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  • Long-lining for Summer Crappie by GABowman

    I was turned on by a fellow crappie.com'er and also a great friend to longlining back in the late winter/early spring month of Feb this year. Even that early in the year we pulled lines AND caught a decent mess of fish. So with that, I set my boat up with rod holders, rods and reels, and a new trolling motor (I-pilot). I began longlining learning what did/did not work and couldnt get enough. I followed the crappie from deep water to the banks and now back out to deep water.



    The thing about my experience of longlining is that nobody told me exactly what you could do and couldnt do (the rules of longlining). Therefore I started in the deeper water pulling double 1/16th jigs on each line and continued doing this into the spawn. Once the fish got into a couple feet of water I changed to single jigs. Until then I was still fishing the two jigs per line but I didnt have them more than a rods length out the back of the boat to keep 'em shallow.
    As the spawn ended the fish started moving back off the banks, first towards the 5'-10' depths which the single 1/16ths did great at. Later on as the water warmed I started adding splitshot to the lines and putting longer lines off the back of the boat to get the jigs deeper and even today I'm still catching ALOT of crappie with this technique. Fish are holding in the lake I'm fishing in the 20' depths. During the early morning hours I troll at faster speeds with less line out the reel (to run the jigs shallower) in the 8'-10' range and after the sun rises and the fish moves to within a foot or so off the bottom I slow the troll some and feed out more line until I'm dragging bottom. I reel back in a few feet or speed up slightly to keep the jigs just off the bottom in the flats and am still catching limits of fish. My last two trips (this week...as I am retired) have produced a limit of 30 crappie each day. And that was fishing the cool morning hours from daylight until 10:3AM of the latest.

    As most longliners know, you can catch ALOT of fish pulling jigs. And as far as I am concerned this method has worked far better than any other way I have ever fished for crappie. Fellows, I'm telling ya, if you want to catch fish...and alot of them...talk it up with fellow crappie.commers and learn the art of longlining. Experiment with your equipment and try things slap off the wall. There are no written rules....just do what works. This time of the year you practically have the whole lake to yourself. I guess the majority of the local crappie fishermen thinks crappie fishing is either night time only during the hotter months or spring time only (during the spawn) but I'm telling ya...theyre still out there and still biting almost as good as ever. Now...quit making excuses and get out there and fill some coolers. Especially now during the summer months, the morning hours are the best times of the day!
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