MORE ON CRANKBAITING FOR CRAPPIE AND OTHER KENT DRISCOLL
More Crankbaiting for Crappie
NOTE: Kent Driscoll of Cordova, Tennessee, has enjoyed
fishing for crappie for 30 years. He's fished in crappie
tournaments for 10 years, winning numbers of local tournaments,
several one-day tournaments and finishing third in 2000
and fourth in 2002 at the North American Crappie Classic.
Each spring and summer, Driscoll fishes the Crappie
USA Circuit, Crappiemasters and the new Crappie Angler's
Association, using a wide variety of tactics that produce
crappie all year long. Let's learn how Driscoll finds
and catches crappie.
Question: Kent, how do you have your poles positioned
and rigged when you're trolling crankbaits for crappie?
Driscoll: On the rod in the No. 1 position, which if
I'm sitting on the butt seat in the front of the boat
will be the pole to the far left of me and the pole
to the far right of me that's being held by my two rod
holders, well, that No. 1 pole is a 14-foot pole with
12-pound-test Mossy Oak Fishing Line on a Cabela's Depth
Counter bait-casting reel. Up the line, I put a 2-ounce
egg sinker. Below the egg sinker, I'll tie on a barrel
swivel. Then on the bottom eye of the barrel swivel,
I'll tie a 4-foot leader of 12-pound-test Mossy Oak
Fishing Line. At the end of the leader, I'll tie on
a ball-bearing snap swivel and then hook the snap swivel
into a Bandit 300 series crankbait.
What's your favorite color of crankbaits when you're
fishing for crappie?
Driscoll: Most of the time on this first rod, I'll
use some type of pink color. Some of my other favorite
colors are plum and black, chartreuse-purple and chartreuse-blue.
If I'm fishing on a dark day, I'll use a dark-colored
crankbait. If the day's clear, I'll fish a bright-colored
bait. The colors I choose for crankbaits on these type
of days are the exact opposite kinds of colors that
I'll select for jigs if I'm jig fishing on these same
types of days.
Question: Okay, Kent, now that we've got the first
rod on each side rigged with a modified Carolina-rigged
crankbait, what will the second pole on each side moving
toward the front of the boat have tied on it?
Driscoll: The second pole on each side will be a 16-foot
B'n'M Pro Staff pole spooled with 12-pound-test Mossy
Oak Fishing Line and a Cabela's Countdown reel. I'll
tie a Bandit crankbait on the end of the line with no
lead, and I'll let out 75 feet of line behind the boat
before I engage the reel and start pulling these crankbaits.
I want to have the tip of the rod at a zero-degree angle
so that the tip of the rod is just inches above the
surface of the water.
third poles on each side will be 14-foot B'n'M poles.
I want the crankbait on this pole on each side to run
in-between the crankbait on my No. 1 rod, which is running
straight under the boat with the lead, and my No. 2
pole, which is the 16-foot pole that's running a crankbait
75 feet behind the boat. Once again, I'm using 12-pound-test
line and a Cabela's Depth Counter reel on this pole.
I'll let the Bandit crankbait on this pole out to 100
to 120 feet behind the boat. Then this third pole has
the crankbait swimming at the farthest distance behind
the boat. This way, the crankbait on the No. 1 pole
is swimming almost directly under the boat, the No.
2 pole has a crankbait swimming farthest away from the
boat, and the No. 3 pole has a crankbait swimming the
farthest behind the boat. And because I'm using three
different lengths of poles, I have each crankbait swimming
in its own little zone and at different depths. The
crankbait the farthest behind the boat, the No. 3 pole,
will be swimming deeper than the No. 2 pole, and the
No. 1 pole will be swimming the deepest of all.
The No. 4 pole on each side of the boat will be 12-feet
long, with 12-pound-test line and a Cabela's count down
crankbait reel. I have a shorter line on the No. 4 pole
because the crankbaits on this pole are usually going
past right over the top of the brush. So, if these crankbaits
get hung in the brush, I can simply let out line until
the other crankbaits on either side of the boat run
past the brush and catch the crappie that will be holding
on either side of the brush before I have to get over
the brush and try and get the crankbaits free that are
on the No. 4 poles.
using various lengths of poles and different amounts
of line to let out behind the boat or being fished under
the boat to make a wide sweep as I troll the crankbaits
and cover more water with more lures than the anglers
who only troll one or two crankbaits at a time. I also
have different-colored crankbaits on each one of my
poles. Using this system, I can quickly and easily determine
the depth of water that the crappie are holding in and
the color of crankbait they prefer on that day. Once
I know the color of crankbait they want and the depth
of water that they're holding in, then I can rig all
eight of my poles with that colored crankbait and fish
all of them in the depth that seems to be producing
the most crappie.
To learn more about Mossy Oak Fishing Line, go to
For more information about B'n'M Crappie Poles, visit
TOMORROW: THE DEPTHS DRISCOLL