Crappie Course Day #3, The 8 Great Truths Of Catching Crappie
Same goes for the "tips" they throw around aimlessly.
That's why I try to talk to guys that have been catching crappie for years... the quiet guys - most of whom are a LOT older than me. They won't often approach you, but if you give them a friendly "hello" - you'll probably come away with some of the best crappie fishing advice you've ever heard.
The truth is, I've talked to hundreds of fishermen... and I only listen to the guys who have earned respect - the guys that have seen it all. I'd like to dedicate Day #3 to the guys preaching the "tried and true" methods of crappie fishing. I've boiled all of their tips down to the "8 Great Truths Of Catching Crappie", and here they are.
1. Always know when the crappie spawning times are... ask someone who's been around where you are going to fish - even a game ranger if they are around. It can be easy pickin's certain weeks during the spring - but you gotta know when. Then, target the shallow waters... you'll catch more than your share of crappie if you do it right.
2. As with most species, find underwater shelters such as man-made submerged object, fallen trees, piles of rocks, and any other underwater structure... and the best? Underwater BRUSH piles! Talk about a massive "plankton bloom" - you are talking thousands of minnows, shad, and other bait in your area... and that will bring the crappie in droves. Find out where these spots are, ask around, look for 'em. It will be worth your while, big time.
3. Lots of crappie fishermen are starting to use ultra-lite gear ONLY. You shouldn't use it all the time, but here are the best situations where an ultra-lite rig will beat the pants off of an average or heavy rig:
* In areas where the crappie fishing is heavy - lots of fishermen in the mix. Most of those guys will be using bigger baits... you'll be amazed at how quickly you catch loads of crappie using an ultra-lite rig with a small lure. If it's heavily fished, crappie will be spooked by the larger faster moving baits... use an ultra-lite right with 2-4 pound test, give a smaller offer - and catch more crappie.
* If the water is extremely clear... this one's obvious. The crappie can see the higher weighted lines more - keep it light with that 2-4 pound test. You'll enter "stealth" fishing mode and reel 'em in...
* When the natural food in that spot is "small". This one's obvious too. If they are used to eating small stuff like insects and smaller than normal minnows, crappie will not take anything bigger.
4. Fish in 5 - 18 feet of water. Sure, crappie like open areas - but that's more rare. Over the long term, if you stick to depths of 5 - 18 feet of water - you'll catch more than the guys who experiment with different depths over the long haul...
5. Create movement... a stir in the water to attract the crappie. Of course YOU keep quiet... but pop that bait or that rig. Don't fish too fast, but create a bit of commotion with your bait.
6. When you get a bite, don't try to hard to set the hook. Pull steady - steady pressure all the way in...including reeling.
7. Crappie love
cooler water - but that doesn't mean you can just find any old deep
colder spot... try to find the "thermocline" - you see, in
most lakes, the water towards the surface will be warmer, and it will
get steadily colder the deeper you go...except where the thermocline
is. This is a spot where in a few inches the water goes from "generally
warm" to "much colder". Crappie love this area of transition
- the warmer water will have more oxygen, but the colder water is more
comfortable... so they'll stick close to this area so they can go back
8. Troll for 'em in the hot summer months. They'll go deep - and to increase your odds, set up a few poles, all at different depths to increase your chances. Troll through the deep spots, and by golly you'll find a patch of Crappie all at one depth. Stop there and fish your heart out.
And of course, the best "secret" to crappie is to find that zooplankton bloom. And the best way to do that is to have a Crappie Fishing Secret Weapon on board to create a large bloom of zooplankton instantly, almost anywhere.
Some guys refuse to use it because it makes things "too easy" - and they are crappie fishing for the challenge. Well, if you are one of these - that's fine, don't use it to catch crappie... use it to get natural live bait. In about 3 minutes will just a small net, you'll have all the minnows, shad, and other bait that you can handle.
Check it out here:
It's another long
one, but here's another snippet from the next secret weapon case
"...In about two minutes several dozen small minnows started to lazily swim in the around the secret. In just minutes there were hundreds more, and larger minnows swirling around. By then everyone had parked their rods and were leaning over the railing watching the developments. Then a small dark image darted from the darkness then deeper out of sight.
By now there were literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of minnows streaming in a large circle around the boat..."
Next up, 4 days from now, I'll talk about the best "technique" for catching your own bait - and later, how to use the Crappie Fishing Secret Weapon to actually catch crappie. You'll love these insider "techniques"...
The Crappie Fishing
P.S. Have a buddy
that would like to read this? Tell him about it here:
Crappie Fishing Secret
P.O. Box 3794
Ventura, CA 93006