Crappie Bait: Old Tricks Of The Trade
There are a lot of "old tricks" out there for catching crappie. Some of them are tried and tested... and some are a bunch of malarky. We're going to focus on a few crappie bait "gems" that have stood the test of time, and consistently pulled results.
The first one is a double-rig setup. (Some of the old guys call them "fish-finder rigs"). It was first used by commercial fishermen for Bluefin Tuna. When you scale it down, it's an excellent rig for crappie.
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To set it up, rig up two #4 Aberdeen hooks onto 6 dropper loops. These should be 3 feet apart. Use a 1/8 oz. bell sinker (or several split shots) below this.
Fish all of this under a slip bobber. You can also tight-line with this setup. Another variation is to remove the sinker and hooks, nad replace with two 1/16 oz. marabou jigs under the slip bobber. This can pull some amazing results in heavy cover... and it's pretty common to get "double crappie hookups" with this.
As for the jigs that work best, we've found using a white or yellow jig above a chartreuse one can pull awesome results in most situations.
Another little twist you can use on this setup is to remove the bobber, and hook up a small crank-bait under the jigs. To crappie, it looks like a small minnow is chasing a smaller fish. To any predator, this is almost an irresistible situation that almost forces a strike.
Next up... a little trick for when the bite shuts down.
Put 6-7 minnows in a big glass jar with water in it. Poke some holes in the lid so water can circulate through... and also let the "smell" of the minnows out into the water.
Tie a small rope to the jar, and lower it into the water...let it get down there a few feet.
Drop your bait down near the jar... the idea is that crappie will see and smell a small school of minnows... and they'll come to investigage. Guess what? The only minnow they'll be able to get to is the one on the end of your hook.
Now... in the winter time, here's a unique tip that can keep the bite going strong in the cold.
You can use this one with wax worms, maggies, earth worms, or night crawlers.
The night before yo go fishing, just put a few drops of food coloring, whatever color you wish, in the "bedding" of your bait.
When morning comes around, your baits will be the same color as the food coloring, and it's completely harmless.
This can really trigger some strikes...change up the color and test.
And here's an ofter overlooked place to catch crappie: tailraces below dams.
Your best bet is to use a double-jig rig under a bobber. Just throw it upstream and let it drift down into backwashes and eddies. Set that hook (gently) any time your bobber moves suddenly.
There's your daily dose of crappie bait tips... enjoy!
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