I have talked to a lot of crappie fishermen lately who have taken some crappie fishing trips and did not do much good. My last crappie trip a few weeks ago started out the same way with slow action and not many bites.
After I realized that fishing in the regular areas was not going to produce, I decided to try something different and it paid off. What I did was to change the type of cover and the depth at which I was fishing.
I went from fishing in a shallow cove full of lay down tree limbs in four to six feet of water to fishing standing timber that is on the edge of a creek channel in 15 to 20 feet of water. Most of the crappie caught were in the 18-foot range.
The action was slow but at least there was some action.
After the trip was over we ended up with a respectable mess of crappie. The difference between this successful trip and one that was not was the angler being versatile enough to know that one pattern is not producing and the need to try something different. This type of fishing knowledge is something that is only gained through experience and a lot of time on the water.
Also, there is a reason why one fishing pattern will produce fish and another one won’t at different times. This has to do with several factors such as time of year, water and air temps, water clarity, fishing pressure, water color and water depths.
When you take all this into consideration you can use this info to help decide the most successful way to fish for crappie that day. The reason I say for that day is because during this time of year the temps could be 70 one day and 40 the next. So a crappie catching pattern that worked during the nice weather probably won’t catch fish when the temps drop very quickly.
When you are faced with fishing for crappie in cold, windy weather a good pattern to start with is to look for wood or rock or weed cover that is in deeper water and that has deeper water close by. When crappie are faced with a cold front situation they will become less active and will hold tight to deeper heavier cover. The deeper water close by gives a crappie that feels threatened a way to escape. When crappie are in a inactive mood toward feeding, they strike zone or the distance that crappie will move to strike a bait is much smaller than if crappie were actively feeding. The angler must slow his presentation of the bait way down and fish tight to the deeper cover to find and catch crappie.
Use the lightest weight line you can get by with on spinning or spincast reels and light action rods. When you make your cast to the cover, try to keep your bait as close to the cover as possible. Watch your line for the slightest movement or your floater for any type of bobbing action. A strike from a crappie in this situation will only be a slight movement.
As for baits, it is hard to beat a live minnow. You can also try small crappie jigs and tubebaits and curly tail grubs.
After you make your cast, watch your line till it gets all the way down. If you see your line just stop or jerk sideways, reel down and set the hook. If your line goes all the way down, start working your bait very slowly up and down in a slow swimming action.
Try different depths and actions till you find one that works for you. Give these tips a try and good fishing.
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