Since crappies often suspend at a particular depth off structure or cover, retrieving a jig supported by a float keeps your bait at the exact depth fish are observed on sonar. Precise depth jig-swimming is only effective with a fixed float rig. However a fixed float limits the depth setting to the length of the rod you are using – usually to fish sitting at 6-feet or less.

If crappies are deeper you can try a jig minus the float, count it down and try to maintain that depth on retrieve. Better, though is to switch to a slip float to suspend a minnow or jig at the exact depth and simply drift through the school. Remember, if you try to retrieve a jig with a slip float, the line will pull the bait up to the float rather than maintain depth as with a fixed float.

The advantage that allows, though, is the ability to utilize a longer, 10- to 15-foot pole to place your baits exactly where you want them. Simply pull the rig right up to the tip of the pole, push it into the cover or deep inside the dock and let go of the line. Reverse the process the get the bait straight back out, but be aware that it gets a little tougher with a 2-pound slab attached!

The Crappie Cork by Thill gives you the ability to fish it fixed for shallow fish or quickly and simply convert it to a slip float. The top stem is the tube with the knot already attached, and you don’t even need a bead. Just slip on the float and slip the knot off the top, tighten the not and trim the extra thread.