May 2021 News/Columns

Crappie Basics 1 – May Flowers Mean Something

Crappie basics

Some crappie anglers consider live bait “cheating.” But look in EVERY professional crappie angler’s boat and you are likely to see a cooler full of minnows. Sometimes they catch crappie when nothing else will. (Photo: Richard Simms)


Crappie Basics – May Flowers Mean Something


May is a tough month to write about for crappie fishermen. In the southern parts of the country, May is a post-spawn month. In the northern states, however, it is a spawning, or even pre-spawn month.

So, let’s talk minnows, a great go-to option for crappie no matter what time of year.

One of the most important things about minnows (or toughies, shiners, fatheads, rosy reds, whatever type of live bait you use) is keeping it healthy. Lively bait always catches more fish.

When you buy your minnows, always keep them in the water they came in. Never add chlorinated tap water. If you need to add lake water, do it slowly. A total exchange of water of a drastically different temperature can actually kill your bait. Ideally, you want the water to be between 50-65°F. Colder water holds more oxygen.

An insulated and/or aerated cooler or bucket is always your best option. Frabill offers several great options.

For more excellent tips on crappie fishing with live bait, check out

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