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John's Journal... Entry36 - Day 2

click to enlargeVary Your Tactics To Take Post-Spawn Crappie

You can use different tactics to take post-spawn crappie. To catch the most big crappie in the shortest time in either the post-spawn or the prespawn, use a 3/4-ounce jigging spoon like that made by Hopkins on 20-pound test line. Vertically fish stumps and brush on the edges of river and creek channels. You'll find this tactic especially effective during the warmer spring months and hot summer months when crappie have moved out to the deep ledges.

Let the spoon down slowly, working your way through the brush or around the stump. Once you reach the bottom, gently lift your rod tip to allow you to feel the spoon as it comes up the side of the stump or through the brush. If you feel the spoon hit a limb or make contact with a stump, simply shake your rod tip, and give the spoon a little slack. The weight of the spoon will help pull the hooks out of the wood. Reel the spoon up about a foot. Repeat the slowly lifting and lowering motion to catch deep-water, post-spawn crappie. You also can catch crappie at crossroads. After the spawn, crappie move down creek channels and often hold where those creek channels intersect the main river channel. By fishing at night and using a light to attract baitfish and bugs, you can concentrate crappie at these natural intersections. Fish vertically with live minnows, lowering your bait all the way to the bottom. Then take up one turn of slack on your reel, and wait 20 seconds before reeling up another turn. Remember how many turns you've taken off the bottom before you get a bite. The next time you lower your bait to the bottom, reel the line up that number of turns, and wait for the crappie to attack. Most anglers use weights on the ends of their lines and two drop lines with hooks and bait coming off the main line when they fish at night.

click to enlargeAnother strategy that translates into your catching more crappie is when you keep minnows alive and lively during the summer. The condition of your bait often dictates the number of crappie you'll catch. Fill medicine bottles three-fourths full of water, and freeze them. Then put the bottles with caps on tight in the water in the minnow bucket. By keeping additional medicine bottles in your cooler, then as the water begins to heat up in your minnow bucket, you can add more medicine bottles to insure the water remains cool. Also use small, battery-powered aerators to insure that the minnows have adequate aeration, since a lively minnow will catch a crappie quicker than a sluggish minnow will.

If you fish ponds and lakes no more than 6 to 7 feet deep with cypress trees in them off the main river channel, you may find a honeyhole for hot-weather crappie fishing. The roots of a cypress tree will form a doughnut-shape around the tree below the water's surface. Crappie will hold in the shade of these roots even in 100-degree weather. By dropping minnows or jigs around the base of the tree and around the outside root balls, you can find and catch crappie in this shallow water even in hot weather.

click to enlargeYet another strategy that will pay post-spawn dividends is fishing the thermocline. During hot weather, crappie hold on or just below the thermocline in many lakes. You can locate the thermocline by watching your depthfinder as you go across the lake or up a creek and pinpointing the depth at which you see the most fish. Once you're found the thermocline, look for a creek channel, a drop-off or brush that intersects that thermocline to locate crappie.

click to enlargeTo learn more about successful crappie fishing, go to Night Hawk Publications' Home Page, and click on fishing books.



Check back each day this week for more about Tips For Catching Post-Spawn Crappie ...

Day 1 -Be Versatile
Day 2 -Vary Your Tactics To Take Post-Spawn Crappie
Day 3 -Get Ideas From your Fishing Buddies
Day 4 -Pay Attention To Your Surroundings, and Use Unusual Techniques To Take Crappie
Day 5 -Small Things Make The Difference In Success for Post-Spawn Crappie


John's Journal