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Gabby’s fishing fever

Fishing different rigs for crappie


The crappie is one of the most sought-after fish in the sport of fishing, and for good reason. It is a fish of all seasons and all water depths and is one of the best tasting fish you will ever eat.

Crappie can grow to a pretty good size. As a matter of fact, the Kentucky state record crappie is a 4 pound, 14 ounce fish caught by Penny Hopper on May 8, 2005 out of Watershed Lake in Christian County. Crappie this size are not uncommon in lakes like Kentucky and Barkley Lakes in western Kentucky.

There are several different rigs you can use for crappie. Crappie will scatter all over a lake and can be caught by using both shallow and deep water presentations. There are also rigs you can fish deep or shallow by simply changing or adding a weight or a floater. This is the most used crappie rig and the most simple, but also one of the most effective.

This rig is a light action rodand reel combo fished on light line in the 4- to 8-pound test range. It is rigged with a small hook, and minnows are used for bait.

A sinker can be added to make the minnow stay down in deeper cover, but if you use a sinker keep it about a foot above the minnow. This will give the minnow slack line to swim around and look more natural to a crappie. A floater can be used to control the depth of the bait and to keep the bait at a certain depth. This type of rig will allow you to fish as shallow or as deep as you want.

Another good crappie rig usually fished from a boat is to slow drift or slow troll several rods at different depths over cover or a deeper channel. This style of crappie fishing can be very productive when crappie are scattered at different depths in a lake.

In mid summer or early fall when the water is warming up and moving crappie deeper or cooling down and moving crappie toward more shallow water, this can be a great time to slow troll for crappie. The trick is to place several rods at different depths at the same time. This will give you the advantage of covering more depths and presenting a bait to more crappie.

By fishing at different depths you can tell where are the most active crappie and then adjust your fishing to match. This is also a very good and quick way to cover water and find active crappie.

As far as baits, you can use the old faithful minnow or you can use a small tube bait or curly tail grub or a doll fly. Most crappie anglers will use all different baits and minnows at the same time on different rods while slow trolling.

Another productive rig is where you fish several different baits at the same time at different depths but all tied to one main line. This is done by starting out with a main line with a sinker weight tied to the end of it. Then a couple of swivels are tied a few feet apart onto the main line, and a short leader of line is tied to the swivels and a bait or minnow is tied to the leader line. This type of rig allows you to fish different depths and baits in one place on one pole.

My favorite way to crappie fish is at night with a light or lantern fishing deeper heavy wood cover.

These are some different types of crappie rigs and presentations for you to try on your next crappie trip. You can email me at gabbysfishingfever@yahoo.com.


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