DNR_logoAs water temperatures cool down, crappie fishing heats up.

Fall is a great time to fill your freezer with fish in preparation for a long winter. Crappie begin moving into the shallows to feed when water temperatures dip into the 60s. Structures such as tree stumps, logs, rock ledges, or docks will usually hold good numbers of fish. Targeting them with jigs and minnows can be an effective way to catch big crappie.

Crappie are managed with a 25-fish bag limit throughout the state with no size limits except at Dogwood and Hardy lakes, where there is a 9-inch minimum. A valid fishing license is also required.

Crappie are well distributed in lakes and streams across the state so there is a good chance that there are fishing opportunities close to home, regardless of where you live. A map of Indiana’s best crappie lakes can be found at wildlife.IN.gov/10192.htm.

If you are already a seasoned crappie angler and are looking for a new place to fish, consider a lake that has undergone habitat enhancement.

To date, Sullivan, Monroe, and Cecil M. Harden lakes have received more than 750 artificial habitat structures. Jigging along these structures should prove effective for crappie. Maps detailing artificial habitat locations at these lakes can be found at wildlife.IN.gov/7665.htm.