Versatility The Key To Crappie

  • Crappie Crazy
  • January 26, 2017 3:52 pm
  • Articles

“Crappie Crazy Pro Staffer Tom Hankins knows how to be versatile. Here Tom is holding a 2.42 lb Slab from January 2017 he caught while fishing Kentucky Lake. Tom uses a variety of tackle and gear.”

Crappie Fishing has evolved over the years with multiple tactics, a variety of gear and tackle, for good reason. All of this allows Anglers to be versatile and the end result is catching Crappie.

One of the biggest mistakes a Crappie Angler can make is to stick to one approach or tactic when chasing Crappie. We all know the old saying, “there is one way to skin a cat,” this is true and it continues to be true when fishing. Learn how to jig, cast, spider rig and trolling for Crappie. Not every day do Crappie want a bait in the vertical position when jigging. You may need to lay down the jigging rod and pick up the casting rod, trolling rods or spider poles. It saddens me to hear Crappie Anglers say, “I hate spider rigging.” Why? It’s only another tactic you can use to catch fish and often times spider rigging will out produce jigging, casting and trolling put together.

Be versatile when it comes to your fishing tackle, is another way of catching more fish. To many times Anglers will catch their, “personal best” fish on Bobs Big Bait and they make the mistake of fishing with it every time they go fishing. Resist the temptation to do this. A wide variety of softbaits, jigs and live bait is crucial to having a successful day on the water. In addition to a wide variety of softbaits and jigs you will need to add multiple colors and sizes. Some days big baits produce big fish, other days they will only strike smaller profile baits. This holds true to colors as well. Pink was the hot color yesterday but today chartreuse may be the ticket.

“Tom Hankins with his catch after being versatile and fishing several locations.”

The label “One Size Fits All”, is far from true. Invest in the right gear for the right tactic. A jigging pole is exactly that, for jigging. Jigging poles are usually longer 9-12 feet and have a strong backbone to hoist fish out of cover. This same pole is not the pole you need to cast with. Casting poles range from 5 to 7 1/2 feet and have superior, smooth guides that allow you to cast farther than a jig pole possibly could. In addition spider rigging poles are 12 to 18 feet in length and are made to allow your baits to be presented away from the boat and not spooking fish. Ever try casting with a spider pole? Not going to happen.

On a typical day of fishing I will have my 7 foot Todd Huckabee Dingo Rod on the deck of the boat rigged with a 1/16 oz. jig and a Crappie Crazy Thump Tail Shad for casting. I will also have my 10 foot Todd Huckabee Meat Dragger rigged with a 1/16 oz. or 1/8 oz. jighead, depending on the depth of the structure I am fishing and a Beaver Bottom Bait or a Muddy Water Hat Trick for jigging. My other 3 BnM Bucks Graphite Jig Poles are rigged up in my rod locker ready to be deployed if jigging or casting proves ineffective and Crappie are scattered. I also have two 7 1/2 foot rods in my rod locker for slip bobber fishing. The longer rod allows you to take up more line when setting the hook after your slip bobber disappears. And we all know how fun it is to watch that bobber go under!

Versatility can also be applied to location when finding Crappie. It makes no sense to fish the exact spot where you caught your limit yesterday and today not a bite. MOVE! Keep moving until you find active fish. Try locations you have never fished before. Many times you will find a “New Spot” and it will become a new honey hole! I usually give a spot 10 to 15 minutes max. During this time I will change baits, jig weights, colors and even try attractant. After changing all the offering and still no bites, I move.

Being versatile and learning multiple tactics will definitely increase your catch rate if not help you limit out! Quit thinking inside the box and think outside of it. Following this approach will only benefit you, your love for Crappie Fishing and make you a better Crappie Angler.

Crappie Crazy


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