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  • How to fish Santee Cooper Grass Mats



    No, this is not how you fish the grass mats on Santee Coopers Lake Marion. Whitey Outlaw is just taking a break from the action waiting for the next writer to take into the woods! And that next writer happened to be me.

    So Whitey picks me up from Matt Morgans Ranger to go do some one-poling in grass mats with his flat bottom War Eagle 1754 boat. He has a 40 HP on this aluminum boat which seems perfectly made for scooting nose first into the grass, not to mention going over stumps. Look at the video below, you'll see us stump jumping with his War Eagle (it's built like a brick outhouse, strong like bull!).

    Whitey looks for grass mats that are in about 3 feet of water. He says anything less than about 2.5 to 3 feet of water does not seem to hold Crappie. He motors up to the edge of the grass and drops a jig in the water to test the depth. "Ahh, this looks good" he said as he slowly pushes the boat completely into the grass bed. "We're going to dip our jigs into any little hole in the grass you can find".



    I start dipping my jig into places barely big enough for a jig to get through. In fact, most of the holes are not holes, they just look like holes, but I keep trying. While I'm doing this, Whitey pulls out a fish, and then another, and another.

    Wait, what! I fish Lilly Pads in Florida all the time. I know how to dip a jig. I am finding some holes in the grass mats, but for some reason I'm not catching anything, and he is! I just don't get it.

    So this goes on for a while, and I'm still not catching squat! I find a nice looking hole about as far as my reach will go. It's next to a limb sticking out of the water. I think this is it. There has to be a fish in that water. It looks perfect and so I work this hole for a few minutes with no results. Still got squat for fish!

    I pick my bait up out of the hole and start looking for the next hole. While I'm looking for the next "perfect hole", Whitey says to me "You try this one?", and I say, heck yeah, I worked that hole for a good five minutes and got nothing. I tell him there's no way you're going to catch something out of there. Low and behold, he drops his jig in, and on the first time down he's got a crappie.

    What the heck am I doing wrong. Something just ain't right. We're using the same Mid South Tackle tube jigs. Everything else is the same. I'm even watching how he handles his rod tip to bounce the jig, and I'd doing that the same way. I just don't get it. It much be his mojo!

    Whitey Outlaw just has that special Crappie Fishing mojo that just don't come to me. He says it's because he's fished these waters since he was a little kid, and he knows what he's doing. But I'm there doing the exact same thing with the exact same gear, and I end the day catching "zip, zero, nota" out of the grass mats! We must have moved to six different spots and I caught exactly the same thing, "zip, zero, nota". Whitey Outlaw plain and simple just has that Crappie Fishing Mojo, and I have "zip, zero, nota". I'm changing my handle on Crappie.com from "Slab" to "No-Mojo". That's my story and I'm sticking to it!



    We used BnM's "Bucks Ultra Lite Crappie Reels" on "Bucks Gold 10ft jig pole" with on Rockport Rattler jigheads wrapped with Midsouth Tackle tube jigs.

    Also interesting to note is that Whitey used a long (curved at the tip) piece of conduit, to open up the grass in places so we could get down through it with our baits where the grass was extra thick.

    This certainly was an exciting way to fish, but also nerve racking when the guy next to you is hauling them in and you can't catch a one! Truth be told, yes, I caught no fish, Whitey caught seven or eight. We were fishing in the afternoon and the fishing had declined a bit compared to his morning trip. We only fished for about two and a half hours at most, tried six or seven different spots, and in the last hour or so the fishing got real slow. Whitey only caught one I think in the last hour. Before we left we went back to the exact spot and hole he showed me up on so I could give it one last try, and I still was not able to jig a fish up out of it. Dang that hole, I will be back some day, I know exactly where its at (in the picture above its just above the third Driftmaster rod holder from the left, you can just see the limb sticking out of the water I was talking about).
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. huntinslabs's Avatar
      huntinslabs -
      You fished with the MAN in the woods.
    1. scrat's Avatar
      scrat -
      Wow! Can't say that I am not just a little bit jealous. Slab it must be nice to get to fish with all the pro's that you get to fish with. Thanks for sharing the report and video.
    1. Slab's Avatar
      Slab -
      It was a pleasure to get shown up by Whitey. One thing I learned was "try harder". There are fish there, you just have to get them to bite, so I will definitely be trying harder for sure.
    1. "G"'s Avatar
      "G" -
      You coulda took me with you
    1. StratosFS5's Avatar
      StratosFS5 -
      Sure looks like a great place to catch some slabs!
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