This section features fishing tips from professional tournament and amateur anglers that use our Crappie jigs.
Please visit often as we will periodically add tips to help make you more successful.
Tips For Fishing Swimming Minnows and Dyno-Shads
Our Swimming Minnows and Dyno-Shads are injection molded in one piece, with a hand painted back. This lure was designed to imitate the swimming action of a live minnow. They can be fished using the tight line method. To use this method, you should lower the lure slowly to certain depth and stop it -then hold it as still as possible. (This will not stop the action of the lure.) The strike may come immediately. It not, try moving the lure very slowly away from the structure without changing the depth. We have found that many times the fish will move to a lure and just look at it; however, it thinks the bait is leaving it will take it immediately, so be ready! Another method is casting, and counting the bait down to the depth the fish are suspended and begin a slow retrieve. Last but not best, try using a slip float, and a very slow retrieve. This works very well when fishing rivers and spillways, as well as lakes when fishing for schooling fish or over structure.
Fishing with "Crappie Pro" - by Terry & Bert Robertson
I thought I had done a good job as a father with my son Terry. We would go bass fishing together where I would try to teach him the finer points of catching Mr. Bass. He turned out to be a decent bass fisherman but now excels at catching crappie. Terry now lives in Rush Springs but goes to work five days a week in Chickasha at 3 PM and gets off at 3AM. He just can't seem to wait until 4 AM on Monday's when he packs up his crappie gear and goes to the crappie houses to fish.
Terry felt he had found the ultimate crappie bait with the Finesse type plastics but then stumbled on SQUIRT minnows. When he no longer could find any Squirts in the catalogs or in area trade stores, he began searching the magazine ads, etc. He found an ad from CRAPPIE PRO and gave them a call. In a couple of days, he received the catalog and price list he had requested and decided to try them.
Terry told me that the DYNO SHAD seems to be a better crappie producer than any of the Finesse baits or the Squirt Minnow that he used to swear by. As they say, the results are in the pudding. He has already caught crappie up to FIFTEEN inches long from Clear Creek (near Duncan) and up to FOURTEEN inches long from Fuqua. Add a whole host of legal keepers (eight inches) and you know why he has his bag now filled with CRAPPIE PRO'S 'DYNO-SHAD".
This is a 1-1/2, inch long plastic minnow type bait which comes in twelve different colors. It seems the yellow and white works best in Fuqua and the blue and white in Clear Creek. He varies the weight of the lead-head that he uses but does best with a 1/16th" ounce. Even a smaller lead-head might produce better when there is ice on the water later in December. A tiny split shot is sometimes in order but remember: the heavier the presentation-the more hang ups you will get.
Terry feels it is terribly important that your DYNO SHAD is rigged properly. He gets upset when he sees hooks installed into the plastic by the manufacturers that have but little of the hook exposed. He feels you will catch more crappie and be less apt to loose that big one if you leave plenty of the hook exposed for a better hook set. KEEP YOUR DYNO SHAD in a straight line with your hook! Yes, it will still catch fish if you exit the point of the hook slightly off-center but the best results come when it is completely straight.
HOW TO FISH IT? Just as some like Fords and others Chevrolets, there are many different ways for it to produce. The old adage you hear on Bill Dance, etc. "the bass always take it on the fall". Well, that is not always true in crappie fishing. I find that only about 1/3rd of my hits come as the bait is falling. Most of the time, I let it remain perfectly still for about a minute or so. Then, SLOWLY lift up on the bait. If you feel any "weight" at the other end, set the hook immediately. If you feel no extra weight at the end of your line, then slowly lift it about a foot or so. It is as I LIFT the bait that I also find I get a lot of hits. But, the best results usually are when the bait is perfectly still. There is enough wave action and current in the water to keep the tail vibrating even when the rod is motionless.
When we finally get rid of this "Indian Summer" and let Winter roll on in, you will find me either at Fuqua or Clear Creek every Monday with my DYNO-SHADS as I fill my basket with those 11-15 inch slabs. Believe it or not, some of the best crappie fishing of the year is when there is ice on the water and you go outside and fish off the walk in only 2 or 3 foot of water. We often have to break the ice but the fishing is sensational. You have to get there around 4:30 in the morning to find a spot to stand but the action is fast and furious until about an hour after sunrise. Right now however, the best time seems to be from 7:30 AM until around noon INSIDE the houses.
Try the new DYNO-SHAD by CRAPPIE PRO. So far, I have not tried the tube baits because the fishing has just been too good with the DYNO-SHAD. The catalog shows a complete supply of crappie tubes in just about any color you might want. Come on over to Clear Creek or Fuqua some Monday morning and we can get acquainted.
While Joe and I prefer to be "slow-trolling" we have found that in the spring we need to keep an open mind. Quite often out home lakes fill up and flood shore lined timber it is then when we have to get up there and do some vertical fishing it seems like every year we say to each other "the water is only such and such temperature do you really think they would be up there in that cold of water" this early in the season. We go on up into the cold shallow water and there they are. Just because we think they should be out on the channel breaks in cold water doesn't always mean they are. So definitely stay versatile and keep an open mind.
A lot of people in the spring say "you need to match the hatch." In the early spring I've not found the hatch here in Indiana. Our water is pretty much stained here in Indiana and we've found line and bait size to not be as critical as on clearer waters.
Quite often we fish a "Crappie Pro Jig" tipped with a medium "shiner," when you add that all up the profile of the offering is of good size.
All in all slow vertical trolling is what we do pretty much year round. It is probably one of the most productive methods of crappie fishing I've used. Early in the year the fish more up finding warmer water and food, you just need to follow them from their winter spot up shallow and reap the rewards. - Shields & May Fishing Team
Shooting Boat Docks
Shooting boat docks is one of my favorite ways to catch crappie. If you've never tried it, you're missing out on some good fishing. It takes a little practice to shoot a jig under a boathouse door that's only 4 or 5 inches from the water but its not that difficult after you get the hang of it. When fish get hard to find, I head to the docks. I prefer a 5 or 6 ft medium action graphite spinning rod and a good quantity reel with auto cast, this allows your to pick up the line and flip the bail at the same time. Pinch the jig carefully between the thumb & finger of your free hand, pull the rod back like a bow and let it fly. With a little practice you can shoot a small jig 15 to 20 ft. back under a dock or boathouse where those big crappie are laying. A slow falling jig is a must for shooting docks. I'll use a 1/32oz-jig head with a Crappie Pro jig on 4-6lb line, the solid body jigs will fall slower, and stay on better, than a tube. Be sure to use line that you can see. Hold your rod at a high angel and watch the bow in your line for that little tic bite, or, your line might suddenly stop falling, you won't feel most of these bites you have to watch for them, set the hook if you see anything different. Smear on a little Kodiak scent, it'll make them hold on a little longer before they blow that jig back at you. Choose docks that are adjacent to deep water, they're usually the best. Those old tin boathouse with doors provide a lot of shad and are excellent it they're in the right place, shoot under the door and let your jig fall to the bottom, 5 0r 6 shots and no bites, move on to the nest one. This is a hit & run technique, don't waste time on a bad spot.
Good luck with your fishing.
Mike Parrott & Dale Willard
Winter Fishing Tips:
When the water cools to the 40's, look for schooling crappie in deeper creek channels from 18 to 30 feet, depending on your lake. We find our fish on Kentucky Lake at these depths from late November through early April. Concentrate on sharp bends or points and work both directions with a slow presentation until you find the right depth and color combination. We prefer to start with darker colors of red, green, or orange in combinations with yellow or chartreuse tails. We use Spider Wire Braid and Fireline for sensitivity. Marking the line at five root intervals will allow you to place the jigs in the exact depth the fish are holding. A snap swivel is connected to the superline and a two-foot monofilament leader is then attached to a barrel swivel with a 3/6 oz Split shot approximately 8-10" above the jig. We keep Tackle Tamers with every color jig head and 2' leaders pre-tied for quick changes. By having the rigs already tied we can spend more time fishing on tournament day, and also beats trying to tie jigs on when your fingers are numb. This system has worked will for us, getting us to three Classics as well as putting plenty of "fish in the pan."
Terry Doss, Murray, KY
Danny Paschall, Kirksey, KY
Fall Fishing Tips:
Here are some fall crappie fishing tips that will help when the fish you were catching just days before seem to disappear. Look deeper in the same areas; fish slower, and use bait scents. Also, use bright colors. We use 1/8 oz jigs to 15ft. If we go deeper, we use ¼ oz jigs. We tip out jigs with a piece of minnow or Berkley Crappie Nibbles. Orange/chartreuse, yellow/chartreuse, and green/chartreuse Crappie Pro jig bodies are our favorites. This tactic helped us win the Crappie Buster's tournament at Pamona Lake in Kansas on 10/29/00. By attaching our jigs with Stabor Line Locks, the jigs have a lot more action with less rod movement. We hope this helps you crappie fishermen become "Crappie Catchers" - Martin& Grimes Fishing Team