I'm new at crappie fishing. Went several times this spring to Brookville lake in IN. From watching & talking to the guys who fish it the most & were catching fish, seems like a 2" white curly tail & a tiny jig worked best. Chartruse was good too. Tipping with minnows didn't seem to matter, in fact they told me to leave them off, better action just with a slow retrieve.
One day it was white curly tails, the next time it was chartruse tubes with gold flecks. I got a box full of everything, incl scent, those mini spinners, etc. Got boxes of musky tackle too !! I could open a store with walleye stuff.
I don't know about the rest of the country, but crappie and perch are some of the easiest fish to catch and catch by the hundreds if you're in the same acre of lake the schools are.
Consider the following fun- variations of lures you use:
Bass Pro Spring grub in appleseed/green flake - any size
3" Bass Pro Caterpillar grubs in chart./blk flake
Zoom Fat albert 5" Grubs (crappie really inhale them)
small spoons (perch pattern Phoebes)
2.5" tubes - especially chart. or pearl/black back
2.5" Bass Pro Tri-Color Crappie grubs (color 36 and 28 are superb)
3" Riverside Wooly grubs in tequla sunrise or amber/black/green flake in single or double tail
Slider grubs - chart./glitter
small poppers - Lews speed lure popper (they get so excited, they jump over them!)
Renegade or Yozuri jerkbaits (2-3" minnows or high-back)
2.5" Fin S Fish (Lunker City) in ice (clear/silver flake) or chart. silk ice) ( action is more like the real thing than any other minnow immitation and gets the neutral fish)
3" Sassy shad or Bass Pro Squirm'n Shad in chart./sparkle or pearl/ black back
3" Shad Assassin (by Bass Assassin) - any color
Bass Pro Cajun straight double-tail trailer in bluegill
white deer-hair jigs
sparkle and glitter curley tail grubs
Beetle spins with curly tail grubs or Cajun trailer
Tiny Brush Hog worms (3")
(use soft plastics with 1/16-1/8 oz. unpainted jigheads with hook shank long enough to allow hook bend to be mid-way the length of the lure.)
This is just to mention a few fun baits to absolutely get the panfish bite, not to mention any size of sportfish that happens to be in or under the school!!
Crappies and perch are such bullies that I love to take their aggressiveness down a few notches. Our populations are so huge that taking close to a thousand annually doesn't dent the population of stunted 7"-9" fish.
all of the above work well,but my top producers when i'm on a good school are a minnie under a small float and the ROADRUNNER when they're scattered more in the hot months,i like trolling small cranks and VIBE'S i found this past year,that when they were scattered and suspending in a neg./neut. mood during the dog days,i could unlock their jaws by varying trolling speed with a vibe when they would hardly touch anything else it saved the day more than once.
Sam, I appreciate all the tips. Gives me a list of baits to add. Some guys keep baits a secret, I don't. I just keep my honey holes secret. The only competition I have is with the fish I'm targeting, not other anglers.
Crappies were funny. I couldn't seem to find them with dynamite ! Neither were the other guys with all the experiance, but I did notice they used different methods to locate & catch the ones they did get. LakeRaider, maybe we'll have to try it sometime.
MrFish, I've got the local lakes and ponds 'wired' for bass, pickerel and crappie. I know their where-abouts based on seasonal patterns and the usual structure that they feed near.
What helps greatly is a sidefinder sonar that helps me scan for schools up to 100' from and perpendicular to the trolling motor.
Once I find a school, I sit on it for as long as they're biting and experiment with a number of sizes, colors and lure types.
It's amazing how large a lure they will strike.
Kind of reminds me of those crazy rockbass and yellow perch that hit lures over half their size.
You just reminded me, I always catch a few crappies trolling hot-n-tots for walleyes every year. Along with flatheads, channel cats, LM, SM, spotted & striped bass. I guess you don't get spotted bass up there? The are also known as KY spotted bass here. Almost look like a cross with a LM with a SM mouth & a WB belly. What part of NY are you in? I was born & raised in Rochester, and Spencerport.
As far as I know, no spots up here, unfortunately.
Matzuo 2.5" crankbaits in bass- color have gotten hundreds of strikes.
I'm from the lower Hudson Valley near West Point, Newburgh etc.
Monster crappies are rare except in one or two ponds or upstate lakes.
BottomBouncer, I troll Swedish Pimple or Acme spoons when panfish won't take cast lures. I also troll split-shot rigs, except I use a 4" Fin S Fish, nose-hooked and troll very slowly, with slight rod-tip jerks.
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