View Full Version : Discouraged Spider Rigging Beginner

06-26-2015, 11:58 AM
Hi Everyone,

I posted this on the TN forum as well for lake specific info, but I wanted to post here as well. I realize folks outside of Mid-TN won't be able to comment or advise on the lake, but you may have general summer time vertical trolling advice.


Original Post:

"Hi everyone, I am still new to the mid-tn area as well as Old Hickory Lake. I'm also a beginner at trying to spider rig/vertical troll. This past week I was able to fish 3 separate times early morning before it got super hot. I figured crappie would be in deeper water near creek channels and drops.

I fished all over the cedar creek channel and on drop edges in 12-28 FOW. We caught 2 keeper crappie and those were the only crappie we caught.

I am seeing brush/structure and fish suspended around 12-15 ft deep. Am I on the right track here as far as general area and water depths for this time of year (85 degree wt)?

I am using double jig rigs w 1/2 -3/4 oz egg sinkers in between 2 1/16 oz jigs. I've got my jigs spaced about 2-3 ft apart. I've tried about ever color I own.

If I had to guess, I think I'm fishing too shallow and too fast. Here is why: today I had 12-14 ft of line pulled off my trolling rods. I tried to keep the boat in 16-22 FOW bc this seems to be where I mark more fish. 2 different times this morning I quickly came up on shallower flats or humps. The shallowest was only 8 FOW. My baits never even bumped the bottom. I was shocked. This whole time I was confident my baits were running 10-12 ft deep, right above the majority of the fish I am marking. In reality, I think they may have been running more like 6-8 ft deep. My TM is a 5 speed and on my lowest speed into a head wind I pull about .9mph. I guess w this speed and the line and weight resistance my baits are riding up much higher than I thought.

Any advice or info to better dial in my presentation or fishing areas would be much appreciated!


06-26-2015, 12:10 PM
I believe speed is your problem. At .8 you can longline those depths. You might have to play trolling motor tag all day and bump troll to stay around the .2-.3 range if you are spiderrigging those depths. I would also rig the top hook or both unweighted with some gnats or the like. Let them minners swim a lil bit down there.

06-26-2015, 12:26 PM
If you can maintain a speed that will keep your lines at about a 45deg angle, then multiply the length of line you have out by 0.6 and you will have an idea of how deep your jigs are running.

I have a 5spd TM and my lowest setting will give me speeds between 0.5 & 0.8mph. If I run 17ft of line out, and my lines are angled at about 45deg, my 1/2oz barrel weight & trailing jig are running at about 10ft deep. That's just an estimate, of course, but correlates with what you experienced by not bumping bottom in the 8fow humps. I've had the same experience.

You could let out more line, use heavier weights, or slow the boat down (dragging buckets or wind socks, or only bumping the TM now & then to keep the boat going at a slower speed).

... cp :kewl

06-26-2015, 12:40 PM
It sound likes you are trolling too fast. Slow down to around .5 mph or slower.

Erin Brewer
06-26-2015, 01:20 PM
theysaid or you could try to pull crankbaits. Thats what most are doing right now. Last saturday I made it to the lake and tried spider rigging for 4 hrs without catching one single fish. I decided to make an attempt at pulling crankbaits and to be my first time I believe I did pretty good within 2 hrs I caught 10 crappie.

vic n
06-26-2015, 01:34 PM
I don't know your lake, and all in all I would have to rank pretty far down the list as someone to take advice from. But I would say that you might want to try lots of different depths. Locally, even tho it might be 90 we catch fish 1-2' down in 4-6 fow. That might only be the early bite, but it seems you are there at the right time. They will come up and chase shad on those shallow flats. If you know the fish are at 12', then by all means go after them, but if you are searching try to cover multiple depths

06-26-2015, 01:39 PM
I also fish with a 5 speed TM. You'll have to intermittently bump your TM on and off. If you can ,fish with the wind at your back when there is a light wind and stay off of the TM as much as possible. With Stronger winds fish into the wind and you'll be able too stay on the TM more consistently. Dragging a wind sock or 5 gallon will help you slow down and be in control of your speed. Most importantly, slow down and good fishing to you !!!

06-26-2015, 01:58 PM
You are moving way too fast. You should stop and start and try to keep your lines straight down as much as possible. While spider rigging you do not have to be constantly moving. I stop and sit still a lot and most times when I start moving is when I get bites.

06-26-2015, 02:27 PM
You can long line jigs at that speed but you are about twice too fast for slow trolling. Unless it's hard cold, I run 4 tenths 90% of the time. When the water is in the 30s and 40s I run 2 to 3 tenths or slower. Another problem this time of the year is the fish are scattered all over. It's best to slow troll early fall to after the spring spawn. At water temp (surface) of around 80 to 85 it is best to long line or pull or push crank baits. The reason being, you will have to cover a lot of water in order to expose your baits to fish.

06-26-2015, 02:42 PM
I have a 30lb 5 speed trolling motor on an aluminum boat. I tried spidder rigging and switched to long lining. I was down your way in March and fished percy priest around the fate sanders area. Caught lots of fish long lining trolling jigs with bobby garland baby shad with a crappie nibble.

06-26-2015, 03:42 PM
.1 to .3mph on speed, If you want 12' use more weight or add line. be careful on adding line, you slowdown and you can drag bottom or tree tops, brush, Etc. Black/ chartruese are great summer colors.

06-26-2015, 05:15 PM
We run .06-.09 all the time and catch fish spider rigging let the fish tell you what they want. We are always catching them on the turn so that means that outside line is moving probably 1.5

06-26-2015, 06:27 PM
All I can say is how I spider rig. The speed I use could only be described as a crawl. I get my lines to clear whatever is down below and nose into the wind til the structure starts to show and take my foot off the power, letting the lines come underneath the rod tips. The wind will stop you and push you back and the fish should react somewhere along the trip. I don't cover water very fast and usually have a spot found or marked, or an area with say a bunch of stumps, and move thru nice and easy. It doesn't always get real busy but it's a ball when it does. GPS, even a small handheld, will help you come visit your finds more than once. Different baits at different speeds will clue you in to what's working that day. It sounds to me like you are moving too fast. I use a variable speed TM on as slow as it will go a lot when cruising and looking for new territory.

06-26-2015, 09:34 PM
thanks to all for the great info! It sounds like cranks or long-lining would be best right now (more water covered). I have historically never tried bc it seems harder to control depth than slow/vertical trolling. But, I proved today I could be wrong on depth with that.

I need to read up on long- lining on here. My boat is set up better for long-lining.

06-27-2015, 04:13 AM
On the South Carolina board, there is a BIG, LONG, HUGE, but informative thread on long lining. Should get you started out pretty quickly.

06-27-2015, 09:18 AM
Thx, I was not finding much in my searches!

06-27-2015, 09:14 PM
Heck, there are only 8 crappie in Old Hickory Lake and you caught 25% of them. Not bad. I could be wrong.

Cane Pole
06-28-2015, 11:05 AM
Sometimes crappie just don't want to fool with us.