In some parts of the year when crappie swim in deeper waters, they are much harder to find than when they swim in the shallows.
We have set up this guide with tricks on hooking crappie with sonars and how to use them properly. In times like this, electronic crappie fish finders are your best friend. Crappie fish finders give you real-time scans of the nearby bodies of water, allowing you to see where large schools or individual crappies are hanging out.
However, having the best crappie fish finders won’t help much if you don’t know the answer to what do crappie look like on a fishfinder. Using electronic fish finders can be tricky at first, but it gets easier with practice.
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So What Do Crappie Look Like on a Fishfinder?
On any fish finder, crappies will look like white dots that are usually near structures or cover. These dots can get pretty small in size so you may need to zoom in on your sonar in order to get a clear view.
If you’re unsure if what you’re seeing are crappies, look to your GPS map and see if there is a creek channel of structures near you. If there are channels, chances are the group of big white specks you see around these structures are in fact crappies.
Finding Crappie with Side Imaging or down Imaging
The two most common types of fish finders are side imaging and down imaging sonars. So what’s the difference between them?
Side imaging sonars provide you with real-time images under the water to your right and left side. This is ideal if you are trolling and you want to see schools of fish that you pass on your way.
Down imaging sonars, on the other hand, give you a view with amazing details of the area directly below you. This makes them ideal for vertical jiggers.
Each of these types of crappie fish finders uses high-frequency sonar waves to get highly detailed views of your surroundings. With each of these types, crappies generally look the same. Finding crappie with side imaging is usually the same as how to find crappies with down imaging sonars.
Sonar imaging crappie fish finders are the best answer for finding crappie in a new lake, the structures of which you’re not yet familiar with. It also makes it easier to look for crappies in muddy water or even when night fishing. Murky water makes it difficult for crappies to see your bait, so knowing where to catch crappies makes the whole process a lot easier. Night fishing also presents its own problems for fishers like difficulty of crappies to see your baits, so using sonar finders is a good idea as well.
How to Find Crappie on a New Lake Using Sonar Imaging
- Crappie will look like big white spots near underwater structures.
- Crappie will look similar on both side imaging and down imaging.
- Side imaging sonars are great for trolling in large bodies of water while down imaging sonars are great for vertical fishing or night fishing.
- Crappie have a tendency to stack themselves vertically in the water column.
Finding crappie with side imaging or down imaging sonars are your best bet if you find it difficult to look for crappie in certain lakes or rivers. Keep your eyes peeled for large white spots near structures of your fish finder.
If you’re new to fishing for crappie or using fish finders, try looking for underwater structure suck as rock, ledges or humps. Once you find some of these you can narrow your search by looking for cover such as submerged timber, brush piles, or weed lines.