Some type of stop-and-go demonstration normally works better. It could be anything from a long pull and then a pause to a series of abrupt jerks. Occasionally piling several jigs a foot or two a part works better because dissimilar depth levels can be covered and assorted color combinations can be tried out.
A deadly autumn strategy is to float the jig right across the tops of weeds that have been knocked down by a frigid nighttime or two. Try to mark the more utmost weeds to ascertain if you are at the correct depth level.The primary retrieve necessitates a slow pull of a foot or 2 and then allowing the jig slide to a position just below the float. This is duplicated unless you come up to cover or if the fish are assertive. Once the bobber nears cover, jerk or gently pop it to entice a crappie out of the brush.
The Old Time Crappie Masters don't use expensive gear, and they scoff at the latest hot lure or so called fishing TV Gurus. They know very few of these fads really help people catch crappie Instead, they absorbed every successful fishing secret and their crappie fishing tips that were passed down from their fathers, grandfathers, or local old masters of the day. Each one tested, each one proven to work by putting enough fish on the table to feed the whole family every single night.
When you're fishing for Crappie, bait selection and presentation is very important, especially during Winter and Summer when Crappie are more sluggish. You should also pay attention to the weather and the time of year. If you are fishing in the winter, you will want to move the bait slowly. When the water is cold the fish will still eat but they won't swim very far in cold water for food. They will count on an ambush to catch their meal. Winter time is a excellent time to use the bait flipping technique, but you need to be precise. If the bait is right in front of a Crappie, chances are good that the fish will eat the bait rather than chase something else through the water.
While a slip-float is often employed for deeper water and for getting into tight spots, most jig-float fishing involves using a fixed float that doesn't slid on your line. This is done because the gliding action that the jig has with a fixed float is more productive than the up-and-down motion that would be achieved if using a slip-float. The only negative aspect to using a fixed float is that if you want to get the jig much deeper than 5 to 6 feet, a longer rod should be used. A light, sensitive 8- to 9-foot spinning rod is perfect for depths over 6 feet.
Once the waters warm a bit, a jig with a swirl-tail type lure or tube is preferred. However, avoid cheap swirl-tails that don’t have action at minimal speeds. I like fine-cut tails that move seductively even at the slowest speeds. Lindy grubs are excellent, with the glow colors being favorites in stained waters and under low-light conditions. Pearl silver, fire smoke and opening night are killers in clearer waters. Jighead weights between 1/16 to 1/8 ounce are preferred with these lures in warmer weather.When using a jig-and-float combination in warmer water, you should try a variety of retrieves until you hit the jackpot. When the crappie aren’t too aggressive, a steady swimming action may be the key. Just remember that the faster you swim the jig, the higher it will ride in the water column.
When the water temperature dips down into the 40's, search for schooling crappie along deep creek channel edges from 15 to 30 feet deep. Concentrate on sharp bends or points and work both directions with a slow presentation until you find the right depth and color combination. Marking the line at five root intervals will allow you to place the jigs in the exact depth the fish are holding.
Some anglers use various jig-and-float combinations in late autumn over the tops of flattened weedbeds. In the cold water of early springtime, the most productive presentation is using small soft plastics that have little action such as tube jigs. These would include 1/32-ounce and 1/16-ounce tube jigs. Small maribou and hair jibs can also be effective, especially in baitfish patterns.
If you fish from a boat and use a fish finder you need to be able to target large schools of crappie when they appear on your fish finder. When you spot a signal that resembles an upside Evergreen tree on the lcd screen, you've more than likely found a school of Crappie. Being properly equipped is a big part of success when using this system. Use super-sensitive rods in 12-, 14- and 16-foot lengths.
In stained or muddy water, try using jigs that have dark and light patterns such as Brown and Chartreuse. The best depth range to fish stained water is in 1- to 8-foot depths. If the lake has a small bay or channel the crappies will be drawn in there like magnets, especially early in the Spring when the stained water heats faster than clear water.
Fallen timber, brush and last years weeds will attract more insects that are hatching that the crappies will feed upon. The water temp that typically starts this early season action is about 50 degrees. There are many fishermen who believe Crappies are coming in to spawn. This isn't true at all. They are coming in to feed on the insects and feel secure with all the over present. Crappies actually spawn a little later in the Spring when the water temperature is about 65 degrees.
When your fishing for Spring crappie the bite will most likely be very light. You need to be able to feel the bite to catch fish. Use super limp mono in 4 to 6 lb test and an open face reel and a graphite rod like a B&M. If the water is real muddy use chartreuse. I believe that “pushing” jigs dressed with minnows using long, sensitive poles off the front of the boat allows great control over the placement of the jigs around cover, structure and along edges. Plus, you can slow down the boat and let lively lip-hooked minnows dance around a spot to tease reluctant crappie into biting. This multi-rod presentation also covers a lot of water and may trick Crappie into thinking there is a school of bait to dine on!
When you locate a large school of crappie never fish in the middle of the school. Work the edges of the school so you don't spook the fish. If you really want the fast action switch your presentation to a tube jig. The best depths typically here are about 6 feet or less. When you rig you tube jig, place a small bobber a foot and a half up from the jig. Cast and retrieve it slow. The bobber basically simply keeps your jig at the same depth. In detecting the bite, crappies will often grab your jig and swim side to side or the bobber will tip up and then move slowly down. The tube jig body is plastic so give the crappie a little time to suck it down. The best thing about the tube jig is that if you miss you will often get another bite right away. When using minnows for bait, you miss your done.
When you locate a school of fish, start counting the line to the bottom. Slowly crank in your reel counting every turn until you get a hit. Now mark your line with a permanent magic marker , preferably a bright color. The reason you mark your line is so you can go right back to the same depth the next time you drop your line. Repeat this step until the crappie school moves.
When deploying traditional trolling methods, a zigzag or lazy-S trolling run allows you to cover the most water and keeps the lures from always being directly behind the boat. Toss out a floating structure marker when you get the first fish and troll around it. If you lose the school of crappie, keep in mind that they will likely head into the wind as opposed to go downwind.
Crappie rise to the bait their eyes are located on the top of their heads so the do not see anything below them. You must make sure your bait presentation is always above them.
The water temperature right after ice out will be very frigid. After a few bright warm sunny days the lakes ecosystem will start to come alive. Many crappies in the early spring will be found deep. These deep water spots typically will be the last spots the ice fisherman were having success. By using light jigs and minnows in these deep-water spots, chances are you will have good success. But if you are really looking for fast action think shallow water. Use 2-4 pound test line , always make sure your hook is tied on a loop, not tied tight on the hook itself. The hook needs to move freely to give the bait some play. Remember the more natural the bait looks the more fish you will catch.
One of the most successful ways to fish for Crappie in the Spring is to find shallows and flats with a lot of timber. Then take a lesson from Bass fishermen and "flip" for the crappie. I use a slightly stiffer rod and 10lb line for this because it will be necessary to "pull" Crappie out of the brush from time to time. I rig up a tube jig suspended below a sliding cork pegged in place. This allows you to change the dept of the jig without retying. I generally start at a 6 inch depth and work my way down if I'm not getting bites. I then use my trolling motor to easily glide along the heavy brush "flipping" my jig into any hole or along side stumps and logs. Be easy when pulling crappie out of the brush, they're not called Paper Mouths for nothing. And don't be surprised when that cork get's sucked under by a big Bass or Catfish!
As the water starts warming up, the insects will start hatching and small baitfish will move closer to shore looking to spawn and feed their self. When this happens, you can be that Mr. Crappie won't be far behind! The best thing about early season crappie fishing is that the best times of the day to be fishing is late afternoon and early evening when the weather is the nicest. The best early season lakes tend to be the more shallow and muddy bottom lakes. These heat up faster because the mud and darker colors absorb heat quicker than clear water.
If a lake has a deep weed edge and it’s early or late in the day, start trolling right up against the weed edge. If the crappie aren’t there or they stop biting after a while, they have probably moved out over open water or suspended over a underwater creek bank. They will generally suspend at the same level they were when along the weed edge or a few feet deeper. A trolling speed that produces the first crappie or two can be duplicated by noting the speed on a GPS unit or the setting on the electric motor. Flexible graphite tips allow the fish to take the bait and turn with it. This reduces the chance of the crappie tearing the hook out of their mouth.
If you don’t find Crappie along the weed line in Spring, move out a ways. Crappie will tend to hold a little shallower under lower light penetration conditions. During the middle of the day, you're most likely to find them at the first drop off away from the shallow spawning and feeding areas.
Adding sound works well in dark water or under very low-light conditions when fishing for Crappie. Some Crappie fishermen make a small hole in the top of his plastic float, inserts a few small shot and then seals the hole with epoxy. Other Fishermen use a slip-float rig and put a split shot a few inches below a slider float. With this setup, you’ll get the same gliding action that you’d get with a fixed float, but you'll get the little ticking sound each time the float hits the split shot.
Well, it's taken me a while to compile this list of Crappie fishing tips, I hope you've enjoyed them. If you have any Crappie fishing tips you like to share, just post them in the comment sections.