Five crappie fishing techniques for Lake Weiss

No question. Lake Weiss is the King of Crappie lakes in the US. It is THE crappie destination, hands-down.

Lake Weiss, in northeast Alabama, on the Alabama-Georgia border, is a 30,200 acre hydroelectric impoundment fed by the Coosa River, the Chattooga River, and Big River. It offers over 447 miles of shoreline, flats, large coves, deep drop-offs, and large channels. At full level, the lake is 564 feet above sea level. It is owned by the Alabama Power Company. There are 4 free Public Access Areas, and 37 privately run Marina Services on the lake. You will need a Georgia Fishing License to fish in the portion that lies within the State of Georgia, and an Alabama License for the Alabama section. There is no Reciprocal Agreement between the two states at this time for Lake Weiss. This applies to fishing from a boat, as well as the shoreline.

In addition to the fantastic crappie fishing, Lake Weiss also has a great Largemouth, and Striped Bass fishery.

There are a few special regulations that you need to be aware of. These are excerpts from the 2011 Alabama Fishing Regulations Handbook:

“It shall be unlawful for any angler to fish with more than three rods and reels, or poles, or any combination thereof on Weiss Reservoir or Neely Henry Lake, at any time;” (In other words: No spider trolling rigs allowed)

“It is illegal to possess crappie less than 10-inches in total length;”

“It is legal to possess 30 white bass, yellow bass, saltwater striped bass and hybrid (striped) bass or combinations of any size.”

Several regulations of particular interest to Weiss Lake anglers:

“It is a violation of Alabama law for any person to transport more than one day’s creel limit of game fish beyond the boundaries of this state.”

It is a violation of Alabama law for any person to fillet a fish while fishing, or to possess fillets of fish while on public waters except when fish are being prepared for immediate cooking and consumption; provided however, that fish may be drawn or gutted with heads left attached.

The most successful method for catching crappie on this lake is called “Spider Fishing’. Anglers rig as many as 10-15 rods on the sides of their boats, rigged with two or more hooks, or jigs, each. They fish them 8-10 feet deep and troll the open waters. Other anglers fish the vegetation with 10-20 foot ‘crappie’ poles, rigged with a 2 -hook crappie rig. In both cases, the bait-of-choice is 2” minnows. While trolling, remember that the lake has many stumps and other boating hazards, so be especially watchful.

To make your own crappie rig, just attach a light bell sinker, or a series or split-shots on the end of your line. Then attach a # 4 Aberdeen hook on a dropper loop about 18″ above the sinkers. Attach another hook on a dropper loop around 12-15″ above that. Make the top dropper loop slightly shorter than the bottom one. This will keep them from tangling with each other. These rigs can be fished vertical, with a tight line, from the shore, or under a slip bobber, or normal float.

Another technique that works very well is to rig one, or two marabou jigs below and float, and work them in with short jerks. Best colors are usually yellow and chartreuse.

Suitable spinners include, but are not limited to, the Mepps Aglias, Black Fury,Panther-Martins, Roostertails and Blue Fox spinners. Good crank-baits are the smaller sizes of the Big O, Fat Rap, Heddon’s Worm, and little Minnows.

Soft plastic jigs can be deadly on Reelfoot crappie. Some of the better ones are the smaller sizes of the Sassy Shad, Cabela’s Crappie Critters, Bassasins, Little Fishies, and tube jigs.

And, Lake Weiss is almost tailor-made for fly fishing. Some of the best patterns for crappie are Clouser Minnows, Green, Chartruese and yellow Streamers, the Black Dace, small Puglisi-Style shad patterns, etc…Anything that resembles a minnow will get strikes.

If the crappies decide to go on strike, one way to make them active again is to toss out a line baited with a live minnow under a float. Then, using another rod with a spinner, crank-bait or soft plastic jig, cast out beyond the float, and reel the lure in rapidly, passing as close as possible to the minnow. This makes a predator fish think a smaller upstart is stealing its potential meal. It is an irresistible insult. Another trick is to rig a marabou jig below a topwater lure, and work them both in. To a crappie, it appears that an unwary fish is stalking another one on the surface. It drives predators inane…You can increase your stikes with minnows by taking a pair of fingernail clippers, and clipping the lower tailfin of the minnow slightly. This makes it swim erratically, and attracts crappie like crazy.

Remember, crappie move around a lot most of the time. The best time of year for crappie fishing on Lake Weiss is spring, fall, and winter. Since the lake is shallow, even in summer, suspending crappie are easier to find. The lake offers lots of structure with both open waters, and heavy cover. This also makes the lake famous for its huge snake population.

If you’re looking for the Crappie Excursion of a lifetime, then Lake Weiss is the place to go.

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.

One Response to “Five crappie fishing techniques for Lake Weiss”

  1. […] Five crappie fishing techniques for Lake Weiss | Ask Crappie Fishing This applies to fishing from a boat, as well as the shoreline. In addition to the fantastic crappie fishing, Lake Weiss also has a great Largemouth, and Striped Bass fishery. There are a few special regulations that you …http://www.askcrappiefishing.c .. […]

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