Swim-pressive Spawning Facts: When Do Crappie Spawn?

Sakshi Thakur
Mar 07, 2023 By Sakshi Thakur
Originally Published on Nov 01, 2021
Man holding Crappie fish

Fishing is an adventure in itself.

You feel happy going fishing if you are able to catch a lot of fish. For this, you will have to catch the fish in its spawning season.

Spawning is the time when fish come into shallow water and lay eggs. They stay close by to care for them. At this time, they are close to the surface and also need to eat more. Crappie become easy prey.

Crappie spawning happens in the spring season every year. They like to stay in the warm water. The water temperature reaches 60 F (15.5 C). This is the best time for crappie fishing.

It is interesting to note that the black crappie spawns earlier than the white species. This generally happens from March to May. Similar to panfish, crappie build spawning nests especially for laying eggs safely. They like to stay in shallow water and not deep water, at just 1-6 ft (0.3-1.8 m) deep.

The male crappie are the ones who builds the nest. They use their caudal fins to clear the area. Crappie use it as a brush and make a nest. Once it is ready and eggs are there, it is the duty of the male crappie to guard it.

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about when do catfish spawn or when do bass spawn here at Kidadl?

What month do crappie spawn?

Crappie spawn when the water gets warm.

For crappie, the best season is between March to May. During this time, they stay in shallow water. When there is shade in water, they can be found in 2-3 ft (1 m) deep water.

So, these are the best spots for fishing in spawning areas. Also, in other regions, go at the time of dawn or dusk as there is a better chance of catching fish. You will be able to fill your buckets in no time.

According to scientists, crappie spawn during the photoperiod. This is the time between sunrise and sunset. There must be bright sunlight and warm waters. This is known to trigger the spawning instinct in these fish, something like a heat period for animals.

How many times do crappie spawn a year?

Crappie spawning season is in the early spring.

Crappie are cyclic spawners. They do not spawn each year. And spawning multiple times a year is not done by this fish. There is typically heavy spawning every 3-4 years but there could be light or no spawning the year following a heavy spawning season.

Male crappie brush aggressively and make a nest where the females lay the eggs. Crappie are not like bass fish that spawn each year. You must not miss the spots that provide cover. It can be near docks and long-stemmed reeds.

There can be man-made shelter as well. So, try to locate them in places where they can hide from predators and keep their eggs safe. This is their own way to tackle problems.

When do crappie spawn in the fall?

Crappie mostly spawn in the early spring season but crappie may spawn in the fall as well.

This can happen as the fall days resemble the spring season in terms of water temperature. You can go crappie fishing this season and strike lucky. Try for shallows close to a river. The water clarity must be good.

The north section of lakes generally has warm water. This is the place where you must use bait and set your anglers. Slowly lower the bait so that you do not disturb the crappie. They will come to bite the baits and get caught. It will make catching crappie easy.

Crappie males guard their nests and they do not go far from them. Look close to a location where there is a cover for them to make a nest. The spawning season will last till June.

When do crappie spawn in lakes?

Crappie spawn in the warm seasons of the year. The waters begin to become warm at around 60 F (1.5 C).

In deeper lakes, crappie come up on the water table and spawn. The female crappie are much more comfortable here. In the time of rain or rise of the water table, crappie come to shallow depths of the lake. You can take your boat to the shallow end and set your anglers.

You will be able to grab a lot of fish, good in quality and big size, but you must not be selfish. Do not overdo it. If there are very few male and female crappie, then you will not get enough fish in the coming seasons.

You must release the bait and put crappie in the icebox soon to keep it fresh for longer. The south part of the lake is used for spawning by the fish if it has shallow depths. Bring a variety of bait and also in large numbers so that you can have your hands full sooner.

How often do crappie spawn?

Crappie spawn in the spring season. Crappie see better in clear water so they can be found in the shallows at this time.

Crappie spawn only once a year. They release a large number of eggs undercover. They do not spawn each year or even full-strength each year. This happens once in 3-4 years only.

Crappie fishing can be done year-round when the water temperatures are warm. These crappie like to stay in water that has suitable water temperatures.

How long does crappie spawn last?

Spawning happens in the spring and not in winter. Crappie like warm waters.

Crappie fish wait for the water to get warm so this event does not happen in winter. You can set your baits out in the water with less depth where there is light and heat. It can be near bays.

Minnows are easy to catch with jigging in areas where there can be nests and there is lesser light in the spring season. Catch them with jigging and put them straight in your icebox. This may not be successful in winter if you want to catch a lot of fish, even by using jigs.

In the early morning, use your jigs to attract fish. Keep your icebox ready when you go out for crappie fishing. Try in places where they can get cover from predators. Idle depth would be 2-3 ft (0.6-1 m).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'When do crappie spawn?' then why not take a look at 'How often to feed fish' or 'Black Crappie facts'.

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Written by Sakshi Thakur

Bachelor of Science

Sakshi Thakur picture

Sakshi ThakurBachelor of Science

Sakshi is a skilled content writer with extensive experience in the education industry. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for helping others, she has developed a reputation for excellence in academic content writing. She has worked with esteemed professionals such as Mr. Kapil Raj, a professor of History of Science at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, further enhancing her knowledge and expertise. Sakshi is well-versed in the latest developments in e-learning and has a deep understanding of how to engage students and make learning fun and accessible. In her spare time, she indulges in her creative passions, including painting, embroidery, and listening to soft music. She also enjoys exploring new cultures and traveling, which helps her broaden her perspectives and inspire her writing. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Science from Panjab University.

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