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Brad Wiegmann

crappie on Bobby Garland Slab Slay'R

How to Find and Catch Crappie in Open Water

Learn how four crappie guides target deep-water crappie during late winter.

The evolution of electronics with live sonar has changed how many anglers catch crappie during winter. Now crappie anglers with live sonar chase roamers as they scan for the larger crappie scattered over deeper water.

Before you stop reading this article because you don’t have live sonar, Bobby Garland Pro Barry Morrow is going to explain how to catch crappie this time of year without those tools, but first let’s talk about catching roamers.

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glow color crappie baits and jigheads

When Crappie Won’t Bite

Building glow into your crappie fishing strategies can help you catch more fish, especially when the bite is tough.

“Anyone can catch a crappie when they are biting, but when the crappie are not aggressive or the bite tapers off, that’s when using a Mo’ Glo lure or Mo’ Glo Slab Jam will get you bites,” said Mississippi crappie guide Brad Chappell.

Chappell relies on Bobby Garland’s Mo’ Glo lures, which glow in the dark, when fishing deep, early in the morning or late afternoon.

When long lining, Chappell will typically rig a 1/24- to 1/8-ounce Crappie Pro Mo’ Glo Jighead. The weight of the jighead depends on what depth he is targeting.

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kids and crappie catch

How to Introduce Crappie Fishing to Kids

Learn the favored teaching approaches of the author, who is long-time fishing guide, plus perspectives from a professional crappie angler and a fishing industry veteran.

If you want to hook a kid on crappie fishing, you only must do two things: Keep it simple and catch crappie. Sounds easy enough, but where do you begin?

Over the years, as a guide on Beaver Lake, I have guided hundreds of young anglers out fishing with their parents. The key to having a successful day out on the water with young anglers is to keep moving and finding actively feeding fish.

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crappie catch

Expert Tips on How to Fish a Brush Pile

Brush piles produce summer crappie. We all know that. Two top crappie anglers explain how to catch the most crappie out of each brush pile.

The formula is simple. Using the correct presentations equals success catching more and bigger crappie from brush piles.

“When I say presentation it means a number of things,” said professional crappie angler Dan Dannenmueller. “Everything from distance from the brush pile to the boat, casting distance, lure retrieve, lure color, lure size, angle of cast from the boat and everything else I can change to incite a crappie to bite.”

Before fishing a brush pile, Dannenmueller will use his sonar units from a distance to see if it has crappie in it and where they are located. He likes to stay at least 50 feet from the brush pile to avoid spooking the crappie before moving closer. 

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Dock Shooting for Crappie

Shoot Docks to Catch More Crappie

Learn the Secrets to a highly productive and often-overlooked crappie fishing technique.

The current obsession of sniping crappie by using LiveScope has opened the door for anglers without live sonar technology to the technique of dock shooting. Truth is, you would be hard pressed to find any tournament crappie angler shooting docks on most lakes.

That’s a mistake, according to Weiss Lake crappie fishing guide Lee Pitts. “Seems like tournament anglers have forgotten that lots of crappie, along with big crappie, live under docks,” Pitts said.

Unlike video game fishing, dock shooting requires eye-hand coordination to skip or shoot a lightweight lure in and around boat docks, boat lifts and in stalls. Let’s look at this unique, ultra-productive technique for catching crappie.

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float fishing for spring crappie

Use Floats to Catch More Spring Crappie

When crappie move shallow during spring, adding the right float to a rig allows for better targeted and more effective presentations of crappie jigs or live bait.

“The thrill of bank fishing with a float never gets old,” said Brad Bowles “I don’t care how old you get.”

Few anglers would disagree with Bowles, a crappie tournament angler and expert bank angler on Barren River Lake in Kentucky. “I love to bank fish around riprap under or around bridges on Barren River Lake. The bridge areas are normally the mouth of a migration point for crappie and typically warm up first,” he said.

Barren River Lake gets drawn down as much as 24 feet during winter in anticipation of rising flood waters. Floating debris often makes fishing from a boat dangerous. However, bridges become pinch points, making them prime areas to fish for crappie from the bank.

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