lot of gear, and the reward can be great. However, your window of opportunity is short. You will need to go when the crappie move shallow for their spring spawning rituals. April is usually the best month to try this method, but conditions can vary monthly and even annually.

Wade fishing for crappie can be an involved experience. Some might call it close combat fishing, where you truly feel like a predator sneaking up on a potential catch. Without paddles or a trolling motor, you will be stealthier in the water, and odds are you will naturally fish more efficiently because, without the convenience of a boat, it is likely you will commit to fishing a particular area.

Where to go

In Mississippi, the most popular waters for wade fishing for crappie are Mississippi’s flood control reservoirs: Sardis, Grenada, Enid, and Arkabutla lakes. Many anglers know these reservoirs have some of the best crappie fishing in the nation. There are also opportunities at Lake Washington and Eagle Lake. You might even find some people wade fishing areas of Ross Barnett Reservoir.

To find ideal locations for shallow crappie, look for structure in the water that fish will use for spawning. Just look for whatever is prevalent in the body of water you are fishing. At the flood-control reservoirs, target standing timber like cypress trees and even pines. In Ross Barnett Reservoir crappie are known to spawn around aquatic vegetation like cutgrass and water primrose.

What you need

The gear you need to wade fish for crappie is quite simple. You will probably want to have a set of waders because water temperatures are typically cool during the spring. You will need a jig pole or a cane pole, preferably 8 to 10 feet in length. Typically, shorter poles are more desirable, since it is easier to put your bait in tight areas. You will also want to bring a small tackle box for extra jigs, jig heads, and other supplies. Of course, if you plan to keep the fish you catch, you will need a stringer to put them on.

What to watch out for

When wade fishing for crappie, your main worry should be to watch your step. If you are wading in unfamiliar waters, make sure to feel around with your feet before you step. The easiest way to put a damper on your fishing trip is to have your waders fill up with water. Also, the same trees you are targeting for Crappie could also be home to snakes or even wasps. The most important thing is to pay attention to your surroundings so you can have a fun and safe experience.  

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