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Crappie Fishing - Crappie Fishing Tackle

Crappie Fishing Tackle


Crappie with Jig

This picture shows a 13 ounce crappie with a Hal Fly jig in its mouth.

2006 Ronnie Garrison licensed to About.com
Crappie Fishing Tackle

My favorite way to fish for crappie is to rig a fly rod for them. It works just like a cane pole but gives me more control and is more fun. Ten pound mono is used either as a long leader or spooled instead of fly line. A small jig is tied on the end of the line and a cork placed about 18 inches up the line. The jig is dropped by every bush, stick, tree and other structure in the water.

It usually doesn't take but a few seconds for the cork to disappear and a fat slab to come out of the water when the rod is raised. I call this fishing "dabbling" since the jig is dabbled from one place to another. I hardly ever let it sit more than 15 seconds in one place.

With a trolling motor and seat up front, a bass boat is ideal for easing around the bank and dabbling for crappie. Before I got my first bass boat, I leaned to "scull" with one hand from the front of a jon boat while fishing the bushes. I graduated from that to a big ski boat on which I rigged a wooden frame that fit over the front running light. I sat on the top of the frame and a trolling motor was mounted on it at foot level. It worked!

No matter what kind of boat you use to get to them, the crappie will be on similar structure all over the lake. The ideal place to find them is a protected cove with some kind of ditch or channel in it connecting up with the main lake or creek channels. A hard bottom seems to help, and scattered rocks and gravel make it even better. Button bushes, willows, sweetgum trees and blowdowns all attract the fish.

The water level at Clark's Hill is usually a little high in April. Two weeks ago it was at full pool, but steady rain will probably make it go up a foot or so. That is good as long as it does not get more than a foot or so above the full pool level of 330 feet. One foot of extra water puts even more bushes in the water that you can fish. Much more and you can't get to the brush and trees back in the woods that will be flooded. You can only fish the outside brush and will miss many fish.

If the water is high, don't pass up a sweetgum tree standing in the water. For some reason, big crappie seem to love to hold at the base of these trees. Drop your jig or minnow as close to the tree as possible and work it all around the tree.

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