Outdoor Articles

Crappie Fishing Techniques

by Pursue The Outdoors on November 30th, 1999 in Freshwater Fishing

One of the most popular fish to go out and catch, or should I say attempt to catch, is the crappie. People from all over the country fish for these little beauties, mostly because they provide such great table fare. Of all the fish swimming is freshwater, crappie are in the running for the best tasting. Their light flaky meat is much like the flesh of a walleye, only a bit “sweeter”. There are many techniques that can be used to catch crappie, but two of the most popular have to be live minnows and/or small jigs. I’ll give a brief synopsis of both in this article to give you an overview.

Live Minnows – The most popular way to catch Crappie is probably through the use of live minnows. Most anglers use a size 4 or 6 hook, hook it through the minnows back, place this live minnow under a bobber and fish for Crappie. Although this technique works, there are better ways to present you live minnow to the fish. The easiest way is through the use of gang hooks. Gang hooks are simply 2 small hooks tied in tandem. So, in the case of Crappie, the angler should first tie a small barrel swivel onto their line. Then tie a #8 or #10 set of gang hooks onto the other end of the barrel swivel. Now, take a live minnow and hook it through the lips of the top hook (I always leave the second hook “floating free”, but hooking the second hook into the minnows’ back works as well). Now place your bobber onto you line and your good to go. Hooking the minnow through the lips does little or no damage, and the minnow lives for a very long time, which is good because live minnows can be a bit pricey. The longer you can keep your bait “alive”, the better. The gang hook technique is very effective for catching crappie.

Small Jigs – Small jigs are also a very popular technique for catching Crappie. The twister tail that you place on the jig is the important part. There are no hard and fast rules as far as color is concerned, so experimentation is the key. One thing that I have found is that Berkley’s “Power” version of twister tails work quite well. In some cases these “power tails” will even out fish live minnows. Again, as far as what color to use, experimentation is the key. Another very effective technique when it comes to jigging for Crappie is to tip your jig with a live minnow. Simply hook a minnow through the lips onto the hook of your jig, and your jip is “tipped”.

The two techniques mentioned in this article are the most popular and most effective way to catch Crappie. Are there other ways to catch these delectable fish? Of course, but these two are the most effective. I recently saw a “crappie rig” in the local tackle shop, and thought I should mention it. It was a contraption with like 3 large hooks coming off of it, with a sort of wire that kept the three hooks from getting tangled. It looks somewhat like a “tree”, for lack of a better way to describe it. I was flabbergasted by this thing, and quite frankly a bit scared. Please, I beg of you, never buy or use a contraption such the kind I’m attempting to describe. Remember what Steven Wright said of fishermen, “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” Using rigs like the “crappie rig” make us look like idiots!


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