Bandit Lures’ newest walleye lure opens a once-secret strategy to every angler and provides a highly valuable walleye trolling lure, especially during the pre-spawn period.
A lure designed for trolling, but also engineered to suspend in the water column? With trolling being a generally steady approach, it might seem like those concepts contradict one another.
In truth, a suspending lure is critical to innovative strategies used secretly for many years by select walleye anglers in the Great Lakes Region and Zander anglers in Europe. Until now, these anglers had to custom weight their favorite Bandits to suspend, which is a touchy process when lures must remain properly balanced and true running to be effective, and it is not something most anglers would want to take on.
That’s why in-the-know anglers have been begging Bandit for suspending version of their favorite trolling lure and what led to the development of the Bandit Suspending Minnow. Let’s take a closer look.
Learn the techniques of four crankbait trolling experts and increase your summer crappie fishing success.
“And the Bandits Stroll Away” might sound like a country song title. Instead, it’s what Arkansas crappie guide Payton Usrey tells boat guests when the final trolling lure is in the water and it’s time for fish-catching action.
Bandits are a brand of shad-shaped crankbaits, popular with Usrey and scores of avid crappie anglers who enjoy summer trolling for the species. They rattle and have a wide wobble when retrieved.
Strolling, in fishing talk, refers to various slow-trolling techniques in which a boat’s electric trolling motor is used to move the watercraft along in a deliberate, controlled manner for presenting lures.
Going long can produce a quick score for football teams, and crappie anglers can also score quickly by going long with their baits.
When Brad Chappell started fishing Magnolia Crappie Club tournaments, he quickly discovered he needed to go long for crappie to succeed in the club. Chappell became convinced he needed to change tactics when the team of Earl Brinks and Kenny Browning kept winning the club tournaments by long lining for crappie.
“Honestly, they were putting a beat down on us, so I just decided I wanted to do it,” Chappell said.
Chappell learned his lessons so well that he is now considered one of the best anywhere at long lining, a method of trolling lures on long lines from the sides and back of a slow-moving boat. The Mississippi guide believes long lining is so effective because it allows him to cover water quickly with a wide span of lures running through a specific, controllable depth.
Long lining produces for Chappell through most of the year. “I do it as long as the water is over 45 degrees,” Chappell said. “Anything below that is a little bit too cold.”
Learn to find and catch early spring crappie when they begin migrating from winter holes toward spawning areas.
Crappie go on the move when daylight hours lengthen and the water warms in early spring.
The longer daylight hours lead to warmer air, which starts warming the water. The warming water triggers early spring crappie to start moving from their winter haunts, according to Dan Dannenmueller, an Alabama tournament competitor and publisher of CrappieNOW! online magazine.
“That water temp is the key,” Dannenmueller said. “When the water temp starts getting up to 55 degrees the crappie are going to start to move, and as they approach closer to 57 to 58 you will see the males move up, and then the females right after them.”
Whether he is fishing a natural lake in Florida or a highland reservoir in the Midwest, Dannenmueller notices crappie spend their winter in the deepest holes they can find and start moving during the first prolonged warm spell in the early spring.
“If there is a 5-foot hole and that is the deepest water in a creek that is where crappie will be or they will go to somewhat deeper water and sit on the bottom,” Dannenmueller said. “They are going to move in to those first ledges that warm first.”
When early spring crappie start moving out of winter holes and toward spawning grounds, here are four techniques to intercept them on their migration route.