I appreciate Lane occasionally sharing his tips and tricks on his FB page. Always good insights from a veteran angler.
So I’ll share a few too for those new to crappie fishing.
Keep moving! – If they’re not biting, or if they’re not there or if you are catching mostly dinks, Move!
If the bite slows down, move! You can always come back and pick up a few more from that same spot. If you only catch 2-3 fish on a spot, that’s fine. Move ten times and you’ll have a limit. AND learn new spots.
Try a different pattern – If you're catching mostly dinks on BP’s switch to rocks, (rip rap or old road beds) docks or timber or vice versa.
Also, if you’re catching mostly dinks in 10-15’ of water move to 15-25’.
Try a different color or size – There was a recent shad spawn on my home lake (Lavon) and there are gillions of ¾ inch shad. Clouds of baitfish so thick it looks like structure.
Downsize your jig to “match the hatch”, - or - like I did, switch to something totally different, i.e. Copper Mine.
Always have someone in the boat using a different color or size.
Small jigs and light line are working well now also. Use 4-6 lb test or a leader. (But I still use 12# braid. lol)
Keep Moving! – Yes I’m saying it again. lol This time in reference to the spot you’re already on. I love my Ultrex and the anchor mode… and the jog function. While those are all great, I found myself too dependent on it and forgot some tricks. On a BP or in timber, there are sweet spots, some call it a spot within a spot… where the bigger fish hang out. On a ten foot square BP, it may be on the bottom right corner, or on top or on the bottom very near the BP, or deep down in the BP. Slowly move around with your jig to find that spot. THEN be sure and notice precisely where that is in relation to your buoy… and repeat. I caught the last several big fish from the same spot… and a few more 11 inchers. Especially in the spring, you can pull ten fish from the exact same spot. (Don’t know why or even how… lol). Also notice if you are upwind/downwind, up current or down current or in the shady part… and repeat on the next spot. Combined with depth and type of structure, now you are developing a pattern that you can repeat on the next spot.
It’s great to jog left/right/fwd/back 5 ft, but sometimes it only takes a subtle movement to find fish or trigger a strike. The beauty of the Ultrex is that even though it is electronic steering, it is almost as precise as the cable driven Fortrex. So – gently – move around your structure. Sometimes just the lifting of your jig as you move will trigger a strike. Moving off of timber to the next spot triggered a lot of strikes.
Try different jigging techniques – Which brings me to next subtlety which also involves moving – your bait.
Slowly lift your jig 2-3-4-5 feet on a spot or slowly lower. Or kill it and let it fall into the strike zone for a reaction bite. Many hookups came that way after a missed strike. Also, pitching – or the pendulum. My favorite technique is dead still vertical jigging. But sometimes they want it moving, some way or another. Pitching over or around a BP or timber and watching your line for that tell-tale “tick” is very effective when other techniques don’t work.
I hope this gives you some new thoughts to try out on your next trip.
Please share any you come up with also. That’s another good thing about TFF!
Good luck out there!