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Vorlin

Goofy Crappie tips that worked...

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Well, I'm not sure that they're tips as much as lessons learned...

I was trying for bass off of a dock that I know well when I happened to glance down and see a whole mess of panfish all around the dock in the crystal clear water. I was fishing the bass rig slowly with a senko and figured that I could try a jig along the dock while letting the senko sit between small moves.

I use a 1/32 oz jig on a #6 or #8 hook and it's balanced a lot like a shad dart... which is what they used for the "Crappie Magnet". I dulled down from bright chartreuse to a blackish head with transparent chartreuse tail and found that the blugill were hitting the less bright lure much harder in the clear water. I was simply tossing it out about ten feet and then swimming it back with 3" taps and a slow reeling action.

Then, my senko line jumped while I had the jig in the water. I droped the jig down and checked the bass rig... missed. Oh well...

Now, my jig was on the bottom... around 7 feet. I was feeling as if it didn't matter so I jsut swam it back the same old way I was doing before when a bright silver flash darted out from under the dock and tried to hit the jig hard enough to break it in half!

Crappie! Right there under my feet!

Over the next couple of hours I must have hauled in over 40 of them. For nearly a dozen casts, I had one every single cast. So, I tried the good old crappie bobber and jig combo with the same jig... and got NOTHING. Not a nibble, not a fish, absolutely nothing!

Thinking that the fish had turned off, I tried the swim action again without a lot of hope... and for the next six casts it was a fish on every cast!

Observation: Out of 40 or so fish, only 2 were the darker males. Most every fish I caught was a female who was holding under the structure / dock.

That's the story, and here are a few observations / lessons from it. These are NOT rules or any such thing carved in stone but merely things that worked better than my usual techniques on this day:

1) Ever wonder why the fish always go under the boat? That's because it's COVER. Your boat, your tube, your dock, even your backside can be a place that fish try to hide. Never forget to look right under your nose, literally. Many fish aren't the least bit scared of you... and may try to hide under you.

2) Around here, some form of chartreuse is the way to go. Bright neon in muddy water and subdued two-tones in clear water.

3) Get a crappie magnet from Wal-mart for $2 and study it... the thing WORKS. It's a 1/32 oz shad dart on a #8 hook with a tiny little jig and the thing catches crappie like mad. When rigging a jig, remember that balance for a horizontal fall and keep it light... 1/32 or 1/16 is plenty for crappie.

4) Up until that day, my #1 crappie technique was a jig on a bobber. Not anymore. The 3" taps and slow retrieve so completely out-fished the bobber that it was a sad joke. Now, that could change from one day to the next but it's an important point to remember because if your bobber isn't taking hits then you have to remember that you could still be on fish! If you think that they're around even though you aren't taking hits, try the both techniques and see if either one or the other is what the fish want.

5) The odd thing is that the pole I used for the crappie was an old 6' graphite rod that had been broken so many times that there were only 4 feet and 2 eyes left on it. That's right... I had no tip! I had NO light action! I could have been using a steel rod for all the fish cared that day!

Just when you think you know what you're doing, you have a day like this! ;)

Vorlin

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Guest avid

Ya gotta love it when that happens.

some of my fishing days started by "accident".

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