3 Crappie Fishing Secrets

Another way to entice finicky crappie is to tie on an ultralight jig about 18″ behind a floating lure like a Chugger, or Pop R, especially in the smaller sizes. Them cast the whole rig out, and work the top-water lure normally. As you ‘pop’ the top-water lure in, the jig will mirror it’s movements underwater, giving the appearance of a small fish trying to attack another one on the surface.. Crappie will hit these viciously, thinking to get two meals for the price of one.. Many times, your only indication of a hit is that the popper will disappear. The best colors for jigs are chartreuse, followed closely by yellow and white.

In wintertime, the key to catching crappie is think small. The smaller the better,. One of my best crappie lures for vertical jigging in winter is easiily made at home. First, get some size 22 midge hooks (used for fly-tying). Then you need an empty Coors can, or any aluminum can with a silvery color. Wash the can out very good, and let it dry completely, but don’t use any detergent. It will impart a smell to it that will repel the fish…When the can is dry, get a hole-puncher and punch out several holes in the can, and collect the ‘dots’.

Now, get some Super Glue (it’s much easier if you get the brush-on type, like Lock-Tite),  Lay a dot down on a flat place, colored-side-up, and shiny-side down. Holding the hook ready in the other hand, place a small drop of glue in the center of the dot, being very careful not to allow any glue to run off of it, and glue your dot to the table. Now, holding the hook by the bend, place the shaft of the hook across the center of the dot, and hold it for a minute, until the glue sets.

As long as the hook stays in place, with the point ‘up,’ you’re good to go. Let it set for an hour or so, then get a pair of needle-nose pliers, and bend the dot evenly over the hook shank, so it makes a half-circle over the shank. This resembles a type of zooplankton known as a copepod, .and is a major source of food for crappies when they don’t want to chase minnows in cold water.

Use an ultralight rod and a small slip-shot to vertically jig the lure up and down, very gently. Be ready, because hits will be very light, as crappie will tend to gently ‘sip’ this into their mouths. With a little knowledge and perseverance, your can catch crappie all year.

Happy fishing….

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Dan Eggertsen is a fellow crappie fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on crappie fishing since 2004.

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