Giant Crappie, not your Grandpa's Game

thelivecanary

Six Pointer
Something to consider this fall...

A friend of mine and I have put up the drift sticks, corks and minnows, and picked up some spinning gear and small swimbaits for a truly awesome fishing experience. We get on the trolling motor and fish the lake for Crappie as though we were looking for trophy largemouths. It's an absolute blast and I can't recommend it enough. My pops was in town last week and I took him out to show him the ropes. At first he just laughed and thought I was a special kind of dumb....but then the wind picked up and we got on a really good wind blown bank. There's nothing more thrilling then casting out into a seemingly empty channel and getting tight on a foot long crappie. We've been working this technique here in Raleigh and dialing it in with 1/8 oz jigs and paddle tails or twister tail grubs, you can leave your minnows behind and get on an intensely thrilling bite. It takes a different mentality then drifting and it's way different than anchoring around a bridge. It's a highly active approach and you can catch some truly massive fish....trophy size crappie....3+ LBS. (We haven't landed the 3+ LB fish yet but we've had her on multiple times in the last two years.) We've netted multiple fish in the 2+ LB range and soon the true beauties day in the light will come. This fall try actively fishing for crappie and think like a predator, you'll get yourself into a Crappie of a lifetime.

Cheers,

Jeff
 

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
My go to is the Bobby Garland stroller. I started long line trolling this year and noticed I didnt catch as many with them but the ones I did were absolute slabs. I'll also fished them like you described, one pole, motoring around just like I'm bass fishing.

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bshobbs

Old Mossy Horns
I like slow trolling with Beetle Spins or just small grubs. When the bite is on, you keep busy chasing poles. Some colors seem to work best in different waters, I like Tennessee Shad and John Deer Green for around my area. I have so many styles and colors I troll several colors and see what works for the day.
 

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
I've really become hooked on longline trolling. Closest thing to king mackeral fishing as far as technique goes. I treat it like king fishing too.

I run lines at different depths, colors, lure type, live/artificial, etc. I like covering a wide path as well as the entire water column until I find a combo thats working that day then I'll change up and use more of what's working. But I will still run a deep line, middle depth, and shallow line. Most times I can catch other species like this as well. This spring we hauled in a 6 lb bass and several good sized catfish fishing this way.

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Crappie man

Six Pointer
I have nothing against someone fishing with minnows but that is not the way I like to fish.I found out many years ago that crappie fishing with artificial was much more versatile than using minnows.On days when they don’t want to bite minnows they will still bite jigs.I use basically the same approach as bass fishing.Even in the hottest part of summer and into fall you can slay them casting jigs and big fish are common. Zoom tiny flukes are deadly in the mornings and when the sun gets up I switch to roadrunners with a curly tail.Let them go all the way to the bottom and hop them back to you by stop and retrieve.Crappie only feed above is a myth.Crappie nibbles are a game changer.I personally will not fish without them.Spider rigging I use the same approach as if I had a single pole in hand.Set the line at the target depth such as the first break or a hump and from deeper water slowly bump up or swing jigs and let them fall.I run a 1 oz weight above swivel with a 16 -24 in line below with a light jig so that part falls slowly into strike zone.Just have to figure out what baits for the water temp.I basically run curly tails until the water drops below 50.Pink/chartreuse tail my go to color whether it’s Jordan or Harris.
 

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
I have nothing against someone fishing with minnows but that is not the way I like to fish.I found out many years ago that crappie fishing with artificial was much more versatile than using minnows.On days when they don’t want to bite minnows they will still bite jigs.I use basically the same approach as bass fishing.Even in the hottest part of summer and into fall you can slay them casting jigs and big fish are common. Zoom tiny flukes are deadly in the mornings and when the sun gets up I switch to roadrunners with a curly tail.Let them go all the way to the bottom and hop them back to you by stop and retrieve.Crappie only feed above is a myth.Crappie nibbles are a game changer.I personally will not fish without them.Spider rigging I use the same approach as if I had a single pole in hand.Set the line at the target depth such as the first break or a hump and from deeper water slowly bump up or swing jigs and let them fall.I run a 1 oz weight above swivel with a 16 -24 in line below with a light jig so that part falls slowly into strike zone.Just have to figure out what baits for the water temp.I basically run curly tails until the water drops below 50.Pink/chartreuse tail my go to color whether it’s Jordan or Harris.

Ive been seeing and hearing alot about the Crappie Nibbles. Does the extra scent and flavor make that much difference?
 

Crappie man

Six Pointer
On many occasions over the years I would be catching fish or getting bit on every cast with a crappie nibble on.Lose the nibble and continue casting and couldn’t get a bite.Put one back on and go back to catching.I honestly would not go to the lake without them.Don’t try to use them without pouring them out at home and letting them firm up pretty good or they will be to soft and will not stay on.This is very important.I doubt color makes much difference I just use chartreuse.Push them all the way up to the plastic bait when threading onto hook.
 

thelivecanary

Six Pointer
The fish hang on longer with crappie nibs too. GAME CHANGER

Those fishing minnows on a slip float or trolling will outfish me on really good active fish days, no doubt about it. But every other day of fishing I'll put a better stringer together. The active approach of looking for bait and breaking down the lake, out-fishes others approaches. The folks that fish every day and can follow crappie patterns closely can stay on the schools and of course will out fish me and anyone else, day in and day out. But on any new lake or random day picked in July or October the active style will catch more and bigger fish, which gives the weekend warrior a leg up and an opportunity to make the most out of their limited time on the water.

This approach also works for catfish, works for rainbow trout, flounder, reds....you name it. Heck it even works on the piers out on the coast. Active fishing may not catch more numbers of fish but you will get varied bags of fish. My pier cooler tends to look like a who's who of specimens, blow toad, hogfish, spanish, sheephead, blue crab, octopus, flounder and a citation-class mullet. That's a no-joke example of a cooler when you fish actively. Haha, it's fun and productive.
 

thelivecanary

Six Pointer
The downside is you won't get to drink as many wobbly-pops throughout the day, buttttttt, you can have as many as you'd like at the cleaning station.
 
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