There are several signs in nature that fisherman may use to tell them that fishing for a certain fish should be good. One of these types of signs that I have used for years is that when you see the red buds and the dogwood trees blooming that it time to start doing some good crappie action in our area. By this time the weather is warm enough and the water levels are high enough for the crappie to be moving into the shallow water areas with good wood and rock cover. The crappie is one of the most fished for fish and it is for good reason. The crappie can reach large sizes and can grow to big lengths in some lakes. In KY and Barkley Lakes in western KY crappie in the three pound range and with lengths of close to and over 20 inches are caught. Over the past years lakes in our areas have produced good crappie fishing at times. Lakes like Carr Creek Lake in Knot county have had some good size and good numbers of crappie caught.
In my own personal crappie fishing on this lake I have had much better luck by fishing at night time than during the day. The crappie are more active during the low light hours of night when the lake has settled down and the boat traffic has slowed. Look for areas that has large amounts of wood cover. I have found that the deeper water areas or spots that have deeper water close by the area you are fishing will prove to out produce a shallow water spot at night. Once you have decided on a spot to fish , simply look at your fish finder to see what depth the crappie are holding at. The crappies eyes are located on the top part of their heads and will look upwards to look for food. So it will help to try to keep your bait about a foot above the depth the crappie are holding at. You can't go wrong starting with a minnow. Once you think the crappie are active you can switch to a small tube bait or a grub.
Crappie are very color picky and can can even change their color selection several times during a night. This is where you need a good selection of colors of baits. But there is some standard colors that seem to work good most of the time. Tube baits or grubs with a black and chartreuse color or a white or a white and black spotted also called a salt and pepper pattern are all good to start with. A lot of fisherman have ask me over the years if I think that staying as quiet as you can in a boat while crappie fishing will really help you catch more fish. My answer to that is yes.
At night the crappie will school up on cover and will hold most of the night. But I can promise you that if some one is in your boat making a lot of noise your success will not be as good. I know that every body has had a trip with some one like that. Then later on that guy ask you why you have not ask him to go fishing with you again. As I stated earlier several lakes have produced some good crappie fishing lakes like Buckhorn Lake, Fishtrap Lake, and Cave Run lakes have all had quality crappie fishing.
So finding a good lake close by is no problem. But I feel that by choosing one of these lakes to fish and fishing at night on heavy wood cover in deeper water with the right bait at the right depth and fishing as quiet as you can I believe you will have the best chance at having the best trip you can. Good luck and good fishing.