Use Fishfinder, Catch Crappie Like A Pro

Use Fishfinder, Catch Crappie Like A Pro

Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to use a fish finder to catch crappie like a pro. When it comes to North American fish, crappie is a popular choice for anglers. But, catching crappie can be one of the trickiest things to do if you are new to this field.


Hence, since you are already here, we assume that you have your own fish finder and want to know how to catch crappie like a pro. The best part is that most of the latest fishfinders are ready to go right out of the box. Hence, with a little fine-tuning and effort, you can learn how to use a fish finder to catch crappies and other fish, as well as locate structure, like a pro. To effectively locate structure with your fish finder, simply follow our step-by-step guide below.

When and Where to Find Crappie?

One of the most important things to consider is location and timing when catching crappie. As previously stated, crappie fish are most active throughout the hours of dusk and dawn, making those the most productive times of day to catch them while fishing for other species. Crappie fish will also gather around lights at night in order to feed on the smaller fish that are drawn to the lighting.

Use Fishfinder, Catch Crappie

As a general rule, fishing in an area that has an abundance of trash and structure is more likely to result in a successful catch. As long as there’s food around, crappie fish can thrive. If you want to catch fish in an oxbow, seek historic river channels and the lake’s basin. Deep wood and water flow may attract crappie fish to lakes, where they can be found in large numbers. In rivers, crappie fish prefer to hide out in the deepest reaches of the water.


In this case, a good sonar fishfinder will be the best way to find them where everything else tends to fail.


In spring and early summer, the excellent time to catch crappie is during the spawning season. And this is because these spawning crappie fish will be simple to discover in nests and shallow water at this time.

Use Fishfinder, Catch Crappie

In addition to these, birds can also be seen feeding in the area. It’s worth a try if you see a high number of birds feeding in the area where you’re looking for crappie.


However, the appropriate measurement of depth is also critical to success. It’s best to begin by fishing at a lower depth and gradually increasing the height of your bait until you get a few strikes.

Fisherman’s Fishing Guide: How to Catch Crappie Using a Fishfinder

Since you are here, I assume that you already own a fishfinder and installed it on your boat. In terms of setup, I would strongly recommend you keep the default settings of your fishfinder. Because as we stated above, modern fishfinders are good to go right after the unboxing. But obviously, if you are a pro in the fishfinder device, you can adjust it according to your needs.

garmin striker vivid 5cv fish finder

Hence, now it’s time to put all these together and learn how to use fishfinder to catch crappie like a pro. Follow our below fish finders tips for catching crappie.


  • Utilizing the Temperature Feature of Fishfinder 

First thing first, look for shallow, warm water by utilizing the temperature and depth readings on your fishfinder to locate it. This is especially essential in the spring season when crappie and bass fish will gather in warmer water due to the decreased water temperature.


  • Monitor the Fishfinder 

The second tip is to keep an eye on your fishfinder as you begin to pull away from the shoreline in order to look for shelter and structure such as drop-offs. As previously stated, locations with both structure and cover are more likely to hold the greatest number of fish.


  • Focus on Locating the Depth of Water 

With your fish finder, concentrate mostly on detecting structural points. Also, you will have to keep an eye on the depth finder screen and look for any kinds of changes on the surface’s underside as well. That’s where the majority of the crappie fish will most likely be assembling. Here you will get all the crappie you want. Now, as you discovered their rendezvous, you may want to come back here later. So, in your fish finder, save this place and make a waypoint.

Lowrance HOOK2 Autotuning Sonar

  • Now Look for the Fish’s Activity on the Monitor 

Once you have located a structure, use the fish finder to see if there is any activity on the screen. If you see any single fish or tiny schools of crappie, this is obviously a good indication of where the fish are. The fish you see may or may not be crappie, and the only way to find out is to get out there and start fishing! It is recommended that you start out with deep-diving, fast-moving crankbaits to see if you can draw any bites.


  • Look for rocks or humps.

Look for rocks or hills in deeper water, as the fish that live there will have less competition from other anglers, making them potentially more eager to bite when you come across them. It can be difficult to locate such locations without the aid of a map. As a result, as previously said, getting a fishfinder with a pre-loaded map would provide you with a significant edge. Try throwing your favorite baits about this region for a while to see if you can get any crappie to take a whiff of it. Remember to keep an eye on the depth finder screen in case there is any action from the fish.


  • Drive-in Zig Zag Pattern 

Sixth, if you’ve located a structure with your fish finder, drive your boat over it in a Zig-Zag direction while keeping an eye on the fishfinder screen for any other unusual structure that may have been missed. The zigzag pattern will help you to cover and plot the region in the most efficient manner. Even if you don’t discover any fish the first time, mark the location on your device as a waypoint to return to later, or even on another day, to look for them.

Simrad Cruise GPS Chartplotter


Hopefully, you have found these tips above to be valuable. It doesn’t take a lot of specific knowledge to catch crappie fish; all it takes is some time, patience, and a little luck to choose a productive fishing spot. The best part is that if you caught a few crappies, one of the best things about it is that you may continue to fish in that same spot. It is likely that if you catch one crappie, you will be able to catch others in the future because they move in groups. Hence, we hope that you now know how to use fishfinder to catch crappie like a pro.

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