Winter Crappie Fishing Tips from The B’n’M Pros

Winter Crappie Fishing Tips from The B’n’M Pros

November 28, 2022

Winter Crappie Fishing Tips from The B’n’M Pros

By Phillip Gentry


With cold weather knocking on the door and winter crappie fishing season heating up, a few tips from the B’n’M ProStaff might be just what you need to go from zero to hero out on the water or land those couple of good extra fish that will land you a check in the next local crappie tournament.

So many crappie anglers miss out on some great fishing because they’d prefer to wait it out till warmer weather arrives when in fact, November through early March is one of the best times to catch both size and numbers of crappie, no matter where you fish.

The obvious first question is where to look for wintertime crappie. B’n’M ProStaff manager said there are several options, including manmade structure like bridge overpasses, deep water rip-rap and of course deep water brushpiles and stumps, but he admits probably his number one go-to is channel ledges.

Finding smaller pods of baitfish will be more productive for winter anglers than competing with an endless layer of bait.

“Wintertime is all about ledge fishing,” said Driscoll. “No matter what lake I’m on, I’m going to go out into open water and find the edge of the major river channel or the drop off of a major creek channel. The top of the ledge may be anywhere from 12 feet to 20 feet deep and drop off even deeper down into the channel. Crappie will hold on some type of wood cover along these ledges and you have to be able to see them with your sonar to know where to position your boat to fish for them.”

Another key aspect to both finding and catching crappie this time of year is finding the baitfish they are feeding on. Again, sonar will help with this, but that’s not the entire equation. According to pro-staff Ronnie Capps, you need to find the right bait situation.

“We see a lot of times whether we’re fishing our home lake at Reelfoot or maybe over at Kentucky Lake or over at Grenada that baitfish are layered up in big waves,” said Capps. “It’s so thick the screen lights up all the way to the bottom. That’s never worked out too well for us. First, there’s too much other bait to get noticed. I’d a lot rather find bait in small pods and preferably not hugging the bottom like they’ll do.”

Guide John Harrison said minnows are not high on his choice of baits in the winter, but they have their place.

When it comes to wintertime baits, the conditions you’re fishing in and the species of crappie you’re after have a lot to do with what’s going to work best on the end of your line. Crappie guide John Harrison said a live minnow can be the best or worst thing to use.

“A lot of people make the mistake of fishing with minnows when the water is cold in the winter,” said Harrison. “Now I will tip with minnows in the spring, but in the wintertime, I don’t think they’re necessary. I will put some scent on my jig like a crappie nibble or something that will stick to the bait, but I don’t tip with minnows.”

“The exception to that rule might be when I’ve got exceptionally clear water and I’m trying to catch black crappie,” he said. “I believe that black crappie are more finicky than white crappie and then I will only use the smallest, tiniest minnow that I can find.”

Make sure to bundle up before you put the boat in the water this winter, and when you do, make sure to include B’n’M fishing in your tackle and gear choices. For crappie anglers we’ve got you covered no matter what style of fishing you prefer or where you love to fish.

Check out our website at and look for our newest items available for 2023 in our catalog.




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