Tips on How to Catch the Perfect Crappie

DAISY, AR -- We've all probably gone fishing, but it takes time, patience, and a little know-how to keep them on the hook.  The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission recently held a Crappie Fishing Camp in southwest Arkansas to teach anglers the best techniques to use.

"Whenever that rod is loaded up then it's working.  With crappie using long poles you catch the fish with the pole not the reel," said crappie guide Darryl Morris.

Paragould native Darryl Morris uses a global positioning system to help him track where the fish are in the lake.

"Normally I mark the fish on the graph and I put it right on them or five or six inches above them," said Morris.

This system shows where the fish are around a brush pile.  A little fish pops up on the screen showing the fish are there, it's up to them to bite.

"What most people think about crappie fishing is that it's river fishing, but with our techniques you can crappie fish in reservoirs," said Morris.

Some of the most available reservoirs are the numerous lakes in Region 8.  Crappie can be caught in any lake in Arkansas.

"I do a lot of fishing on Lake Charles and I have done very well.  There are two large stump fields there.  You just have to drift and hold in to catch the crappie," said Morris.

Morris has had luck in Lake Poinsett and others around the area but you have to know how to catch them to be successful.

"Depth control is probably the number one key to crappie fishing.  If you're fishing too far above them or below them you're not going to catch them, just as much as you won't catch them if you're not fishing on the brush pile," said Morris.

Crappie can be a tricky fish to catch sometimes.  They are finicky about temperature and light.  You also have to catch them in the right place inside their mouth or you will loose your catch.

"One of the nicknames for crappie is 'paper mouth'.  It's really easy if you get a hook set in the roof of the mouth because it's hard and you're not going to loose your fish.  If you hook them in the side you can see my thumb through it," said Morris.

You also have to use the right type of bait.

"Live bait.  Fish don't get fat off of plastic," said Morris.  "We're using a rosy red minnows which is probably the best bait that there is as far as for crappie."