Tag Archives: jig 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.

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 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.

KVD’s Prespawn Jig Tactics

BY: Kevin VanDam

Everyone knows the prespawn is a time to catch big fish.

Bass can be easy to pattern when the weather is stable this time of year, but they can be tricky to figure out during changing conditions because they make fast location changes.

The first step is to determine where they winter and where they go to spawn, then spend time searching between those areas.

Power fishing with spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jerkbaits can be very effective for locating prespawn bass, but a jig can be just as efficient when warranted.

Finding Crappie on Docks

You know the local lake that you spend all your time fishing? The one with all those houses that line the shore – the houses with all the boat docks? Those docks might be clogged with people loading and unloading boats and having all kinds of fun, but some of the best crappie fishing can be found directly below them at almost any time of year.

So what is it about these docks? It doesn’t matter what part of the country you’re fishing, if you’ve got crappie in the water, they’re bound be around these docks. Granted, crappie love certain docks more than others (wooden docks seem to hold more crappie than metal ones), but once you figure out which docks they prefer and what kinds of baits and tackle work best around this structure, there will be nothing stopping you from stocking the livewell with big slabs of crappie.

Prespawn Flippin & Pitchin with Denny Brauer

By: Denny Brauer

There’s a lot of variance in February around the country when it comes to bass fishing. Some of the fish will be up on the beds and others will be just starting to move towards the beds. One thing is for certain, however, they’ll all be thinking about the spawn. That means they’re vulnerable to a flipping or pitching approach.

Look for them around suitable spawning areas. Generally that’ll be in the thickest cover they can find near a hard bottom area. I usually start near pockets or other backwater spots, but you always have to keep in mind where you’re fishing. If backwater spots are few and far between on your water, you might want to look around to see what else is available. I’ve seen many a largemouth bed on a big tree limb in standing timber over 40 feet of water. In Florida they often spawn on pad roots.