Tag Archives: Deep Fishing

Follow the Migration for More Spring Crappie

BY: Don Wirth

THE TYPICAL SPRING CRAPPIE APPROACH is a no-brainer. You head for the backs of reservoir tributary arms, anchor, and drown minnows in sunken brushpiles, waiting for finicky spawning crappies to bite—all the while rubbing bows with scores of other anglers doing the same thing. Kentucky Lake guide Garry Mason (731-593-5429) takes a more proactive tack. He hits the water several weeks ahead of the crowds, casting lures along sunken highways that fat pre-spawn crappies travel to reach their shallow spawning grounds. It’s virtually the same strategy as that of professional bass anglers gunning for big largemouths in early spring. Soaking minnows is a meat-fishing game. Mason’s method, on the other hand, is geared toward those who’d rather tie into the crappie of a lifetime.

Cold Water Spinnerbait Tips

By: Mark Hicks

Pro bass fisherman Terry Butcher of Talala, Okla., catches his biggest wintertime bass by slow-rolling a spinnerbait in water as cold as 47 degrees. The prime time for this tactic is after a sunny warm front has baked the surface water for a few days. This draws bass up from deeper water and puts them in a feeding mode. Carefully casting to fallen trees is the key.

Springtime is Swimbait Time

BY: Dan O’Sullivan

It’s spring throughout most of the country, and with the exception of the deep southern part of our land, the bass are in some stage of the prespawn period.  They are likely either just coming out of their winter haunts and filtering onto their first prespawn transition zones, or they have begun cruising spawning areas looking for a place to set up to spawn.

One of the best things about this time of the year is that the big females are up, and they are getting ready to strap on a serious feed bag in preparation for the arduous task of spawning.  What this means is that the chances of catching a larger than average bass in your lake increases.  In order to capitalize on this opportunity, you just have to appeal to their appetites.

There is no better way to do this than to toss a swimbait.

Chasing Spring Crappie From Florida to Canada

By: Matt Straw

If you planned on following the spring crappie bite from Florida to the far frontier in southern Canada this spring, sorry, you’re too late. I’m kidding. But I’m not. All will be explained as we track prespawn crappie movements from Florida to Canada, spotlighting unique and unusual tactics along the way.

Tactics morph gradually for spring crappies. The process unfolds over decades. Today, spider-rigging seems to predominate from the Atlantic to the Pacific along the southern tier of states. It’s been the primary tactic for so many and for so long it’s hard to remember things being done differently. What will the next transformation be? Some of the best crappie fishermen we know have a few suggestions.

10 Cold Water Crappie Tips

Bundle up because winter is the best time for crappie fishing.

During the colder months, schools of crappie gather together into larger groups, so once you find that perfect spot, you can literally sit back and catch one fish after another.
If you’re ready to brave the frigid temperatures to catch your limit in crappie, there’s some tried and true tips that the best anglers follow. Here’s our top 10 list:

Spring Crankbait Fishing: The Basics

BY: Mark Hicks

Spring and crankbaits go together like peanut butter and jelly. Wide wobbling big bodied baits that look like crawdads moving shallow and tight wiggling baits that look like shad are just what bass are looking for as the water warms and they move up to feed. Knowing where and when to use each bait is key to your success.

Spring Crappie Primer

By Paul Cañada

Springtime crappie fishing is a longstanding tradition in the Lone Star State. Anglers begin venturing out at most fisheries in February and March, and at local fuel stations, buckets of minnows edge out breakfast burritos as top sellers.

Fishing a minnow under a slip cork for slabs can trigger strong memories of childhood days and times spent with dad watching that bobber dance. Neighborhood kids running home after school, grabbing their Zebcos and a bucket and pooling their change for a dozen minnows — these were common sights in the old days. For many anglers, the springtime crappie spawn remains an annual event.

Spring Crappie Tips from a Legend

BY: Bob McNally

Sam Heaton, who has been around fishing all his life, spent 25 years as a crappie guide on Alabama’s famed Weiss Lake. In time, he moved along in his fishing career, and now he is one of the primary in-the-field men for MinnKota and Humminbird.

But Heaton still knows crappies, and he catches them across America like few others can. In fact, his instructional Crappie Fishing Techniques remains one of Bass Pro Shops’ best-selling DVDs of all time—more than 25 years after it was introduced.

Although spring is often heralded as the top time for catching spawning fish, Heaton believes that the true key to spring crappie success is understanding the subtle differences in spring spawning phases.

Water temperature sets up the drama. The optimal temperature for spawning varies according to lake size, depth, and water clarity, current (in a river), and other factors. But generally, crappies spawn when water temperature is between 57 and 65 degrees. Here are Heaton’s tips for catching crappies through all three spawning phases.