John's Journal...

Fish Bass Baits for Cold-Weather Crappie

How to Spinner Bait Crappie Up with Phillip Criss

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: One winter, Philip Criss of Adger, Alabama, came into my brother’s taxidermy shop when I was there with five Click to enlargelargemouth bass that weighed 6-pounds-or-more each, wanting a stringer mount. I’d never seen a stringer of bass that big. When we asked Criss what he’d taken the bass on, Criss explained that he’d caught them all on spinner baits. In the bottom of the cooler, Criss also had four crappie weighing between 2- and 3-1/4-pounds each.  Criss reported that he caught them around the same underwater logs and stumps where he’d taken the bass with the same spinner bait. “I don’t want to catch any crappie that won’t hit spinner baits in the winter,” Criss commented, “Because I know if they do hit that lure, they’ll be slab sized.”

The next week I went crappie fishing with spinner baits in bitter-cold weather with Criss.Click to enlarge He told me, “When you go to an underwater apartment building made of stumps, logs and brush, if you fish really slowly, you don’t know Click to enlargewhich species will come out and take your spinner bait – bass or crappie.” By fishing with 1/2- to 3/4-ounce spinner baits with chartreuse-and-white skirts and no trailer hooks because of the large number of deep stumps and logs just off the main river channel, Criss and I took 10 bass that weighed from 3- to 5-pounds each and 20 crappie that weighed from 1- to 2-1/2-pounds each. Bass baits can produce big crappie. Many tournament crappie anglers troll bass crankbaits to catch crappie during the spring and summer. But in the winter months, the crankbaits run too fast to lure - in the big slabs. If you want to catch some monster-sized crappie this winter and some fairly-large bass, fish with bass strategies and bass lures like the jigging spoon, the Pony Head jig and the spinner bait.

Check back each day this week for more about "Fish Bass Baits for Cold-Weather Crappie"

Day 1: What Kind of Tackle Works – Jigging Spoons with Charlie Ingram
Day 2: Where Charlie Ingram Finds Cool-Weather Crappie
Day 3: How to Use the Jigging-Spoon Technique with Charlie Ingram
Day 4: Why Pony-Up to Cold-Weather Crappie with Danny Wiles
Day 5: How to Spinner Bait Crappie Up with Phillip Criss


Entry 497, Day 5