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5 Crucial Tips for Consistently Catching Giant Black Crappies

Slab Secrets: Part 1

Where to Find Spring and Early-summer Slabs, and How to Hook 'em

As the days warm, the trees bud and the lilacs bloom, black crappies will be flooding the shallows to spawn, making for some of the fastest and finest fishing of the season.

#1 Find Warm Water

Gord Pyzer
Gord Pyzer

Pre-spawn crappies are always looking for the warmest water they can find. The best places to start your search, then, are the warm-water areas where you know they’ll eventually be spawning—green pencil reeds, flooded brush, fallen trees, sprouting beds of cabbage and isolated shallow rock piles.

After you’ve identified one of these hot spots, move away from it, all the while keeping your eyes glued to the water temperature reading on your sonar screen. At this time of the year, marking a school of crappies on your sonar is a bonus—what you’re really looking for is the warmest possible water. You’ll usually find it along the north shore of the lake, in the south-facing bays, coves and indentations that warm up first. Even a one- to three-degree temperature difference is important, so concentrate your early-spring crappie search in such places.

Gord Pyzer

Gord Pyzer

Fishing Editor Gord Pyzer is widely regarded as Canada's most scientific angler. Known in fishing circles as Doctor Pyzer, he worked for 30 years as a senior manager with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources before devoting all his energies to fishing. A member of the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, the award-winning writer is also an internationally sought out speaker, tournament angler and field editor with In-Fisherman Magazine and Television. As well, he co-hosts the Real Fishing Radio Show with Bob Izumi. Catch Gord on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show live every Saturday morning 8:05AM EST. If you're in southern Ontario, tune your radio to Sportsnet 590 The FAN AM or visit and listen live online.

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