Any good tips for getting crappie bites on Lake Murray?

Any good tips for getting crappie bites on Lake Murray?

You did not mention which Lake Murray you were referring to. There are dozens of ‘Lake Murrays’ all over the country, so I will just give you some generic tips that will work anywhere. Fall crappie fishing can be some of the most enjoyable of the year for several reasons. Less competition from other anglers, crappies have begun to form tight schools, and become structure oriented once again, and the beautiful fall colors are coming out everywhere. When the temperatures begin to cool off, crappie will move back into shallower water, from 1′-15′ deep, near structure such as old riverbeds, shallow bays, cove mouths, drop-offs, submerged timber, brush piles and ripraps. They will be constantly on the move in search of prey. To locate crappie, it is only necessary to find schools of minnows. Crappie will be nearby. They are trying to put on winter-weight, and will be feeding actively. My best tactics have been to vertical-fish a 1/16th oz. jig head with a curly-tail, tube or minnow body directly over structure. I start at around 12′ and work my way down in 6″ increments, to around 16′. It has been my experience that crappie will move up a few inches to hit a bait, but never down. Marabou jigs work great for this as well. You can use live minnows, but make sure they are small, no more than 2″ long. One of the keys to success with crappie is using light equipment. Use a 5-6′ ultra light rod and no larger than 6 lb. line. 4 Lb. is better. The newer ‘Crappie-Finder’ specialty reels are great because they have a depth-regulator that lets you return the line to exact depth you have it set for. When you catch a crappie, just set the depth and your good to go. I like spinning reels, but that is just my personal preference. Another trick is to always use scent on your jigs. I prefer Smelly Jelly Baitfish gel, but there are many other good ones on the market. You can also tip a jig with Berkley Crappie Nibbles. Happy Fishing!


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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