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CatManLee

Crappie catching tips?

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O.K. here's my situation...

I was out trolling for Walleye's last weekend on a local lake and instead of catching Walleye's I caught Crappies! This suprised me because I was trolling a cotton cordell Wally diver at 2.2mph-2.5mph, which is a pretty big crank bait for a Crappie to bite isn't it? Heck the bait was half the size of the fish I was catching. After catching one in a certain area, I would make a couple more passes and end up with another Crappie or two... I did try slowing things down and pitching a small jig with a plastic, but that only produced one Crappie after a lot of casting, so I went back to trolling the wally diver. I didn't catch loads and loads of Crappies, and the ones I did catch were just barely hooked on the back hook.

Here's my question...

When encountering this type of situation, what should my approach be? Should I buy some smaller crank baits and try pulling them through the same area, maybe at a slower speed? Plastics weren't doing much, so should I try jigging live minnows? What do you all think...I know there's a more productive approach, I just don't know what it is?

One more thing...I was catching the Crappies out in the lake in 9ft of water no where near any type of structure or anything else that stood out to me. So there's nothing to key in on, just an area in the open water half way out on the lake and 9-11ft is about the deepest the lake gets. The only thing I do know for sure is that the fish were located within a foot or two of the bottom.

O.K. I'm ready for input...

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Put on a salmo hornet #4 floating Gold/metalic orange and troll at 2.3 mph.You may get tired of all the crappies.If its the walleyes you want make that crank bait bounce off the bottom.I have been catching the eyes going 2.9-3.5 mph with a shad rap deep diver catching them just as the shad goes over the drop off. 3 of the walleyes were 28 inchers.

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I would go with salmo hornet #4 floaters in any color. I prefer ghost or green tiger for crappies. I would slow down to 1.5 to 2 to get more of those bad boys.

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Thanks for the input guys, I was thinking a smaller crank pulled through the area would be the best approach too. I would go out and buy that crank tonight, but unfortunately I don't have any good tackle shops near by!

I'm gonna try my best to match that bait though as closely as possible, heading back to the lake tomorrow...so we'll see what happens.

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Crappies, just like other species, will put on the feedbags during the fall. Larger baits should be considered no matter the species in my opinion. Could be that those fish are beginning the feeding binge.

I would also look into the forage base in that particular lake. Those fish might be accustomed to eating larger baitfish...

I would target those fish the same way you already caught them. You might consider down sizing a hair to maximize your catching potential, but the given technique should continue to work...

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do crappies school up first, then start to feed or is there really no set order? Ran across some crops on a local lake in 22' of water suspended 7.5' to 10' down. Very skittish we caught one limit let some go and all nice fish 10" plus fish. We threw a 1/16 or 1/8 ounce jig head with Nitro crappie trailers. How would you attempt to troll for these fish? Does anyone use cane poles and it sound's like the hornet is the way to go or is there any others that work good? I got the hummingbird side image sure paying for it self lately, just takes a while to really figure it out.

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I got a 13" crappie last weekend lindy riggin a 3.5" sucker minnow on 9' weededge next to a sharp deep drop. I've also caught them through the ice on same size shiners, although those also were bigger fish 12-14".

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You will find a lot of your fish out deeper right now, and yes, they are certainly schooling up. Mainlake basins will hold fish, so its no surprise as to why you guys are hooking fish while out trolling. You will also find your fish over the expansive flats and around areas near secondary structure.

Deep weed lines will also hold fish if that's the only structure in the lake. Deep schooling fish can be the norm throughout the rest of the open water season. However, shallow lakes don't offer deep water, and bodies of water with current can thorw in a twist...

However, you will notice crappies using deep water now, and they will slide up to feed when convenient. Structure near deep water is key...

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Try finding some Yo-Zuri Snap Beans.They have em' in silver/black and orange colors.They are a considerably smaller size crankbait than most,but I've taken some pretty big slabs using them.Cast them out just off the deepest weedline and let them freefall.Watch your line for any ticks and set the hook.Sometimes the smaller offerings can also be deadly.Good luck and good fishing!

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