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MrFrost

Best Way To Setup For Crappie?

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Ok, I know there have been a couple recent topics focused on Crappies, but I didn't want to hijack anyone else's discussion for my beginner level questions, lol.  I know that often times, bank fishing for Crappies is not the most recommended, but the river (Fox River, in Elgin IL) where I am attempting to target them, people seem to have great success doing so from the bank.  I have attempted one time, and aside from losing my live minnows several times, did not manage to land anything.  I rigged my Crappie rod the way a buddy of mine instructed me to do so, but I don't have much confidence in that method after my failed attempt. 

 

He told me to first put a bobber stop on my line, then a slip bobber. Then he said to tie on a barrel swivel, with about two feet of line to a small hook.  He said once that was tied on, to put a split shot above the barrel swivel as well as down near the hook.  I tied everything up just as instructed, but what kept happening, was the slip bobber would spin and so would the line below the barrel swivel and they'd wrap around each other.  This happen on most of my casts, regardless of how hard I was casting. 

 

Normally, I would just chalk up being skunked to not finding any fish, but several guys fishing next to me were catching a godo amount of Crappie.  One finally told me to get rid of the setup I had and just tie on a small jig, and said they were all catching them on green plastics.  I tried that aswell, but by the time I gave up on my live bait, even they stopped catching fish, so I called it a day. 

 

I have a lake near me (Busse Lake - South Pool), that is often very pressured, but people do catch Crappie, so I am thinking about trying there, and would love to use live bait, as in my head, I was going to be the Crappie Killer with live minnows, so obviously I had to go out and buy a Frabill Bait Station, lol, and now I'd like to justify that, however, if jigs and plastics are more recommended, I will definitely go with that, as I just want to put some good fish on the table!

 

That brings me to my question, is the setup my buddy recommended ideal or is there a better or just different method that would potentialy eliminate the twisting and tangling I experienced?  The split shots were recommended to help get the minnow lower in the water column.  I am sure to some, this is beyond basic, but I picked up my first rod in June, so I have been trying to take in as much as I can as quickly as possible!  I appreciate any help or suggestions!

 

Thanks! 

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The slip float method is good but there is no reason for the swivel. Bobber stop then the slip float and then tie on a ball head jig that is just heavy enough to make the float you are using stand up straight. Put your minnow (or a plastic bait) on the jig.  Adjust the bobber stop so the jig is off the bottom. Move the bobber stop up or down until you find the depth the fish are feeding. The beauty of the slip float is that you can reel the float and jig close to the rod tip to make casting easy. There are lots of floats available, using thinner ones that don't require much weight to balance make the set up more sensitive to light bites. 

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The most important thing for me in crappie fishing is a Bobby garland baby shad with a straight tail. Put in on a 1/16th is jighead and you no longer need minnowS. Hang it under a regular bobber or just fish it without one. 4lb line is the second most important thing ......

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Thank you both!  I currently have 6lb test...but once I need new line, I will go down to 4lb for sure.  I will also pick up some of those Bobby Garland Baby Shad! 

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1 hour ago, MrFrost said:

Thank you both!  I currently have 6lb test...but once I need new line, I will go down to 4lb for sure.  I will also pick up some of those Bobby Garland Baby Shad! 

6 will still work but 4 is very sensitive for the papermouth bite detection 

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Here's my float setup starting from bait to pole.  2 inch grub or tube on a 1/16th jig head.  2-3 inches up the line a small lead pinch weight, then a slip float and finally above that I tie a piece of fishing line to act as a bobber stop.  I "can" reel the knot through my rod guides but would rather not so I put the knot at the depth I want to fish and only reel it up that far.  I use 6lb copoly for that setup.  My other setup is the same bait and jighead but just tied straight on to 4lb test and I cast it just like any other lure.  Slow retrieve.  On my float setup, you can substitute a live minnow but when I use that presentation I use a snelled live bait hooks and put the pinch weight on my main line just above the snell loop.  You don't want to cast often with live minnows, it kills them pretty quick and crappie like live minnows.  They also like the smallest minnows you can buy.  Repeat.....SMALL minnows!!  ;)

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1 minute ago, TOXIC said:

Here's my float setup starting from bait to pole.  2 inch grub or tube on a 1/16th jig head.  2-3 inches up the line a small lead pinch weight, then a slip float and finally above that I tie a piece of fishing line to act as a bobber stop.  I "can" reel the knot through my rod guides but would rather not so I put the knot at the depth I want to fish and only reel it up that far.  I use 6lb copoly for that setup.  My other setup is the same bait and jighead but just tied straight on to 4lb test and I cast it just like any other lure.  Slow retrieve.  On my float setup, you can substitute a live minnow but when I use that presentation I use a snelled live bait hooks and put the pinch weight on my main line just above the snell loop.  You don't want to cast often with live minnows, it kills them pretty quick and crappie like live minnows.  They also like the smallest minnows you can buy.  Repeat.....SMALL minnows!!  ;)

Thank you!  Yeah, I definitely asked for the smaller minnows, but they still seemed a little big.  Will check out a mom and pops shop local to me and see if they have a better selection of minnows.  

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MOST line twist occurs at the reel and (specifically the line roller) so unless the lure/bait is "offset" somehow, I'd get rid of any unnecessary hardware (the barrel swivel).  It appears to be causing more problems than it is fixing AND necessitate two additional knots (which are often to weakest link).

 

If you don't want to use minnows or your supply dries up, small gulp minnows below a bobber are an excellent substitution.  They are kind of pricey BUT will outlast minnows by a large margin.

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1 weight 1 hook 1 bobber. If you are fishing in less than 4ft of water, I like a rocket bobber. Deeper, use a slip bobber. When I used to fish Busse, I'd fish by the dams and the warm water discharge for crappie, but it's been many years. Are you fishing around Walton Island near the dam in Elgin?

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15 hours ago, slonezp said:

1 weight 1 hook 1 bobber. If you are fishing in less than 4ft of water, I like a rocket bobber. Deeper, use a slip bobber. When I used to fish Busse, I'd fish by the dams and the warm water discharge for crappie, but it's been many years. Are you fishing around Walton Island near the dam in Elgin?

Actually, the i90 overpass.  I was told that in November and December the crappie are hitting there like crazy.  On Sunday I watched a guy catch a bunch.  By the time I switched to a jig like he was using, the bite was gone for him too.

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Theres a deep hole under the overpass on the west side of the river. If i recall its 9-12ft deep

 Make sure you're getting the bait down.

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