“Papermouths,” “slabs,” or whatever you prefer to call them, crappie are one of Oklahoma anglers’ favorites on the dinner table. Their white, flaky meat is delicious, and the supply of the fish is plentiful. That combined with the fact that they have an uncanny ability to compete well against other predators such as bass make crappie a fish that can — and actually should — be harvested heavily. In Oklahoma, anglers can take home 37 crappie daily. 

Crappie are found in waters all over the state, and for most part, a rod and reel with a handful of small jigs will have you catching more crappie than you can eat.  

Crappie are usually associated with standing timber and brushy cover in lakes. They hang out in the shallow ends of coves during the spring, and later on will move to deeper waters.  

During mid-March to mid-April, crappie move into shallow water to spawn. That’s when they are easiest to catch, and also when you have the best chances of catching big female crappie. Whether you like to fish from a boat or tube or even from the bank, this is a prime time for catching crappie.  

Wintertime crappie fishing can be good as well, because the fish form schools that make it easier to find other fish once the first one is landed.  

Good bait choices include live minnows, worms, and small jigs. Try using a plastic grub or live minnow to tip off a jig for another approach for catching crappie. Additionally, some anglers even recommend tipping off your crappie jig with a small piece of onion, which may serve as an attractant and draw a strike from a hungry crappie.


Crappie in Oklahoma