John's Journal...


Click to enlargeWhere to Fish for Crappie

Editor'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. Click to enlargeA 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.

"Usually you'll locate plenty of good crappie-holding structure in the middle of most lakes," Jordan said. "But most anglers don't know how to locate that structure." With his depth finder, Jordan looks for underwater Indian mounds, Click to enlargesubmerged home places (especially the ones that still have chimneys or rock walls standing), rock piles and any kind of hump he can pinpoint in 18 to 20 feet of water that drops off into 30 or 40 feet of water. Some of these humps only may stand 2- or 3-feet high off the bottom.

Although crappie like to hold on brush, they will concentrate around rocks, particularly some type of natural rock outcropping. When Jordan discovers a small rock pile that most anglers will ignore when watching their depth finders, he notes its location to return and fish it later. Many of the humps and more-subtle fishing sites Jordan locates he finds in the winter months when the lakes are drawn down, exposing these bottom structures. "I can catch crappie on submerged structure in lakes all year long," Jordan explains. "My favorite regions to fish are humps, ledges and mounds from the first of May until September. Click to enlargeEven during late March and early April, most anglers drop-fish minnows along the bank in visible cover in 18 to 24 inches of water to catch numbers of crappie. But I continue to fish on the deep ledges or humps and consistently catch more crappie than the bank anglers do."

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 1