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Thread: Learning to fish for Crappie

  1. #1
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    Default Learning to fish for Crappie

    I'm 65 years old and have used live bait my whole life fishing for Crappie and Catfish. The last couple of years I've been trying to master the use of jigs. I have friends that have give me advise on jigs, colors, size, temperature, depth, presentation, the right rod and reel and how to respond to the "thump" . I fish once or twice a week. I'm finding fish on my finder, which gives me the depth to fish. With all that, I'm getting an occasional bump but that's all. Other Crappie fishermen are coming to the dock loaded with Crappie. I'm coming in without getting a bite. I don't know if I just fish when they're not biting (every time I go) or what my problem is. Other than advise to go back to using minnows, does anyone have something I need to try? I would say, asking for a friend, but even my friend wouldn't admit to not being able to catch fish
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  2. #2
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    IMO, you're getting bit, you just don't know you're getting bit. I was in your shoes 4 years ago, and I asked the same questions. People told me to watch my line. So I did. Every once and a while I'd see it jump and I'd set the hook. I'd catch a crappie when I'd do that. I started catching more, but still not a lot. So I struggled along.... I was fishing with 2 crappie.com members about 6 weeks ago. Slabprowler and Lowe175. Mitch and Glenn. I tried using a float and jig since Glenn was in the boat. Glenn is a crappie catching ninja. I wanted to pick his brain. He told me if the float did anything that I didn't make it do, to set the hook. That worked. So I transferred that tip over to casting and reeling. I started catching way more fish. If your line has a 6" bow in it and the bow changes to 4" and then back to 6", you just missed a fish. I fish with 1/32 ounce jigs 99% of the time, so if there is any wind at all, my line is rarely straight. There's no telling how many bites I've missed over the years and I know I still don't know I'm getting bit, every time I get bit, but now if I think there's any chance I get bit, I set the hook. I may look like a spaz at times setting the hook when there's nothing there, but I'm catching more crappie! Use high vis line, the lightest jig you can cast and reel slower. If you think you're reeling slow, slow down more.

    My point is, a lot of crappie bites aren't felt. They're seen.

    I'm sure no expert and don't mean to sound like one, but I'm new to that breakthrough and it's still fresh on my mind. One simple comment, that finally clicked in my hard head, made me a way better crappie catcherman. I don't want to be a fisherman, I want to be a catcherman.
    Likes dchoate, Redge, Ketchn, slowhand, tlefire and 9 others LIKED above post
    Thanks searchn4crappie thanked you for this post

  3. #3
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    WELCOME Aboard! For starters, you're in the right place. The folks here are fantastic and will help you with any questions you might have. Your current delima is what's referred to as a "learning curve". Once you start hitting them on jigs, you'll never go back to live again. Before anyone can assist you however, we have to know what kind of water you fish (lake or river system), water clarity and temperature, how deep you are "finding" the fish (if in fact that they are crappie) and the forage base. Rule No. 1 - find bait fish on structure and the crappie will not be far behind. Good Luck to you and again, Welcome!
    "A voyage in search of knowledge need never abandon the spirit of adventure."
    Likes dchoate, Redge, Ketchn, S10CHEVY, rojoguio LIKED above post

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by FurFlyin View Post
    IMO, you're getting bit, you just don't know you're getting bit. I was in your shoes 4 years ago, and I asked the same questions. People told me to watch my line. So I did. Every once and a while I'd see it jump and I'd set the hook. I'd catch a crappie when I'd do that. I started catching more, but still not a lot. So I struggled along.... I was fishing with 2 crappie.com members about 6 weeks ago. Slabprowler and Lowe175. Mitch and Glenn. I tried using a float and jig since Glenn was in the boat. Glenn is a crappie catching ninja. I wanted to pick his brain. He told me if the float did anything that I didn't make it do, to set the hook. That worked. So I transferred that tip over to casting and reeling. I started catching way more fish. If your line has a 6" bow in it and the bow changes to 4" and then back to 6", you just missed a fish. I fish with 1/32 ounce jigs 99% of the time, so if there is any wind at all, my line is rarely straight. There's no telling how many bites I've missed over the years and I know I still don't know I'm getting bit, every time I get bit, but now if I think there's any chance I get bit, I set the hook. I may look like a spaz at times setting the hook when there's nothing there, but I'm catching more crappie! Use high vis line, the lightest jig you can cast and reel slower. If you think you're reeling slow, slow down more.

    My point is, a lot of crappie bites aren't felt. They're seen.

    I'm sure no expert and don't mean to sound like one, but I'm new to that breakthrough and it's still fresh on my mind. One simple comment, that finally clicked in my hard head, made me a way better crappie catcherman. I don't want to be a fisherman, I want to be a catcherman.
    Thank you. Good advise. I’m going to give it a try.
    Likes FurFlyin LIKED above post

  5. #5
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    Thank you. I’m going to try this.

  6. #6
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    Thank you. I fish in a lake, Arrowhead near Wichita Falls Texas. The water is nearly always murky. Water temps have been in the mid to low 50’s. Fish that are on the finder are 12’ to 17’. There are several oil derricks in this lake which is where everybody fishes for Crappie. The deepest part of the lake is 40’ and the depth around the derricks is around 30’ to 40’. We’ve had on and off cold fronts with occasional rain. Thanks again for your help.

  7. #7
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    Fur told you exactly the advice I was going to give.
    Watch your line like a hawk!
    If something feels different set the hook!


    Sent from my iPhone using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app
    Proud Member of Team Geezer!
    Likes FurFlyin, silverside, Billbob LIKED above post

  8. #8
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    i dont know arrowhead well but hear tell its a great crappie lake .
    i would suggest always use some scent on your jigs .
    maybe go with a bright chart or bright orange
    anything that is different IS a bite
    line watching like a sea eagle is a must
    the ever so slightest anything IS a bite
    hook sets are free
    ketchn air and not a lip is good practice
    use light line and a light rod
    DO NOT move the jig much in the winter months
    if i am not mistaken it has some really large crappie in it as well .
    Last edited by Ketchn; 11-25-2020 at 07:57 AM.
    sum kawl me tha outlaw ketchn whales
    Likes rojoguio LIKED above post

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFlyin View Post
    Use high vis line, the lightest jig you can cast and reel slower. If you think you're reeling slow, slow down more.
    Good advice. Many people watch the bass pros burning spinnerbaits and crankbaits and think that’ll work for crappie. It won’t!

    To help out, try to find a reel with a slower retrieve speed (like a 5:1 ratio). Most reels are are geared for the bass guys and are 6:1 or faster.
    Future moderator of the “Does My Foot Look Infected To You?” forum
    Likes dchoate, Pondfisher42 LIKED above post

  10. #10
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    What are your rod and reel and line combos?

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