John's Journal...


Click to enlargeHow to Fish for Crappie

Editor's Note: If you want to find buried treasure, you have to search for the places other treasure hunters have overlooked. You must use research others haven't discovered. You must develop a method of searching for and finding the treasure all those who have failed haven't used. "To find the biggest crappie in any lake, you've got to fish the spots no one else knows about with a method no one else uses at a time of year when no one else fishes," says Gaston Jordan of Alexander City, Alabama. Jordan catches the most crappie during the hot summer months by fishing the bottom of any lake in the middle of that lake. A lone soul anchored down in a small boat in a vast expanse of water seems out of place on a large lake as water-skiers and tournament bass fishermen race by on both sides. The men in these big boats must wonder if Jordan has lost his mind. But from May through September, Gaston Jordan finds the big slab crappie that most other anglers don't catch.

Click to enlargeMost anglers who fish the deep-water humps and ledges also anchor their boats in the deep water. Many cast their baits onto the tops of underwater humps and retrieve their lures down the mounds. Jordan has learned if he anchors his boat on the top of the hump and fan-casts all around the structure, he has much more success. "If at all possible, I want to anchor down right on top of any mound I locate," Jordan says. "I want to cast my jig into the deep water and bottom hop the bait up the hump to catch crappie." Jordan fishes two rods at the same time. Then he can catch twice as many crappie in half the time as an angler who fishes with only one rod. "I cast the first rod out and let the jig fall to the bottom," Jordan reports. "Then I cast the second rod out. As the lure on the second rod falls to the bottom, I begin to reel in my line on the first rod and fish the jig back to the boat. When I get one rod reeled in, I cast that line back out, pick up the other rod and start to reel in the jig on the second rod."

Click to enlargeJordan has found most of his crappie strikes come as the jig falls. Once the jig hits the bottom, he gives the rod two or three quick jerks upward to cause the jig to jump 12 to 18 inches off the bottom. Then when the jig falls back to the bottom, Jordan takes up slack and repeats the same motion. "You must watch your line to catch crappie in deep water," Jordan emphasizes. "Often when the crappie attacks as the bait falls, you'll only see a tick on the line. Or, the line simply may stop before it falls all the way to the bottom. If you see the line stop, set the hook, because the crappie has hit the jig and is swimming up with it."

Click to enlargeFor more information about how to find and catch crappie, order "The Masters' Secrets of Crappie Fishing" by John E. Phillips by calling (800) 627-4295, using PayPal or sending a check or a money order for $13.50, which includes shipping and handling, to 4112 Camp Horner Road Birmingham, AL 35243. You can learn more by visiting


Check back each day this week for more about BIG CRAPPIE NOW ...

Day 1 - Where to Fish for Crappie
Day 2 - More on Where to Fish for Crappie
Day 3 - How to Fish for Crappie
Day 4 - More on How to Fish for Crappie
Day 5 - What Tackle & Lures to Use





Entry 257, Day 3