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I will be the first to admit I dont know much about crappie fishing.
What are the best methods and locations to fish for em?
Also, whats the best way to troll for them?

Thanks Guys, Jared
 
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I will share my experiences as they pertain to Lake Weiss. I am sure that they can be used elsewhere.

For me, during their spawning runs, which most reserviors and other bodies of water, there are two: spring and fall, you can catch them with just about anything. Usually this is when the minnows and small jigs work the best. You can troll in any depth of water that the fish are in, and you regulate the depth by the jighead that you use (weight) and how much line you let out. Normally, on Weiss, we use 1/4 oz. jigheads, and depending on the depth that the crappies are at, we let out 10-35 ft. of line.

When you do like I have learned to do on Weiss, and actually fish on a dock, you must size down on the jigs...............the crappies under docks, while fairly easy to catch, are very finicky. I have proven this to myself over and over, and I will never use any jigs over 1/32 oz.

One of the most effective ways to fish docks is to "shoot" them. In order to accomplish this, you take the jig in your hand, with the hook pointing AWAY from your hand, make a bow with your rod, and send it flying. This takes a bit of practice, but once you have gotten better at it, you can send jigs 15-20 ft. under docks, where crappies never see lures.

For me, I use Bass Assassin Tiny Shads for the bodies. There are several colors that you can use, but Alewife and the grey shad color produced best for me over the years of fishing on Weiss.

I normally use a 5 ft. spinning outfit, and never use line over 6 lbs.

The whole trick to shooting docks is not only to present the lure to the crappies in places that they never see jigs, but to also fish it slowly! The ole timer that taught me how to fish the docks would literally spend 5-7 minutes in one "session" allowing the jig to free fall and swing through the water column.

The strike is the best part of fishing this way, cause the line will jump back at you when a crappie hits. Crappies can feed to their sides and above themselves, and therefore, most of the time when a crappie hits a jig that you shoot under the dock, they are coming up, causing the line to go slack.

As for the trolling part of the equation, using a "spider" setup covers the most amount of water. All that it encompasses is rods of varying lengths, setup in rod holders, which are mounted to your boat. You can modify the mounting to be removable, which is great. Most crappie anglers on Weiss use an 8 ft., 10 ft., and 12 ft. rod setup, putting the smaller rod in the holder that will be closest to the boat, and so forth and so on.

One thing about crappies is that they are smart little buggers. If they stop hitting a certain color jig, change colors and more times than not, you will start catching fish again. The same holds true for small crappies.............if you are catching crappies that are smaller than what you care to keep, switch colors until you consistently catch crappies that you are wanting to keep.

On Weiss, there is a 10" length limit, which I feel all bodies of water that have high boat traffic and high fishing pressure should adopt. There are more big crappies pulled out of Weiss on a yearly basis, than any lake around. Allowing the crappie to reach 10" ensures that they are able to spawn at least once, more often twice, and it ensures that the smaller crappies have the chance to get bigger.

Lake Weiss is known as the "Crappie Capital of the World", and deservedly so. NAFC magazine has Lake Weiss as one of the top destinations for big crappies. I have fished Lake Weiss for the last 8 years, and each year, I pull out crappies that are 1 lbs., 2 lbs., and 3 lbs. There have been two years where I have caught crappies 4 lbs.

Another little trick that you can try for big slab crappies is to fish with goldfish. I know, sounds strange, but I got turned onto fishing goldfish in 2001. They are just as hearty as a shiner, and their gold hue makes them a target in the water. Watch out, cause bass, catfish, and even some turtles will hit them. LOL

Another very effective way of fishing for crappies is to use a slip-float rig. Affix the bobber stop on the line, thread the beat on, which stops the bobber from sliding over the knot, and slide the bobber on. After that, affix enough split shot to keep the float upright when fished. Some anglers affix so much weight that the bobber rides lower in the water, which is said to make it more sensitive...........I have not tried it personally, but I know that a lot of angler sure do swear by it. I usually use an Eagle Claw Aberdeen hook.

Most of the time, with ANY crappie fishing, I use 6 lbs. test mono. There are times where 4 lbs. is needed, but once you leave the relative safety of the 6 lbs. line class, HAVE A NET! You will not be able to flip a big crappie in the boat with 2-4 lbs. test. It took one time for me to learn this lesson, when I had a 3 lbs. crappie on and tried to lift it with 2 lbs. test. Not a good situation.

Jared, you are going to have to come over here and let me show you how fine the crappie fishing is on Lake Weiss.

If you all have any more questions about a certain rigging method, I will do my best to answer them to the best of my knowledge. I will also spend some time this weekend getting a few pics together of the various things that I have mentioned.
 
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LakeCityYankee said:
I will be the first to admit I dont know much about crappie fishing.
What are the best methods and locations to fish for em?
Also, whats the best way to troll for them?

Thanks Guys, Jared

Hey Jared, I have found a really good lure that has proven itself down here in Texas. Its called a roadrunner jig. Its an odd shaped head with a small spinner blade attached to the back of the head. Then you can put a small grub on it. And I mean a small grub. I will take a pic of the bait that I use and am talking about. As far as finding them, its easier in the early spring to late fall and early winter. The summer time is pretty difficult to locate them much less trying to get them to bite. I sometimes hear of people using two or three crappie jigs on the same fishing line. I have never tried that but others seem to love it. But the best bait would be minnows. They are better than anything else.
 
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Yup, the good ole Road Runner has been around for years, and is a tried and tested lure. Some of the guys that troll for crappies on Weiss use them, but they find that the stripers and spots are more attracted to them.

What I really like is the Aaron Marten's Horsey Head jig, which is nothing more than a larger version of the Road Runner.

Jimmy Houston had a fellow from Blakemore on his show the other day, and they were using the Road Runner. They said that they were fishing for crappies, but they kept landing 5-8 lbs. bass. They finally got into the crappies, which were all 2 lbs., and were letting them go. :-\ I don't understand catch and release with slabs.
 

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I have been actively fishing for crappies since the late 70's. Somebody illegally introduced them to this state.
I like to throw little mister twister grubs in any color. I have found over the years that crappie really like the white,yellow and pink grubs.
When fishing with live bait, I use a small lead head jig and tip it with a minnow. Almost like fishing for walleyes. Also once located, you can use a pencil bobber and a small spit shot. I like the circle hooks for all live bait applications. Just remember not to use a huge hookset. Just a sweeping motion will hook most fish.
John
 

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Crappies are great in the spring/fall when bass season is closed. And of course through the ice up here.

I like mini-tubes below a slip float fished around sunken brush and logs.

If I have to, I will tip the tube with a small piece of worm or simply finesse them with a live emerald shiner. Small jigging spoons work great too.

I find to get into the big ones you really have to pay close attention to your fish finder for hooks of baitfish or the fish themselves. And the bigger ones tend to sit deeper (where I am anyway).
 

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Get yourself some weedless jig heads and fish them like worms in the brush piles the average guy is not gonna do this because you will get hung up occasionally with a little practice you can walk it right through the brush I garrentee the fish have not seen this presentation.
Drew
 

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Best way to catch crappie while trolling is using jigs that are hand tied in light green,yellow,and pink.A friend of mine does this all time and in winter he pours all his jigs and ties them up for next season.He also will use 2lb line and reason is if he gets hung on something it will break off easy and he will retie,he uses several rods when trolling.The trolling motor he uses will be set for a depth he thinks and will run a course like that and some how follows the contor of lake or creek channel.When he targets docks only he will use plastic type jigs with short rod and shoot them up under docks.Him and his wife always bring a limit home and every one is a keeper.I hope this helps.
 

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Set up a spider rig with 4+ rods, rig up some tiny crank baits with a 1/16oz split shot up the line 6-12", troll slow, slow, slow. Jigs are good too. And, if you are a minnow user, troll them too. I like jigs best for Crappie, never use minnows or live bait of any kind. Troll along a drop off at various depths, and big flat areas close to drop offs. Troll old ponds along the old dam. Across long under water points.
 

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Jared,
Like you I don't know much about crappie. What I did find though is they do like Swim baits! :)

This one was caught at the beginning of June this year. That is the first and last one I have caught! :)
 

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bigtex said:
LakeCityYankee said:
I will be the first to admit I dont know much about crappie fishing.
What are the best methods and locations to fish for em?
Also, whats the best way to troll for them?

Thanks Guys, Jared

Hey Jared, I have found a really good lure that has proven itself down here in Texas. Its called a roadrunner jig. Its an odd shaped head with a small spinner blade attached to the back of the head. Then you can put a small grub on it. And I mean a small grub. I will take a pic of the bait that I use and am talking about. As far as finding them, its easier in the early spring to late fall and early winter. The summer time is pretty difficult to locate them much less trying to get them to bite. I sometimes hear of people using two or three crappie jigs on the same fishing line. I have never tried that but others seem to love it. But the best bait would be minnows. They are better than anything else.


ive heard them called horses head or something like that i got some i use here in wyoming

in texas we fished for crappie around anytthing that was in the water and stood up. Trees, docks pillars, bridge pilons (great place) brush ect ect

never did it with a 10 ft pole always fished with 4 ft poles and spincast reels. pitch and or flip smal hair jigs in white and or chart as deep as you can into the bruch pile and hole on!!!!


been catchin em up here in wyoming on small flys and what-not on my fly rod. From small flys to mid sized flys been tearin em up
 

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o yea i forgot small jigs tipped with minnows is pretty hot too in spawn season in the same places i mentioned above
 

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I use the small tube jigs with Berkley nibbles on the hook, I use a 12ft crappie pole for jigs with a spincast reel, and I have 4, 5ft rods with spincast reels that I use with minnows.
 

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Here's my favorite method. It's called tightlining. Unlike trolling where you control your depth with the speed of your trolling motor, with this method if you see fish down 10 ft you let out 11 foot of line and your right in there faces. Also if you want to go up to a dock and reverse it's not a problem. With trolling you just have to keep moving or your jig's will be dragging the bottom. We prefer ron's zip jig's (small mylar jig) with the smallest minnow's the bait store has! Another little trick that helps is the loop knot. This will give the jig lot's of movement when trolling or tightlining.. whew. too much typing.. Hope this pic's works.. The other is of my rig. I have 6 holder's in the back and 8 in the front. Usually dont load them up though. This is my daughter's absolute favorite type of fishin'... Sorry about going on and on, I drank a redbull and it's midnight! WIDE AWAKE!!! :sad01: :coffee01:


 
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