Spring Crappie, Trying some new things.... by Attila Papp

Spring Crappie, Trying some new things.... by Attila Papp

With the spring crappie season coming to an end, I thought I’d share a few things that helped me catch them this season. I generally don’t spend much time fishing for crappie through the year, as I’ve become more fascinated with catching yellow perch both in the Kawartha Lakes and over on Lake Simcoe.

I spent some time in new to me water a couple of times and while I caught a few fish there, the vast majority of my fish came from a canal, so a scenario and situation common to so many crappie hunters in springtime.

I’ve been playing with some different rigging this year, fishing one of my ML setups with straight 6lbs mono (Stren for those wondering). I chose a longer rod, 7’6” in length, which helped me with casting distance but also leverage in handling some larger sized fish including pike which are found in the locations I frequent.

I also made a decision to buy and fish more Canadian products, which resulted in me using a 2g slip float, 1/16th oz jighead, and a 2” soft plastic which are all produced right here at home. Let’s face it…small tackle companies need our support too and, while there are many brands out there to choose from, it made me feel good to use some homegrown products to hammer some homegrown crappie. I’ll post links to the products below, and yes…they can all be purchased either online or at retailers here in the GTA.

The fish came from two very unique and interesting areas.

The first was extremely shallow water, about 10” in depth, and had a muddy bottom. This area warmed up very quickly and, because of the mud substrate, was home to various types of insect hatches which in turn brought small baitfish to the area which were then preyed upon by the crappie. In this situation, I found that the fish preferred a more natural coloured presentation. The ability to make longer casts allowed me to cover a larger expanse of water, which included mud flats at the opposite end of the canal. A short, darting retrieve mixed with a pause for a couple of seconds worked well in fooling the larger fish.

The second location contained a fallen tree next to a dock, with the water being approximately 3’ in depth. Fish were located either in the limbs of the tree or under the dock, which meant I had to keep the bait up and out of the dense cover. I never fished deeper than 12” and the crappie had no problem coming up to eat the presentation. In this circumstance I went with a brighter colour which aided the fish in homing in on the target once it was in the thick of things. As well, the longer rod and heavier line allowed me get fish out and away from the cover with worrying about getting hung up in limbs or on dock pilings.

While the spring bite is mostly slowing down, you can definitely use this setup during the summer season for bass, walleye, and really anything else you fish for. I’m looking forward to throwing some lighter baits this year, and I’m confident that I’ll be able to land some decent sized fish along the way.

The Gear

Anglers Choice 2" Intact Grub – with a great plethora of patterns available, this soft plastic stands up really well to any species you target with them. They have a solid rubber body and the legs of a tube jig which call in the panfish from everywhere.

Great Lakes Finesse 1/16th oz ball jighead – with a razor sharp Gamakatsu hook and a bait keeper that helps the soft plastic stay in the right spot, you’ll have no problem setting the hook and reeling in the big ones regardless of the structure you find them in.

Coolwaters 2g Slip Acorn Float – threading line through this float is simple thanks to the double brass inserts and it’s extremely sensitive for the really light bits. They also make an “Up Hit Crappie Float”, which is something I might try next season if the spirit moves me.

Cheers all, and have a great season.

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