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Crappie Fishing In North Dakota

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Guide to fishing for white and black crappie.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Crappie fishing in North Dakota

North Dakota offers excellent crappie fishing opportunities, with both black crappie and white crappie being popular species among anglers. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about crappie fishing and crappie lakes in the state. Black crappie and white crappie are similar in appearance and behavior, but they can be found in slightly different habitats within the state's lakes, reservoirs, and rivers.

Crappie Fishing Basics Video

Black crappie are known for their dark coloration and distinct vertical stripes along their bodies. They tend to prefer clearer water and can often be found near submerged structures such as fallen trees, brush piles, or weed beds. Black crappie are known to be more adaptable to cooler water temperatures, which makes them a popular target for anglers during the early spring and late fall seasons.

White crappie, on the other hand, have lighter coloration and horizontal bands across their bodies. They are generally found in slightly deeper water and prefer areas with more vegetation or submerged structures. White crappie are known to be more tolerant of warmer water temperatures, making them a prime target for summer fishing.

Anglers pursuing crappie in North Dakota often use a variety of techniques such as jigging, casting, or trolling with small jigs, live minnows, or artificial baits. Both black crappie and white crappie provide exciting and rewarding fishing experiences, with the chance to catch good numbers of fish as well as specimens of impressive size.

The prime season for crappie fishing in North Dakota is typically during the spring and early summer when the water temperatures are favorable for spawning and feeding. However, crappie can also be caught throughout the year, with autumn offering another productive period as the fish move to shallower water in preparation for winter.

Whether you're targeting black crappie or white crappie, North Dakota's lakes and rivers provide abundant opportunities for anglers to enjoy the thrill of crappie fishing and bring home a delicious catch. Just make sure to check the specific regulations and limits for crappie fishing in the waters you plan to visit to ensure a sustainable and enjoyable fishing experience.

Crappie Fishing Waters In ND

If you like to fish for crappie, your options are a bit limited in ND. You can find a few in some small lakes and rivers, and some private ponds are stocked with crappie. The bigger schools of North Dakota crappie reside in several larger lakes including Bowman-Haley Lake, Devils Lake, Jamestown Reservoir, Lake Ashtabula, Lake Metigoshe, Lake Tschida, Pipestem Lake and the Missouri River.

Fishing Boats For Rent In North Dakota

Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 4 oz*

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 4 oz*

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 Crappie Fishing Lures For North Dakota

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.

North Dakota State Record Crappie

The state record black/white crappie (tie) one was caught from Oahe Lake, one from Jamestown Reservoir.

Crappie are actually a member of the sunfish family and can be found in many North Dakota lakes. Crappie are known by many different local names. Paper mouth, goggleye, bridge perch, slabs and speckled perch, are just a few.

Crappie make a great fish fry
Crappie make a great fish fry.
Crappie fishing in ND

Small jigs, live minnows, small spinners and other small lures will catch crappie. Use light line (6 lb or less) and work the baits slowly - especially in cold water.


Check out crappie information, by state.

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