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  • The Crappie Fishing world according to......Part 1

    The Crappie Fishing world according to Crappie Pappy - Part 1

    Here is some excellent advise/replies Crappie Pappy posted on the OLD OLD OLD Message Board some time prior to 2004. Could even be from around the year 2000. I found it archived here on my computer and thought I'd re-publish it here. This is just part one, stay tuned cause there is more to come.


    Crappie Pappy,
    - I've noticed you have referenced "weedless tube jigs" a couple times in your posts. Are they weedless because of the way you are rigging them? Are they actual tiny weedless jig heads? Or are you using a “bulged tube” that covers the hook tip?

    - When I refer to "weedless" jigheads I am referring to Oldham's Sure-lock Weedless Crappie jigheads..... they have a light wire loop that comes out of the lead head and tucks under the hook point. They come in 1/16oz and you can order them out of Bass Pro Shops catalogs.

    There are also two "other" kind of weedless jig heads in my box - but I don't know the name of the company that makes them (or even if they're commercially made - I bought them a LONG, LONG time ago). One type has the "bristle" fibers coming out of the lead head like most Bass jigs .... the other has a V shaped plastic piece that comes out of the lead head. Both of them are considered "weedless" and they come in various different sizes (weights).

    I also have some of those "plastic strips" that you can use on "regular" (non-weedless) jigheads to make them "weedless". They are called "Stickguard" by LAKER - mfg'd by Jadico, Inc. PO Box 798, Camdenton MO 65020 --- I don't remember where I got them, but if it wasn't from Bass Pro Shops - then it was at Wal-mart !!
    My first choice is the Oldham's jighead ... the others are "backups" I've collected over the years ...........cp

    I think I may get some. It gets a little frustrating snagging jigs in the brushpiles. Does the larger jig head ever cause a slower bite on cold or spooky fish? It seems that a smaller weedless jig like a 1/32 would be nice.
    - Anyways, good luck an good fishin'........slabhappy

    I have used the 1/16oz head in water temps in the 40's - and caught fish. They still hit it - with that little "tic" in the line being the only indication of their presence. I wish the Oldham's jighead came in a 1/32oz --- but I've never seen one (even though the package has 1/32 - 1/16 - 1/8 sizes listed on it).

    You could purchase some of the 1/32oz jigs with the fiber brush guards or V shaped guards - they'll still get hung up from time to time, but not nearly as often as the "exposed" hook versions ...............luck2ya .........cp


    I know this may be dumb but do you hook the minnow through the mouth or side?

    -Actually Mike, you can hook minnows several different ways. I generally hook them thru the eye socket (just behind the eyes and not actually IN the eyeballs) when using a regular hook. You can also hook them thru the back (between the top fin and their backbone) or thru the tail. You can also hook them thru the lips (mouth). I've found that hooking them thru the lips, tail, and sometimes thru the back leaves them easy prey to Bluegill or Perch. These little "thieves" can empty a minnow bucket very quickly. That's not to say that they can't kill or steal a minnow hooked thru the eye socket - they just have to work a little harder at it. When I use a jighead I hook them from under the throat (at the V point) and bring the hook point up, thru and out where their nostril holes are .... The most IMPORTANT thing to remember when using minnows is- always keep a "LIVELY" one on the hook - no matter how/where you hook it!! .........cp


    My son-in-law recently purchased me a floating fishing light.
    My question is how long will they run on a full battery? Any help appreciated.

    - I have both the floating (headlight in styrofoam) and the submersable type. The floater won't drain a battery as fast but both will drain a battery flat if used overnight. I suggest using an "extra" battery and not the ones that start the big motor or power the trolling motor. You can always hook it up at home and "time" it ... then you'll know how long you have to fish and all it will cost you is in re-charging the battery (and not a sore back/arms from hand cranking the big motor or paddling back to the dock). You could purchase a "jump-start" portable battery and hook the light up to can usually find them on sale for around $40 or so. I carry one in my truck in the event its battery dies (for whatever reason) and I usually take one out in the boat, too. I'm protected from battery failure and I can always boost someone else's low/dead battery without using up the juice from my boat battery (and leaving both of us stranded). I don't use "night lights" much, anymore, and I still prefer the two mantle Coleman (fuel) lantern to either one of the (electric) others.....but, actually, if I crappie fish at night - I use "blacklights" (hooked up to my "jumper" battery)....they draw minnows, light up my lines (& bobbers), and seem to work better than the others in clear water conditions. These are just some of the "options" you have - you'll have to consider "cost" & available "space" in the boat when you decide which one is right for you......cp


    The best months to fish for crappie is whatever month they spawn in ... in this area that's usually April. I fish for them from Mar - Nov (weather permitting) but they can be caught year-round.

    What to use- I prefer jigs ... but minnows, "bugs", and small "creek" crankbaits/spinners & such will catch them at times too. The "trick" to knowing "what to use, when" is knowing (or finding out) "how deep and where" they should be at that time - then selecting a bait that you can present to them. I use weedless jigheads with tubes most of the time, because I can cast/present this bait to them from 1ft of water to 20+ foot of water. If they're down in the trees I can use marabou jigs and vertical jig, or use a minnow deadline or under a cork.

    Nobody knows where they'll be at any given time - without knowing the conditions of the waters at that time. I "expect" them to be out over creek channels in early Mar/Apr ... shallow cover in Apr/May ... creek channels & deep timber Jun/July/Aug ... and in the timber and deep brush Sep/Oct/Nov. --but I get fooled on occasion. Any tall tree that has fallen into the lake (blowdown/laydown/deadfall) is a good target most any time of year - especially if it stays put and the top of the tree extends out into deep water. Under docks is another great place (crappie like shade). Those docks over deep water (over 12ft) with brush under them are especially good. Again it depends on which bait you can get to them the easiest - as to which bait is best- never depend on just ONE bait ... always present a variety to them and let them tell you which one they want. ................cp


    I believe crappie will spawn IF they can & WHERE they can - depending on water temp and available spawning cover. They can & do spawn in 1ft of water to over 10ft of water. They WANT to spawn (survival of the species) and they can delay spawning for up to a month if conditions dictate. I've heard that if they cannot spawn they will absorb the eggs ... I don't know if this is true or not, but I do know that they will not ALL spawn at the same time and that the spawning "season" can last for many weeks. The different species of crappie prefer different water conditions (temp/clarity) and I've caught them on the spawning beds (in a couple of feet of water) when the air temps were in the 30's & 40's. IF the water is up a few feet into the shoreline trees and steady or falling slowly (and it's time for them to be starting to spawn) try this- find the biggest living trees or any old, dead tree with a few feet of water around their a minnow/bobber about 1.5ft deep right next to these trees (cover all "sides" of the tree)....I did this at Ky/Barkley Lakes many years back (they were flooded and the water was quite dirty and slowly falling)....many people were turning around in the Marina parking lots and going back home - my partners & I caught 10-15 slabs (1.5lb-2.5lb) each day, by simply targeting these flooded trees. The crappie were "holding" on these trees and backing off as the water level dropped .... now, tell me THAT doesn't prove they have the WILL to spawn regardless of the prevailing conditions - and whenever the conditions get "right" they'll jump in a pile & make babies. Crappie are prolific spawners, but conditions sometimes negate their attempts and you get a low count spawn or even a missing "year class"....but, unless this happens several years in a row, it doesn't seem to adversely affect the overall situation .... keep your spirits up and your bait in the water .......cp


    When changing line on a open face reel does it make any difference which way the line comes off the spool of new line?

    - when re-spooling a spinning reel - lay the spool flat on the floor on its side....unspool enough line to run thru the line guides and reach the reel....straighten that line out as much as you can....attach line to reel (don't forget to open the bail before tying line to spool !!)....close bail and wind handle a few turns....check line to see if coils are starting to occur...if line continues to coil more & more as you wind -STOP- flip the line spool over and continue to fill reel....if line only gets a few coils in it as you wind then you should be OK.

    The idea is to wind the line onto the reel the same way it's wound onto the spool....if you place the spool in front of the reel and see which way the bail pickup turns (usually clockwise) then the line should come off the spool the same direction and the side of the spool facing the reel should be the side facing up when the spool is on the floor.
    Another trick, that works well, is to spool the line on the reel - then go outside and open the bail and grab the end of the line and walk around in the yard and around things until you've pulled off about a third of the line you just spooled on...(don't run it around sharp edged or rough metal things if you can help it)....let the line fall into the grass and go back to the rod and engage the bail...hold rod tip down close to the grass...hold rod in front of the reel and hold the line between your thumb and trigger finger (just firm pressure - not a death grip)....reel in the line. Coils will be "ironed" out by the grass and the line will be firmly spun onto the reel spool. DON'T have ANYTHING attached to the end of the line !! If you're out in a boat and the bait you're throwing is coiling the line up and you need a quick fix - cut the lure from the line and run the line out behind the boat (running at idle speed) and let it drag in the water for a few minutes. This will also help "uncoil" the line.

    If you ever spool line on a spinning reel the wrong way (backwards) you'll know it on the first cast - your lure will go a few feet and about 40 yards of line will "jump" off the reel .....(not a pretty sight) ........and always cut off damaged line, or kinked line - and re-spool when you've lost about 1/3-1/4 of the line from the spool. This will insure that you always have "good" line and that the maximum casting distance of your outfit can be obtained ..........cp

    I would only add that you should keep your line in a cool, dry spot (like a closet) and discard ALL line (used, old and brittle, or otherwise "useless") at a tackle store that recycles the line .... NOT in the garbage can or out in the lake !! ...cp

    Comments 14 Comments
    1. RogerA's Avatar
      RogerA -
      Lots of good info there.
    1. Idunno's Avatar
      Idunno -
      The above is proof that CP is ONE COOL DUDE. Well written!

      Thanks, CP!
    1. Bayoudog's Avatar
      Bayoudog -
      thanks for the info!!
    1. Rsw's Avatar
      Rsw -
      Great read! Thanks for posting.
    1. Gabepeeps's Avatar
      Gabepeeps -
      Great read!
    1. Billbob's Avatar
      Billbob -
      good info
    1. RetiredRR's Avatar
      RetiredRR -
      Knowledge is power.......
    1. boatdocksam's Avatar
      boatdocksam -
      good read
    1. BAMA S's Avatar
      BAMA S -
      Good read.
    1. jackie53's Avatar
      jackie53 -
      "WOW"!!! Thanks!!
    1. "G"'s Avatar
      "G" -
      Good read
    1. zig zag's Avatar
      zig zag -
      THANKS ------- good advice
    1. Luvfatslabs's Avatar
      Luvfatslabs -
      Great info Thanks for sharing
    1. CrappiePappy's Avatar
      CrappiePappy -
      I just hope some of the misinformation contained in these old posts has been corrected (like the fact that Blacknose Crappie are NOT hybrid crossbred fish ) That's the beauty of this site ... we keep chipping away at an idea or statement, until we get all the facts laid out on the table ... where the truth of the matter outshines all the other ideas & opinions.

      ... cp