Going Deep in Hot Weather for Crappie
Use Depth Finders to Find Crappie
Editor’s Note: Even with technological and informational advances in recent years, crappie anglers have tended to stick with three misconceptions about crappie fishing: persons who fish for crappie are bound to the crappie-holding structure they can see; crappie anglers have to stop fishing when the crappie stop biting; and when a crappie fisherman finds a good location, he has to keep it a secret from other fishermen. But by using new information available to anglers, these misconceptions don’t have to apply anymore. Today’s crappie anglers are catching more and bigger crappie than ever before by going deep for crappie, which takes planning, close observation and special lure techniques.
“I’d been bass fishing all summer when I began noticing schools of fish on the old creek channels and river channels where I fished,” says Lanny Deal of Eufaula, Alabama. “I assumed the schools of fish were crappie, because I never could get them to take my bass baits. One day, I decided to try and catch a mess of crappie. I ran the creek channels using my Humminbird depth finder, and when I located a school on my flasher, I buoyed them off. I took my cane pole and set the cork at the depth where I saw the crappie on the flasher. When I dropped-in the minnow, the cork stood up and then sank, and I pulled-in a crappie. I caught 10 or 12 crappie before they stopped biting. Once I learned this technique, I was able to catch crappie all year on the creek channels. Now I try to find two or three schools, buoy them all off and then move from one school to the next and continue to catch all the crappie I want. My Humminbird depth finder allows me to catch plenty of big crappie all summer in open water. Depth finders will locate crappie, and just as importantly, they will locate deep cover where crappie hold, even if the flasher doesn’t show them.”
“I don’t try to see crappie on my depth finder,” Elbert Parker, another longtime crappie fisherman, explains. “If I can find old stumps and brush on the edge of a river or a creek channel with my depth finder, I know the crappie will be there. The crappie often will be so far in or under the cover that they won’t show-up on a depth finder. I’ve discovered that if I fish that submerged cover, I’ll catch crappie. I fish for crappie with jigs, tight-lining the jigs and then allowing them to sink-down and swim just above the cover. Oftentimes I’ll get hung-up in the structure and break-off. But if you’re not losing jigs, you’re not fishing in the right place to catch crappie. As for the importance of my depth finder, I would sooner be caught on the lake without my pants than without my depth finder,”
Tomorrow: Finding Schools of Crappie