Do Crappie Bite Better In The Morning Or Evening?

Crappie fishing in the morning vs. evening

Will You Catch More Crappie In The Morning Or The Evening?


Most experienced fishermen know that crappies are easiest to catch during low light conditions.  Dawn and Dusk are when papermouths are the most susceptible to an artificial presentation.  I learned this lesson the hard way early on when I was a child.

I remember my entire family renting a beautiful cottage a few miles from the Chattahoochee River in Georgia for a week.  A short walk from the front door sat a several acre large private lake which held some really nice bass and bluegill in it.  At the time I was really trying to master my crappie skills more so than anything and was humbled when none of my presentations yielded any results.

The lake actually had a small bridge you could ride a golf cart across to get to the boat house on a little island and holding this bridged up was several large wooden pillars that I just knew had to have crappie that would stage around them.  Still yet, the first couple of days yielded nothing.

It actually got so bad that I asked someone else who passed under the bridge if there were any crappie even in the lake and he confirmed that there were, but on this lake in particular they only bite a few minutes before dark… I was perplexed as I’d never heard of such a thing.

I did decide late that evening that I would walk back down to the same bridge and cast towards the pillars.  On my first cast “thump” I felt and was elated to see a nice pan sized crappie come up out of the water.  Next cast…SAME RESULT!  One more cast in and I was on a roll catching three straight crappies on three casts.  After the third fish it was so dark that I was having trouble seeing my jig but continued on.  Nothing but the sound of crickets would be heard the rest of the night.

Over the course of the remainder of the week the only success I would experience regardless of what time I came out there to fish was in the last ten minutes before night fall.

While this story is a a successful evening bite story, I will go on to explain why I believe you will catch far more crappie in the morning then in the evening. 


The Difference In Fishing For Crappie During The Morning Vs. The Evening.



Crappie are known to feed at night but not as aggressively as a purely predator fish like a Flathead or a Bass who doesn’t have to worry about becoming prey themselves.  

When crappie are caught at night, it’s usually under an artificial light where baitfish are more vulnerable, and the reward is worth the risk for them to venture out.  Still yet nighttime is actually the worst time to chase specks.

During the daytime depending on several variables’ crappie can be caught pretty much all throughout but bites can become scarce around noon if the sun’s out pushing direct light down in the water.  

The reason I mention the two above is the same reason why I believe you will catch far more fish in the morning, as well as the example I gave at the lake house. 

If you try to catch crappie starting in the evening your bite window is decreased significantly as nightfall will almost always spell the end of the bite.  They will be aggressive trying to feed up before dark so you will catch fish… ON THE OTHER HAND…

When you get to a lake at dawn you have crappie that are hungry for breakfast since they spent the last several hours hunkered down.  As soon as a hint of light starts to glow over the water you will start catching fish as long as you’re in the correct area.  

Therein lies the reason why I prefer the morning bite.


You Will Know Almost Immediately If You’re In The Right Spot In The Morning!


If the fish are biting from the get-go but you’re not getting bit, it only takes a few minutes to know that it’s time to move to another brush pile or contour line.  If you’re out in the evening and you’re not getting bit, it’s possible that the fish just haven’t activated yet and it’s also possible that you’re in the wrong place making it more difficult to know if you should move.

Add on the fact that dark is quickly approaching, and you’ll see that you’re better off fishing in the morning.  



Conclusion To Whether Crappie Bite Better In The Morning Vs. Evening.


While a short article, I think my points are valid.  Evenings do provide some explosive action, but mornings are far superior in my opinion.

Crappie fishing is better in the morning than in the evening as the fish are already looking to feed at the first sign of light.  They’re not as vulnerable to predator fish at this time and willing to venture out from cover to feed.  

Knowing that the bite is hot from the get-go, you can easily cover multiple spots trying to find active feeding grounds and vacate places that aren’t producing.  

So when I’m choosing which is the best time to fish, I keep it simple…I fish from dawn until dusk! 😉




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