5 Tips for Crappie Fishing in Arkansas

When hooking minnows, you want them to be able to swim, so it is best to hook them through the eyes, jaw or just behind the dorsal fin. Be careful not to stick the lateral line, as this will instantly kill the minnow.

Another one of may favorite tricks that works around 90% of the time when crappie get lock-jaw is to Then, take a to 1-1/2″ to 2″ minnow and hook it through the lips. Take a pair of fingernail clippers and clip a small portion of the minnows upper or lower tail fin. Not a very big piece, just a very small nick. This causes the minnow to swim erratically because his tail fin is now unbalanced. Cast this rig into likely places and let it sit. Now, take another rod rigged with a small crank-bait and cast it past the bobber on the other rod, and reel it past the rig continually. To the crappie, this appears as if a smaller fish is going for your bait and is inattentive to his surroundings. This will drive any nearby predator fish insane! Be ready, because many times you will hook fish on both rods simultaneously!

If you like to use maggies, wax worms, earthworms or nightcrawlers in the winter time, and like them in different colors, here is the secret that bait shops would rather you didn’t know. The night before you want to go fishing, simply put a few drops of food coloring, of the color of your choice, in your baits bedding. By morning, the grubs/worms will have turned that color. It is completely harmless to them.

If you want fat, healthy night crawlers to fish with, take your worms out of the bait box the night before and place then in a flat container lined with wet newspaper. Place this in the fridge until morning. The next day, you will have incredibly fat, jumping night crawlers.

If you find you are catching all small crappie, move out to slightly deeper water. The crappie will get bigger. Crappies tend to school by size, with the larger ones preferring deeper water.Crappies in tailraces below dams are often overlooked. The best rig for this is a double-jig rig under a bobber. Cast the rig upstream and allow it to drift into eddies and backwashes. Gently set the hook anytime the bobber moves strangely.

And last but not least, remember that a crappie has a very tender mouth, so a hook-set is not really necessary. Simply pull the fish in. And don’t put them on a stringer. They can tear off easily, hence the nickname, paper-mouth bass.

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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