Few can deny that the fast action-filled spring days catching slab crappies are a blast. In this Q & A we asked Krysten Potega, from Central Wisconsin, what some of her go-to tactics are for these feisty panfish in early spring.

Before we get into the details, tell us a little background. What is your personal best crappie?

My personal best crappie is 14 1/4″!

I can tell from your Instagram page that you have a real passion for fishing. What specifically is it about crappie that is your favorite?

My favorite thing about crappie fishing is all the memories associated with it. My family always take a fishing family vacation up in Minocqua Wisconsin where we mainly target crappie. Those fishing trips are some of the best memories not to mention we have some awesome fish frys after all is said and done!

Krysten is no stranger to slab crappie!
Photograph @krystenpotega
Signals of Spring

Is there anything that signals to you that the “springtime crappie” bite is going to be on? (Water temp? A certain weekend? A warm week?)

For us in Central Wisconsin we normally do pretty well end of April or beginning of May however, it’s dependent on temperature. Once we get a consistent amount of warm days that raises the water temperature to around 50-60 degrees we normally get on lakes and find them in wood or shallows feeding.

Set Up & What To Use

What is your Crappie set up?

I use a 7′ Rapala ultralight rod, paired with a Pflueger Trion spinning reel lined with 4lb Stren.

What is a good ‘go-to’ lure that anglers should pick up for Crappie? Is there any techniques you use to work entice fish to bite with it?

90% of the time we use 1/8- 1/16 jig head with a crappie tube normally in a minnow type color (blue, silver, white, glittery, or any combination of those colors). When they are on beds in spring we use hair jigs because the hair on the jigs make them suspend a little longer in the water column, so we can work it in front of them in hopes they bite.



Where to Find Slabs & How to Catch Them

Where do you find springtime crappie? Are they typically shallow or out suspended by structure?

We normally hit shallow wood or areas that warm up faster. So bays, docks, wood, drop-offs are always great places to look for crappie.

When the bite gets tough is there anything you do differently?

When the bite gets tough we will switch up color and/or size that we’re using and if that doesn’t work minnows are another go to!


Crappies are far from the only thing Krysten fishes for! You can find more from Krysten Potega on her Instagram page!

About The Author

Die-hard muskie & trout angler with a passion. Kayak fishing, Hybrid chasing, Sunrise ↠ Sunset, http://nebraskamuskiegirl.com

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