When a fisherman has decided to start specializing in a particular breed of fish, whether they are six or sixty it doesn’t take long for them to realize that they need to start understanding fish behavior better. Of course, once you get hooked on crappie, the same principle applies: you want to know everything you can about this particular species.
Thus, you will definitely have a lot of questions about crappie. You would probably want to know such things as when do they breed? Where do they eat? What do they eat? You want to know as much as you can about these crappies, because it will help you to catch them better.
One surprisingly dominant (and underrated) question that many people might have would be concerning whether crappie have a tendency to jump out of the water or not. Now, of course, when people think of fish jumping out the water, they naturally think of bass or trout. But what about crappie? Let’s examine that for a while.
Understanding All Fish Behavior
The key to determining whether the crappie will jump out of the water is to simply begin by understanding the behavior of all fish. For starters, there is a common joke among anglers that goes a little something like this: “Q: Why do fish jump out of the water? A: Because they don’t have any fingers.” All joking aside, there is definitely some creedence to that joke. Of course, the next thing you should understand is just why fish jump out of the water in the first place.
Indeed, if you are wondering why any particular fish would jump out of the water, it can be summarized in just two words: chasing. bait. That’s right. Almost all fish will jump out of the water simply in order to chase bait. Naturally, this is most common among the larger fish species such as bass, trout, or salmon, but rest assured, that it does occasionally happen among crappie as well. It may not happen as much, but it does indeed happen.
Of course, another part of the reason why all fish, including crappie, will definitely jump out of the water is simply because they can. Although it’s hard to tell what is going through the fish’s mind, the sense of exhilaration, adventure, and the rush of endorphins is probably the reason why they might go ahead and jump out of their watery home.
Are crappie attracted to light? HERE is an article that sheds light on that question.
The Debate Over Jumping Crappie
Within fishing circles, there is definitely a debate over whether crappie jump or not. Although we did just state that crappie do indeed jump some, the evidence appears to be sparse for it. Generally we will see two different camps regarding whether the crappie will jump out of the water. Thus, we should absolutely examine these two points of view:
Camp #1: They Don’t Do It/I’ve Never Seen Them Do It
The first camp is those who have extreme difficulty believing that crappie will jump out of the water. There are many anglers who claim that they have been fishing for fifty years and that they have never personally seen the crappie jump out of the water like they have bass or trout. They say that if the crappie were to start jumping, it would be because the water tended to be at a very low point. Either way, these gentlemen are convinced that the crappie are not a species that will readily jump, and many of them actually will encourage people to be diligent with their bait and get ready to be persistent about catching their crappie.
Camp #2: They Do It; It May Not Be As Much As Other Fish, But Yes, They Do It
On the other hand, there are some people who claim that they have seen crappie feeding and jumping out of the water. Again, most of the time the people who notice these crappie jumping out of the water will say that they are doing so because they are chasing bait. Indeed, one anecdotal report claims that these crappie will chase anything, including lures. Some of the anglers claimed that the jigs and the bobbers would draw the crappie and cause them to leap out of the water. Thus, even though the crappie don’t have a reputation as being jumpers, they will leap out of the water if they are hungry enough.
Well…Do Crappie Jump Out of the Water or Not?
It’s hard to say either way whether crappie will jump out of the water or not. Of course, some individuals swear that they have seen the crappie do it. I don’t know…maybe it has something to do with the region or the time of year? And, like we’ve mentioned previously, there are many career crappie anglers who say that no, they haven’t seen them jump out of the water, and they are adamant that it just isn’t something that they do.
There’s no general consensus, and to my knowledge there is no poll that has been done regarding this topic. However, whatever your personal experiences with jumping crappie might be, let this be a lesson to you: once you specialize in a particular species of fish, you definitely need to learn all you can about their particular behavior.
The first thing you need to know is that crappie behavior is that they have at least four distinct cases. There is Pre-Spawn, Spawn, Post-Spawn, and Winter. One of the hardest times to fish for crappie (and the time where it would be least likely to find them jumping out of the water, if at all) would be during the post spawn period.
This is because both the male and female crappie have just gone through the spawning period, and that is very draining time for them. Thus, they will usually retreat to deeper waters in order to recover. During the day, they will often be as deep as 30 feet. Of course, if you are going to have any chance at all at catching them it would during the night. They will usually rise to about five feet during the evening hours.
Thus, even though there is no conclusive way to prove that crappie do jump out of the water, it still illustrates to us just how important it is for us to fully understand their behavior.
Hey FISHMONGER – make sure to check out my FISHING RESOURCES page.
Here are some good hooks for crappie fishing. size 8-12 are great!