Calico bass are a popular target for anglers. Also known as crappies, these fish make excellent table fare, and fishermen catch them year-round with various techniques. Calico bass live in rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs. Calicos come into shallow water in the spring to spawn before going into the depths when the hot weather comes.
Spawning crappie will voraciously feed on minnows presented beneath a fishing float. Calico bass spawn once the water reaches 60 degrees F, moving into the shallows where they build nests.
Calico bass spook quite easily, so it is important to fish for them with light fishing line. Anglers try to stay as far as possible from the nests and cast their bait into the spawning fish.
Catching calico bass in open water in the summer can prove difficult. Most anglers use a fish finder to locate schools of calicos, then attempt to catch them by dropping jigs tipped with a piece of minnow from the surface.
Calico bass stay in the shallows during the first stage of winter and as spring approaches. The rest of the time, calicos stay in the deepest parts of a lake, suspended higher off the bottom than other kinds of panfish.
Ice fishermen locate crappies with electronic fish finders or by deploying tip-ups baited with minnows over a wide area. Once they discover calico bass, they drill holes in the ice and jig for the fish with live minnows or small lures tipped with such bait as shiners or grubs.