John's Journal...

Catching Cold-Weather Crappie with Some of the Nationís Top Crappie Pros

Big Baits for Pre-Spawn Crappie with Ronnie Capps

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: In many areas, the crappie fishing is better in the winter than at any other time of year. To catch crappie in the winter, anglers must understand the Click to enlargecrappie’s seasonal migration patterns and know where the crappie will show-up before they get there. Here are cold-weather crappie-catching tips from some of the nation’s top crappie pros.

Because crappie will be in the pre-spawn mode in most sections of the United States in February, the crappie know they only have a few weeks to put on weight before the spawn. At this time of year, crappie usually want bigger baits. “I normally like to fish with a 2-inch minnow, but in February, I’ll use a 3-inch minnow,” says Ronnie Capps of Tiptonville, Tennessee, co-winner of more than $1.4 million earnedcatching crappie, and co-winner of six world crappie-fishing championships. “Now, if you prefer to fish tube jigs, increase the size of your minnow. In February, I’ll be fishing a 2-1/2-inch jig instead of a 2-inch jig. When I fish tube jigs, I prefer the glow-colored tubes with chartreuse somewhere on the tube. I’m a scuba diver as well as a crappie fisherman, so I know that when you get into deep water on some of these major reservoirs, down 18 to 20 feet or deeper, there’s little or no sunlight. But because I can spot those glow tubes in deep water when I’m scuba diving, I know the crappie can see them, too.”Click to enlarge

If Capps is fishing with minnows, he’ll be using 12-pound-test-line with a 3/4-ounce sinker, and if he’s fishing with jigs, he’ll be using a 1/8-ounce jighead. He’ll be fishing these jigs or minnows on a 14-foot B’n’M Buck’s Graphite Click to enlargeJig Pole. “I watch the tip of the pole to be able to see the strike and to see when my line is coming in contact with underwater brush,” Capps explains. “When my line hits the brush, I don’t pull my line up to keep it from getting hung-up. Instead, I try to hold my boat steady, so my line and my live minnow are mashed into that brush, because that’s where the crappie will be holding. I want to give my minnow plenty of time right up against the brush for the crappie to find and eat it. At this time of year, the crappie will be holding in that brush, so when you mash a minnow into the brush, the big crappie can’t stand it. Because the crappie have to eat that minnow, you’ll catch crappie.”

Tomorrow: Fish the Mouths of Bays, Coves and Feeder Creeks This Month with Darrell Baker


Check back each day this week for more about "Catching Cold-Weather Crappie with Some of the Nationís Top Crappie Pros"

Day 1: Fish Big Impoundments in February with Ronnie Capps
Day 2: Big Baits for Pre-Spawn Crappie with Ronnie Capps
Day 3: Fish the Mouths of Bays, Coves and Feeder Creeks This Month with Darrell Baker
Day 4: Slow Down for Cold-Weather Crappie with Darrell Baker
Day 5: Swamp Crappie with Whitey Outlaw





 

Entry 547, Day 2