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Crappie Fishing In Tennessee For 2024

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Tennessee is a haven for crappie fishing.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Crappie Fishing

Crappie Fishing

How To Fish For Crappie In Tennessee

Crappie, esteemed for their delectable flesh and spirited fights, present an enticing challenge for anglers of all experience levels. These schooling fish offer an array of opportunities for catching crappie throughout the year. Understanding their habits and preferred environments is key to success. Many Tennessee lakes offer both black crappie and white crappie.

Best Way To Catch Crappie

Use light tackle, with 4 to 6-pound line and small hooks (#2 or #4) for live bait. Small crappie jigs are also productive and come in a wide range of colors to work in varied water clarity. Experiment with colors until you find the one that works best that day. For drifting or trolling, 1.2 miles per hour seems to be an ideal starting point. For jigging, experiment with very slow, to aggressive action.

2024 Crappie Fishing Options

Black Crappie

Black Crappie

Black crappie, also known as specks, are typically found in deeper, cooler waters. They are known for their distinctive black mottled patterns and their preference for submerged vegetation or woody cover. Anglers targeting black crappie often use techniques such as vertical jigging, casting with small jigs or minnow imitations, or fishing with live bait near structures. The current Tennessee state record for black crappie stands at over 5 pounds

White Crappie

White Crappie

White crappie, also known as silver perch, are known for their silvery coloration and vertical stripes. They are more tolerant of warm water and can be found in shallower areas with less cover. White crappie are often found near submerged brush, fallen trees, or rocky shorelines. Anglers targeting white crappie in Tennessee lakes often use similar techniques as with black crappie, such as jigging or using live bait. The current Tennessee state record for white crappie is over 5 pounds.

Locating Schools Of Crappie In Tennessee

Generally speaking, warm-water lakes with submerged brush create the ideal environment for crappie. Other lakes in the state also have nice populations of crappie. Using a fish finder is the best way to locate crappie. They tend to be school up near brush (or other cover), and tend to stack vertically on the fish finder screen. Without a fish finder, use the old-fashion method of trial and error in areas with submerged brush.

Crappie make a great fish fry

Spring emerges as the prime season for crappie enthusiasts in Tennessee, as these cunning fish engage in their annual spawning runs. During this time, they exhibit heightened activity levels, making them more susceptible to angling efforts. Crappies are particularly fond of cover, seeking refuge among submerged brush, stumps, or artificial structures. These structures provide shelter and ambush points, making them ideal hunting grounds for crappie anglers.

Top Crappie Fishing Techniques

Still-fishing, casting, trolling, and drifting are all viable methods for enticing these elusive fish. Each approach requires careful consideration of factors such as water depth, structure, and prevailing weather conditions. Anglers must adapt their tactics accordingly.

In the early hours of dawn, crappies often venture closer to the surface in search of prey. As the sun ascends in the sky, they gradually descend to depths of 5 to 10 feet or more, depending on water clarity and environmental variables. Midday finds them seeking refuge in deeper waters, often retreating to depths of 25 feet or beyond. However, as dusk approaches, crappies may once again ascend towards shallower water depths, drawn by the fading light and the promise of nocturnal feeding opportunities.

Night Fishing For Crappie

Fishing for crappie at night presents a particularly enticing prospect for crappie enthusiasts, with the cover of darkness often enhancing their feeding instincts. Warm-water lakes, in particular, offer fertile grounds for nocturnal angling excursions year round. Crappie fishing lights, strategically positioned to attract insects and smaller baitfish, can serve as beacons of opportunity for opportunistic crappies prowling in the darkness. Live minnows or crappie jigs are the top producers at night. At night, anchor over deeper water nearby brushy shorelines and allow the crappie lights to draw the fish to you.

Bait For Crappie

When it comes to bait selection, crappies exhibit a voracious appetite for a variety of offerings. Live bait, especially minnows, are often the best bait for crappie. In addition, worms and crickets are perennial favorites among many anglers, enticing bites with their natural movements and scents. Artificial lures, including jigs, spinners, and soft plastics, also hold considerable appeal, mimicking the appearance and behavior of crappie's preferred prey.

Top 5 crappie fishing lures for Tennessee this year

Crappie jigs work well in water from 2' to 40' deep, and are the most popular artificial lure for crappie, ever. When crappie are shallow, spinners, small crankbaits and underspins are the often very productive. As they move deeper, spoons are among the top producers if the crappie are active. Review details for the best crappie rig options. Understanding the seasonal movements of crappie can enhance your chances of using these lures in the ideal locations.

Where To Find Crappie

As for the question of where to catch crappie, the answer lies in their penchant for structure and cover. Tennessee lakes, ponds, rivers, and reservoirs all provide potential habitats for these versatile fish. Anglers should focus their efforts on areas with ample cover, such as submerged vegetation, fallen trees, and rocky outcrops. By carefully assessing the aquatic landscape and employing effective fishing techniques, anglers can unlock the secrets of crappie fishing and enjoy bountiful harvests year-round.

Crappie Fishing Video

2024 Best Crappie Fishing Lakes In The State

All about fishing for white and black crappie.

Tennessee fishing waters and crappie go hand in hand. Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley and Reelfoot Lake are among the best opportunities for finding great crappie holes this year. Other major lakes in the state, with quality crappie fishing include Boone Lake, Calderwood Reservoir, Center Hill Lake, Cheatham Lake, Cherokee Lake, Chickamauga Lake, Chilhowee Lake, Cordell Hull Lake, Dale Hollow Reservoir, Davy Crockett Lake, Douglas Lake, Fort Loudoun Lake, Fort Patrick Henry Reservoir, Garrett Lake, Gibson County Lake, Great Falls Lake, J Percy Priest Lake, John Sevier Reservoir, Melton Hill Lake, Nickajack Lake, Normandy Lake, Norris Lake, Ocoee Lake, Old Hickory Lake, Parksville Reservoir, Percy Priest Lake, Pickwick Lake, South Holston Lake, Tellico Reservoir, Tims Ford Lake, Watauga Lake, Watts Bar Lake and Woods Reservoir. Many other small lakes, rivers and ponds also contain excellent schools of crappie.

Fishing Boats For Rent In TN

Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 5 lbs 7 oz

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 5 lbs 1 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

A private pond turned out the state record black crappie.

The state record white crappie was pulled out of Garner Brown's Pond.

Crappie are actually a member of the sunfish family and can be found in many Tennessee lakes. Crappie are known by many different local names. Paper mouth, goggleye, bridge perch, slabs and speckled perch, are just a few.

Big slab crappie are not only fun to catch, but are a fish-fry favorite!

 

Check out crappie information, by state.

AL Crappie Fishing AR Crappie Fishing AZ Crappie Fishing CA Crappie Fishing CO Crappie Fishing CT Crappie Fishing DE Crappie Fishing FL Crappie Fishing GA Crappie Fishing IA Crappie Fishing ID Crappie Fishing IL Crappie Fishing
IN Crappie Fishing KS Crappie Fishing KY Crappie Fishing LA Crappie Fishing MA Crappie Fishing MD Crappie Fishing ME Crappie Fishing MI Crappie Fishing MN Crappie Fishing MO Crappie Fishing MS Crappie Fishing MT Crappie Fishing
NC Crappie Fishing ND Crappie Fishing NE Crappie Fishing NH Crappie Fishing NJ Crappie Fishing NM Crappie Fishing NV Crappie Fishing NY Crappie Fishing OH Crappie Fishing OK Crappie Fishing OR Crappie Fishing PA Crappie Fishing
RI Crappie Fishing SC Crappie Fishing SD Crappie Fishing TN Crappie Fishing TX Crappie Fishing UT Crappie Fishing VA Crappie Fishing VT Crappie Fishing WA Crappie Fishing WI Crappie Fishing WV Crappie Fishing WY Crappie Fishing
 
The life cycle of crappie.

The more you know about crappie, the easier it will be to locate and catch them in Tennessee lakes and rivers. Visit the crappie fishing page for details about their seasonal migrations.