Crappie Fishing At Night In Winter – Expert Guide and Insider Tips

Crappie fishing at night in winter is tricky.

But at the same time, this is an activity that draws many passionate anglers in.

They love the challenge of trying to catch crappie even in the dead of winter. But the question is – how do you actually do it?

We explore this fascinating nighttime activity that may be just what you have been looking for. Have a read and learn more about the interesting facts about crappie fishing. Discover the ways to increase your catch and have a great time with it.

Is Crappie Fishing at Night in Winter Really THAT Hard?

Well, first of all, there is an issue with the weather.

Naturally, winter nights are frigid. So, not only are you dealing with the pitch-black sky but also with the dip in temperature.

This is why you may have a tougher time working with the icy cold weather while fishing.

But of course, this is something that can be addressed.

For instance, you can simply dress warmly and in layers. By doing so, there is ample protection from the extreme cold temperature.

Now, aside from that, hardcore crappie anglers need to know something else. You would want to make sure that you have the right tools. This is very important to make sure that you get a good catch.

And of course, you need to know where to look for that fish.

Keep reading, and we’ll lay the basics for you. The crappie fishing tips can benefit not just newbies but even seasoned crappie fishing enthusiasts alike.

Plan It Out

First things first – you need to come up with a smart plan.

When the sun goes down, it can be trickier to get to your spot unless you know where to go ahead of time.

You also have to prepare your tackle while there is still ample light. You don’t want to be fumbling around and trying to figure out what to take and what not to bring with you.

Get your poles and tackles ready at daylight. Also, be sure to have with you your life jacket or life vest, as well as a reliable light source. These will help keep you safe when fishing at night.

Smart Fishing Requires Tactics

It is not surprising that night anglers rely on lights to increase their catch.

After all, planktons are drawn to light… And where there are planktons, there are baitfish, too.

And yes, you guessed it – crappies LOVE baitfish.

So, if you want to hook a bunch of slabs, you want to make sure all the conditions are right. Have your baitfish all moving in the right direction, and you’ll get your crappie soon after.

As for a good light source, you can make use of submersible lights. We are talking about those that you can easily position in the water.

Floating lights are easier to deal with. Most importantly, they supply you with the light you need.

A lantern is another good item to use, as well as a spotlight or a headlamp. These should offer ample illumination when you need to tie your hooks and lures. The same holds true when you are about to remove fish from the hook or when baiting the rig.

Determine the Right Color of Lights

Yes, it DOES matter.

For instance, we recommend green and white. In fact, you should not be able to find other lights suitable for night fishing such as these colors.

Basically, you are attracting planktons by using white and green lights. Since these are what baitfish go for, then you want to make sure all the planktons are present.

But here is another insider tip – stick to green always.

White is okay but green is even better. The answer is quite simple – white light gets absorbed far too quickly in the water.

As a result, it fails to penetrate deeper, making it not as effective for enticing planktons nearby.

Get Your Baits Ready

And of course, you have to use the right baits and lures.

Ideally, you want to use spinners and jigging spoons. They are perfect for attracting those opportunistic crappie waiting for their bite.

Read More: Fishing With Crickets For Crappie: A Good or Bad Idea?

Where to Find Crappie in Winter

where to find crappie in winter

The next question is this – where should you even look for crappie in the winter?

There are a few places to get your tools set up.

First, you should head over to boat docks. Crappie love staying underneath boathouses, especially in the winter.

They prefer this spot as it keeps the fish well-hidden. This is why you should head over to creek and drop-offs, as well as river channel banks. Steep-sloping points are suitable options, as well.

Another good spot to consider is deep ledges.

These serve as a crappie’s primary winter shelter.

The structure gives them a very convenient spot to access the depths of the water. We recommend that you check out areas closer to the river channel or creek. You will be surprised to see a high concentration of crappies flocking these areas.

Then, there are bridge pilings. We like the fact that these are perfect for crappie and easier for you to access. You may want to tie or sink brush piles right next to a bunch of pillars. This way, you can increase your chances of getting a nice, big catch.

Oh, and as a bonus – panfish also frequent this area. Thus, crappie should not be too far behind.


Trying to catch crappie at night – and in winter – is definitely a challenging, yet rewarding activity. You will enjoy spending time out in nature whether by yourself or with a fishing buddy.

We hope that we were able to help you catch a crappie with these pointers. Just make sure you choose the right spot, get your tools all set, and you should be able to bring home some slabs without any hassle at all.

Just as an additional tip, this video gives you a few more guidelines to crappie fishing at night in winter. Enjoy!

Leave a Comment