Black crappie love worms and minnows. Be sure to check with each body of water to see if live minnows are allowed to be used as bait. Using a slip bobber is optimal to avoid compromising casting distance. Target depths of three to five feet deep during the spring and fall. During the summer crappie tend to go to cooler deeper waters. If fishing during the middle of the day cast to shaded areas that have tree cover or a potential bridge nearby. Crappies also travel in schools so after the first catch continue casting in the same area. During overcast days anglers will have most luck keeping to three to five feet in depth. Shallow weed lines are great spots for schools of crappies.
Ice fishing for crappie provides great action through the winter months. Schools of crappies will be found in the same area they were prior to the freeze. Using jigs on hooks in a short jerking motion while ice fishing will provide excellent results. Toward the end of winter, the black crappies go to bays to find spawning areas. During this time, feeding is increased as they are preparing for spawning, which can provide excellent fishing opportunities for anglers. Be sure to check with your local zone to see when black crappie are open.