Jump to content

    If you want access to members only forums on HSO, you will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member. ?

I need help...


Recommended Posts

Alright, so I'm out on a crappie spot last night and I'm on fish. I've caught a bunch in this spot, so I know what's there. Anyway, we had probably 20+ bites last night where the fish would just pop the minnow or waxie and spit it out. Sometimes they would hold onto it for a second and take a bobber down, sometimes they would just pop it and leave.

I tried downsizing everything and changing colors and nothing would get these fish to eat.

Any suggestions? I was thinking hooking the minnow through the lips instead of behind the dorsal and using a horizontal jig.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you are off on the right path.

Are you using a spring bobber rod or a bobber?

People seem not to do this, but I have good luck hooking my crappie minnow up threw the anal area and go up just inside skin and out on side or the other of the back. I will how ever add, I did hook one threw the lip last night and got a huge bullhead grin.gif. I started off with just a jig, grub and them a small minnow. I also ran into the same issues as you did last night for my self and before I start changing lure/jigs, I look at the bait and make adjustments with this first.

The fish (on the lake I was fishing) where biting very light last night. I would give them the couple of second’s count, before I started reel’in and they where just not sucking the minnow in enough, like the other night. The ones I did get up the hole, where hooked right by the outer lip. What I had to do to gets these guys up, was adjusting my drag very light and keep reel’in. If the drag was set too strong, the hook would just come out. I had to take some care in getting them up last night. The big ones where not biting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, the ones we caught last night were hooked right in the lip too. We did the same thing letting the ones that actually took the bobber down have it for a few seconds, but it didn't work any better than hitting them right away.

I use a small bobber on one rod and a noodle rod with no bobber. The noodle rod is essentially one large spring bobber it's so flimsy.

I'll try hooking the minnows like you described, I've heard that method from others but just never tried it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A good spring bobber rod is worth its weight in gold, during nights like last night. I would say for the whole season for that matter.

I have since switch to both my rods being a spring bobber type rod now. Before (and some times I still do) I would use a small Thill bobber on one and the spring bobber on the other. I kid you not (it has been said before), but the ratio was like 7 to 1 favoring the spring bobber rod. This is what got me to switch a couple years ago.

Also in you case, I would use micro small crappie minnows. I got some the other week that are the tiniest I have ever seen. They are just out of the egg, about ½ long. The small the crappie minnow on tough nights, the better. I am sure others will chime in with some more info.

Good luck..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • we are 'the leading edge' HSO Creators

It sounds like you were on a good bite. With crappies they are known to grab part of the minnow and hold on until there is no pressure being felt. The bobber gives a constant pressure upwards when it is pulled under. You pull up to set the hook and all they have is part of the minnow in their mouth. Perch are notorious for this as well.

The best thing to do is go to a jigging rod. A spring-bobber can be very helpful too for detecting the ones who hardly move with it.

When you get a bite release the pressure and the Crappie will re-take the minnow and it's time to set the hook.

In other words when the crappie grabs part of the minnow I let them bite, drop the rod tip a bit, count to one and then set the hook.

Small plastics with no live bait are another option that might up your percentage of hook-ups.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have used the cajun ice rod for pan fishing 2 years now and absolutely love it. I don't use a spring bobber and it is super sensitive. I have caught all my light bites on this and the spring bobber never left the tackle box. My friends all laugh at how flimsy it is until i catch more fish then it's "where can I get one" This winer seems to be a lot of light bites, more then usual it seems. I fish on a lake you can see down 8 feet while fshing and noticed a lot of fishing sucking it in and spitting it out with barely any movement on the spring, odd very odd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


You hit the nail on the head.

I currently own and use a 24” Frabill jiggin/sping bobber rod. This rod is ok, but I feel I could up grade to something from Thorn Brother's soon. This rod is basically a light action jigging rod; with about 3” of a small spring out the last eye/tip (I am sure everyone has seen them at one time or another). I also have a 26”, which seems to have stiffer action on the jigging rod end, but the same stiffness on the spring bobber end as the 24".

What I have been doing with the 24” rod is I have been jigging slightly to moderate until I seen fish come in on the electronics and go right to a dead stick situation. At that point, I will see how the fish are acting on the electronics. If they sit at one depth and do not transition to my jig, I will make a correction. Most times after jigging and they come into range of the electronics, they want to feed. Once the fish and my jig become one on the flasher, with in seconds the spring bobber tip bends down.

At this point I release the rod or pick it up, keeping the tip steady. Once I feel the tug of the crappie, I drop down the tip of the rod a little, to feed them the jig and better my chances the crappie is going to inhale the jig. Now, here comes the moment of truth. Should one give a hook set? Or should one have the drag set light and start reel’in the pig up. I have used the hook tug from a mild pull to a quick snap. I have also watched my partners set the hook like they are Jimmy Dean or Rollin Martin on open water. I have lost many fish doing this. What I have migrated into doing is having the drag set light (sorry folks, every reel is different and I just set mine so a light pull of the line, releases more line) and once that large strong pull downward occurs, pull upwards and start reel’in. Some times I have to set the drag so light, it takes a couple of minutes to get them up the hole in 7-8' of water. After a couple of lost fish, an adjustment like this has been done in the past. I still loose some fish, but have greatly increased at least a good fight and fish up threw the hole.

The one greatest piece of info I have learned from this site is starting with plastics/jigs only first, then if that doesn’t work for you, upgrade to a grub and the last resort is a minnow. This is one of the tactics I have taken to the ice this year, which I learned on FM and it has helped greatly in getting fish in the area and then by a process of elimination, get me fish! ;\)

Luck does play a great roll in fishing, but narrow your odds by moving around and locating the fish with electronics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I have been studying Matt’s web site and I have a lock on which jigging set up I am purchasing in the near future from Thorn Brothers.

Thanks for the tips Rick..

Also nice video of the crappies you guys where catching cool.gif.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rods and bobber types aside. I tend to have my best luck with crappies by paying close attention to the bobber or spring. Most often a crappie will come vertical at a bait on its initial approach and will spit a bait before it starts to head back down to the school. If they are agressive, then this isn't a problem as nothing will stop them from keeping the bait. However, when they are finicky you might not even notice the bite.

My solution is to set the hook when I watch the bobber start to rise a little bit in the water. It rarely makes it to the down swing before I am reeling in a fish. My brother-in-law accused me of being psychic. "I see you catch the fish, but I never see that bobber move before you are reeling it in."

The downsizing solution only works to make a light bite stick, but if you find something that they are interested in you can stick with it and change the way you set the hook.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.