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Crappie Fishing In California

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Guide to fishing for black and white crappie.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Crappie fishing in California

Crappie are actually a member of the sunfish family and can be found in many California lakes. Crappie are known by many different local names. They are fun to catch and make a great fish fry. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about crappie fishing and crappie lakes in the state.

California offers fantastic opportunities for crappie fishing, with anglers targeting both black crappie and white crappie. These popular panfish species can be found in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers throughout the state, providing exciting angling experiences for crappie enthusiasts.

Crappie Fishing Basics Video

Black crappie, scientifically known as Pomoxis nigromaculatus, are native to California and can be found in various freshwater bodies. They are typically more abundant in cooler waters and prefer habitats with abundant vegetation or submerged structures. Anglers often target black crappie using light tackle and small jigs or live bait, such as minnows or worms. Successful crappie fishing techniques include vertical jigging near submerged cover or trolling along weed lines or drop-offs.

White crappie, scientifically known as Pomoxis annularis, are another sought-after crappie species in California. They are more prevalent in warmer waters and can be found in lakes, reservoirs, and slow-moving rivers. White crappie prefer areas with submerged structure, such as fallen trees, brush piles, or rocky shorelines. Anglers use similar techniques as with black crappie, including jigging, trolling, or casting small lures or live bait.

Popular crappie fishing locations in California include Clear Lake, Lake Berryessa, Don Pedro Reservoir, and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. These water bodies provide favorable conditions for crappie populations to thrive and offer ample opportunities for anglers to catch these prized panfish.

When targeting crappie, it's essential to pay attention to their preferred habitats and feeding patterns. They are known to school together, so once you locate a productive area, you can often catch multiple crappie in one spot. Anglers often use fish finders or sonar devices to locate schools of crappie or identify underwater structures that attract these fish.

California's diverse crappie fishing opportunities make it a popular destination for anglers seeking these tasty and challenging panfish. Whether you prefer the dark-spotted beauty of black crappie or the silver-white charm of white crappie, the state's lakes, reservoirs, and rivers provide excellent habitats to pursue these popular species. So grab your fishing gear, find a productive crappie spot, and enjoy a rewarding day on the water.

Crappie Waters In CA

Crappie Lakes In Northern California

You'll find good schools of crappie at major lakes in Northern CA like Bucks Lake, Clear Lake, Folsom Lake, Lake Berryessa, Lake Combie, Lake Mendocino, Lake Oroville, New Bullards Bar Reservoir, New Hogan Lake, Lake Shasta, Trinity Lake and Whiskeytown Lake. Crappie populate many other smaller waters. It's always worth a few casts to see if crappie inhabit the water you're on. Clear Lake holds the state record for white crappie while New Hogan Lake holds the state record for black crappie.

Crappie Lakes In Central California

Bass Lake, Eastman Lake, Hensley Lake, Lake Don Pedro, Lake Cachuma, Lake Camanche, Lake Del Valle, Lake Kaweah, Lake McClure, Lake Sonoma, Lake Tulloch, Lake Nacimiento, Millerton Lake, New Hogan Lake, New Melones Lake, Pine Flat Lake, San Luis Reservoir, San Pablo Reservoir, Shaver Lake, Success Lake and The California Delta all have nice populations of crappie as do some of the smaller bodies of water in Central CA.

Crappie Lakes In Southern California

The warmer waters of the lower elevation lakes in Southern CA like Barrett Lake, Big Bear Lake, Canyon Lake, Castaic Lake, Diamond Valley Lake, El Capitan Lake, Lake Cahuilla, Lake Elsinore, Lake Hemet, Lake Hodges, Lake Perris, Lake Piru, Lake Sutherland, Littlerock Reservoir, Lower Otay Lake, Pyramid Lake, San Vicente Reservoir, Silverwood Lake and Skinner Reservoir have healthy populations of crappie.

Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 1 oz

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 8 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 Crappie Fishing Lures For California

Crappie jigs work well in water from 2' to 40' deep, and are the most popular artificial lure for crappie ever. When crappie are shallow, spinners, small crankbaits and underspins are the often very productive. As they move deeper, spoons are among the top producers if the crappie are active. Review details for the best crappie rig options. Understanding the seasonal movements of crappie can enhance your chances of using these lures in the ideal locations.

The state record black crappie came from New Hogan Lake.

Clear Lake produced the state record white crappie.


Check out crappie information, by state.

AL Crappie Fishing AR Crappie Fishing AZ Crappie Fishing CA Crappie Fishing CO Crappie Fishing CT Crappie Fishing DE Crappie Fishing FL Crappie Fishing GA Crappie Fishing IA Crappie Fishing ID Crappie Fishing IL Crappie Fishing
IN Crappie Fishing KS Crappie Fishing KY Crappie Fishing LA Crappie Fishing MA Crappie Fishing MD Crappie Fishing ME Crappie Fishing MI Crappie Fishing MN Crappie Fishing MO Crappie Fishing MS Crappie Fishing MT Crappie Fishing
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The life cycle of crappie.

The more you know about crappie, the easier it will be to locate and catch them in California lakes and rivers. Visit the crappie fishing page for details about their seasonal migrations.