When is it crappie time?

When is it crappie time? Check oak leaves and dogwoods

LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – There are several indicators in Arkansas folklore of when the crappie really get going.

Two that come to mind, and there are others, are (1.) when pin oak leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear and (2.) when the dogwoods bloom.

Oaks of various species are putting out leaves now, and dogwoods should be blooming most any day.

These are indicators or harbingers of good fishing. The more astute anglers will snort at such yardsticks and tell you simply, "Check the water temperature."

Crappie, bass, bream and catfish become more active and begin actions toward spawning at different water temperatures, and these overlap in range. By bass, it's black bass & dash; largemouth, smallmouth and spotted. White bass start spawning activities, in their case runs up tributaries of lakes, earlier than our main four species, earlier than anything else except walleye.

The water has to be in the 60-degree neighborhood for crappie to take off, a bit warmer for black bass and bream, and warmer by several more degrees for catfish. .

But many in the fishing ranks prefer to use the old folklore yardsticks to the guidance of a thermometer dunked into the lake or river.