John's Journal...


More on How to Fish for Crappie

Click to enlargeEditor'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 enlargeAlthough anglers in Jordan's home state know him as a crappie king, in a day of crappie fishing, he'll also take catfish, largemouth bass, spotted bass, hybrid-striped bass, white bass and an occasional carp. "While fishing for crappie, I've caught a wide variety of other fish besides crappie, including an 8-pound, 2-ounce largemouth, a 17-1/2-pound saltwater striper, a 23-pound catfish and plenty of 8- to 10-pound cats," Jordan mentions.

"If I don't catch a crappie as the jig falls, I often take catfish when my jig first reaches the bottom. As I come up the mound, I'll generally catch a largemouth bass. Spotted bass seem to position themselves above the largemouth bass with the crappie often holding just above the spotted bass. Closer to the top of the ledge I'll take saltwater stripers and hybrid-striped bass. Then on the top of the ridge, I'll usually catch white bass. Although you'll not always find the fish positioned exactly like this, apparently, the fish on an underwater mound have some type of order as to how the various species of fish situate themselves on that mound."

Click to enlargeJordan thinks perhaps the way each species feeds on a school of baitfish governs their position. White bass, stripers, hybrids and spotted bass are fast-feeding, aggressive fish that cut and kill as they attack a school of shad. These game fish often injure as many baitfish as they kill and eat. The wounded baitfish fluttering down toward the bottom make an easy meal for the crappie, the largemouth bass and the catfish. These three species of welfare fish let the linesides and the spots do the killing and maiming. Then they pick up the scraps without having to work very hard.

However, on some days, Jordan catches a wide variety of species at the same depth and in the same places on underwater humps. Although Jordan doesn't like to fish sunken trees and brush-piles, he will if he can't catch crappie on some of his favorite humps and rock piles. "I'll go to a spot and fish for 10 minutes by my watch," Jordan explains. "If I don't catch any crappie on that place within 10 minutes, I'll pull up my Click to enlargeanchor and move to another region. Sooner or later, I'll find the crappie and usually catch them. If I must, I will fish sunken trees, particularly single trees in open water."

For 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 4