I love crappie fishing, and I can't really say why. Maybe it's the fact that they're one of Ohio's prettiest fish, silver and black with flat sides and high dorsal fins. Or that they're so deliberate. No line screaming strikes here, just a gentle bounce or two of the float, then a slow sliding away that gives you plenty of time to pick up your rod or cane pole and retrieve a flopping fish.
I like the lack of necessity for fancy equipment, too no tackle box filled with glittering worms and hardware, just a No. 6 hook, splitshot, and thin pencil float with a minnow on the hook, or a little jig with twistertail. There are lots of them too, and they're top table fare, not being called "panfish" for nothing. Multiple reasons for me to seek them now, and plenty of reasons for readers to seek them, too. Which they do.
Visit any crappie hotspot this weekend, and you'll see people gathered around every half drowned log and brushpile Most of them will have at least a few, hopefully enough for a good dinner. And many will be family groups, mom and dad and the kids. One woman told me last spring as she unhooked a fine crappie "We don't fish most of the year, but we do go out during crappie season. We just like to sit along the bank and catch some."
For most area anglers that's all that's necessary, just sit on the bank with a long rod or pole, fish around the woody structure that crappies like with a minnow, and you'll likely catch some, too. If relaxing along shore watching redwing blackbirds swaying on a cattail makes for a good mornings fishing, so be it. But there are ways to improve your catch, and if you're willing to take a little exercise to build a real skilletfull, here's how you do it.