How to Catch February Crappie Day 4: Knowing How...

Bass Fishing Changes – Younger Anglers, Equipment and Tactics...

Comments Off on How to Catch February Crappie Day 5: Understanding Structure to Catch February Crappie Crappie Fishing, Fishing Advice

How to Catch February Crappie Day 5: Understanding Structure to Catch February Crappie

Show This to Your Friends:

Editor’s Note: Brad Whitehead of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, has guided crappie for 23 years. in northwest Alabama on the Tennessee River, Wilson and Pickwick lakes, and a small chain of lakes called the Bear Creek Development Authority. A day or two before he has clients, he’s in contact with two or three other fishermen in each area to learn which lake is producing the best. Whitehead’s information on fishing for crappie in February depends primarily on the water’s temperature. You can use that information to adapt your fishing for crappie to where you live and fish. You can contact Whitehead at 256-483-0834 or [email protected]. Or, see Facebook.

I believe that the first four hours of daylight are the very best to fish. If you don’t have your limit of crappie during the first four hours, catching will be tough the other two hours. But we’ll fish for six hours.  

I’m often asked, “What makes you consistently successful at catching crappie?” We put out a lot of structures in the lakes that I fish. My son fishes on the Collegiate Bass Trail, so he helps me put out a lot of brush in lakes that he knows he and his teammates will be fishing. I’m often asked, “How do you know where to put that structure?” My answer is, “You don’t. If you put out 10 stake beds or brush piles, only about four of those fish attractors will hold crappie later.

I have a friend who will work with me all day. We may put out 600 stake beds. When I go to the Bear Creek Development Authority lakes in February, I may be able to see 200 treetops or brush piles because the water is being drawn down that month. If you look at those tops, you’ll say to yourself, “Man, I can catch crappie out of every one of those tops.” However, the truth is, “No, you can’t.”

There are just some stake beds and brush piles where crappie don’t want to be. I don’t know why; they just don’t. Every crappie doesn’t like a river birch treetop. Another group of fish may not like a hickory treetop. There’s one top we never put out, and that’s pine trees. I’ve never caught a crappie around a submerged pine tree. We prefer to put out hardwood tops and stake beds.

On the Bear Creek lakes, I’ve got about 1,500 fish attractors that I can fish. On Wilson, I’ve got about 500. If a crappie guide doesn’t work at building places for his customers to fish, he’s not going to have any customers. The more structures you put in the water you’re fishing, the better your odds are for catching crappie – in February and other months. I think you have to put out some type of fish attractor to take your customers to where you’re pretty sure you can catch crappie. If the crappie isn’t there when you get there, you’ll need several other places you can go to find and catch crappie.

I don’t know of any crappie guide who puts out more structures than Tony Adams on Lake Eufaula in South Alabama. He does it every year. He’s probably got 800 different places where he can take his customers to catch crappie. He probably only fishes about 200 of those, but he has the other 600 just in case he needs to fish them.

Another consideration you have to think about when you’re putting out structures is which way the wind will be blowing when you’re fishing for crappie. I have some places where, if we have a lot of east wind, I can fish, and several spots where, if we have a south wind, I can fish. Regardless of which way the wind blows, I want to have structures under the water that will concentrate crappie that I can take my customers to on the day they want to fish. Even if we’re having a slow day of fishing, I can show my customers the structure I’ve put out and the crappie holding in that structure. Then they’ll know I’ve been working to try and catch fish. If we hit enough spots, we can usually get a limit of nice-sized crappie in February.

I’m often asked, “Do you fish on rainy February days?” I don’t like to, but if I call my customers before the trip and say, “We’ve got 3 inches of rain on the day our trip is scheduled,. What do you want to do? If you want to go, sit, and fish in the rain, we’ll go, sit, and fish in the rain.”

Looking for more content? Check out our YouTube channel and watch “How to Get the Most From your Crappie Guide” by John E. Phillips.

Expert Guidebooks on Crappie Fishing: Best Sellers

Fishing rivers for crappie and being able to find and catch speckled sides consistently has long been one of the mysteries in the crappie-fishing world.

“One of the reasons that river systems are so difficult to fish is because the water’s either rising or falling in them,” says Ott DeFoe, the 2019 Bassmaster Classic champion.

Rivers also are very susceptible to floods and droughts and constantly have current moving through them. Often fast current or slow current in rivers is created by rain or droughts upstream. When rivers flood, they can wash away fish habitat like logs, sunken trees, manmade brush piles and stake beds. But that’s the time when a river also creates new crappie hot spots that haven’t been available to the crappie or the fishermen before the flood. 

Because river systems are so unpredictable, I’ve felt the best way to get the most useful information on how to fish rivers for crappie is to talk to numbers of anglers all over the nation to learn their best tactics.

In this book, I’ve gleaned crappie-fishing wisdom from three dozen crappie anglers and guides from a dozen states, who consistently catch crappie at all times of the year. The tournament crappie fishermen in this book fish most of the country at different times of the year on various river systems and lakes. And, these anglers use techniques you never may have considered, including:

  • Setting up a casting ring with your electronics to keep you from getting too close to the crappie that are holding on underwater structure, while you’re fishing all the way around the structure;
  • Buying an automotive laser temperature gauge to measure water temperature
  • Evaluating the most-productive places to sink brush and other structure, according to prevailing wind direction, the crappie’s summer, fall, winter, and spring migration patterns, and other factors.


Crappie: How to Catch Them Fall & Winter
Yes, you can catch and eat crappie during the fall and winter months. Often, at many places, you’ll catch more and bigger crappies in the fall and winter than you do in the spring and summer. To learn where to find and how to catch cooler weather speckled sides, we’ve interviewed a wide variety of some of the nation’s best tournament crappie fishermen and guides. 

Many of the individuals you’ll hear about in this audiobook are tournament crappie pros who travel the country to fish in crappie tournaments from New York to Florida and from Virginia to California. They use the latest crappie-finding equipment, the best poles, rods, reels, line, and the most-productive baits. Each of the people mentioned in this book has the ability to be dropped out of an airplane anywhere in the United States and catch crappie on any lake close to where they land that contains crappie. 

From over 50 years of crappie-fishing experience, I’ve learned that you get the best advice by interviewing a large number of people who have different tactics and fish under various water, weather, and fishing-pressure conditions.

In this book, you will learn:

  • How to spider-rig (slow-troll), which is one of the fastest-growing techniques for catching the most and biggest crappies in the shortest time
  • How to catch crappie on crank baits and when and where using a crank bait is the most appropriate
  • How to find areas of any lake that will hold large schools of crappies during the winter months – places you can return to time and again and expect them to be there
  • Why competing in crappie tournaments is one of the quickest ways to learn how to catch more and bigger crappie faster
  • Why and how to look for and catch the biggest crappie in a lake


Catch Crappie All Year: Fishing a Single Pole, Using No Boat, and Farming Crappie
I’ve interviewed some of the best crappie fishermen in the nation for my new audiobook, Catch Crappie All Year: Fishing a Single Pole, Using No Boat and Farming Crappie to learn how, where, and when to catch the most crappie with or without a boat while single-pole fishing. I’ve also included information on how to grow a crop of crappie to catch every day of the year. Although I’ve fished in fully rigged crappie boats costing $45,000 – $90,000-plus that can have up to 16 rods at one time to slow troll, I still enjoy….

  • Watching a quill cork sink in a brush top
  • Fishing with an ultralight spinning rod
  • Reeling jigs or minnows along a grass line and feeling that thud when a crappie takes the bait
  • Fishing with family and friends, even if we all can’t fit in one boat
  • Participating in less-expensive and hassle-free yet highly-productive crappie fishing like single poling 

I’ve tried to capture in this new audiobook the old way of crappie fishing with new twists and detailed tactics to aid you in catching crappie all year.


Crappie: How to Catch Them Spring and Summer 
You can catch crappie all year long if you know where to find them and what techniques to use to catch them. However, crappie fishing is so technical these days, and we’ve learned so much about how to crappie fish because of the professional crappie-fishing circuits, that one book can’t hold all the information.

This book is the first of a three-part series on how, where, and when to catch crappie, with the best crappie fishermen in the nation. Many of these men have proven they are the best, because they’ve won crappie-fishing tournaments or been successful fishing guides for many years.

This audio version of Crappie: How to Catch Them Spring and Summer includes crappie pros like Ronnie Capps, who has won seven national championships and over $1 million with his partner Steve Coleman.

We also have Malcolm Lane, Stokes McClellan from North Carolina, Billy Blakeley from Reelfoot Lake, John Woods, Kent Driscoll, fishing biologist and professional basser Ken Cook, and many others. We asked the questions that crappie fishermen want answered about how to find and catch crappie during the spring and summer months, and these fishing tips are the result.

In the world of crappie fishing, no one man knows it all, and that’s why I’ve interviewed so many fishermen, asked so many questions, and tried to get so many answers for you about how to fish.


Comments are closed.