Vertical casting tips for crappie

Is there one lure that works better than the rest for vertical casting?

With vertical casting the goal is to drop a bait target down to the bottom of the water and bring it straight back up without getting stuck on obstacles and with some luck a fish.  This creates a unique challenge, you really need a hook but that hook will most certainly play against you as it drops and rises past the brush and other obstacles.  Finding just the right lure or jig for vertical casting for crappie isn’t too difficult.

Start with a light weight line and a good free spinning barrel.  Adjust the break or take it off altogether so that your chosen jig falls through the water freely.  Use a small lightweight jig.  This light jig will give you a better feel for what is going on below the surface of the water.  Use a weed free lure, you want something that will guard the hook from casual snags but expose the hook when the fish bites.  Use a shorter jig as this will usually mimic the bait fish that will be found in the area you are fishing.  Do not pull the jig around just let it look like a normal minnow moving up through the water like it’s browsing for food as it moves up.  Keep the head up but do not let the bait become vertical. 

With all these tactics use a lure that protects a small hook from weeds or other snags.  Do not use a long lure that enables the fish to take a taste of the tail where there is no hook use those where the fish will be more aggressive.


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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