The Final Crappie Sort out Field


I used to be raised in northeast Ohio through the 70s, the son of a devoted crappie fisherman. Rabid could be extra prefer it. My father, Mick, would spend each weekend adrift on Berlin Reservoir in his 12’ Sears semi-V dunking minnows amongst the yellow flowering flooded willow bushes. It’s what he did, and as such, it’s what I knew.

Issues have been less complicated then. His rod was a retrofitted no-name fly rod.  The rigging was additionally easy—old style braided salt ‘n pepper line with a tensile energy within the ballpark of 8.43 metric tons. He used a #4 Eagle Claw snelled hook; Crimp-on Water Gremlin, with tabs, roughly the scale of a pea—a giant pea; and the omnipresent pink ‘n white spherical bobber, all capped off with a 3” minnow hooked evenly below the dorsal fin. 

His fishing tools by no means modified—even all the way down to the Hersey’s with almonds and a single can of 7-UP he at all times purchased at Les’ Bait Store on the ramp. Generally, albeit not often, the Outdated Man would dangle a wire spreader below the pink ‘n white spherical float, one arm dangling a minnow, the opposite a chartreuse marabou jig tipped with a minnow. 

Crappie fishing is a bit totally different now within the 21st Century. There are high-tech rods, fluorocarbon strains, micro-jigs, synthetic baits, spider rigs, crappie-specific crankbaits, and on and on. That’s to not say my previous man’s minnow below a bobber doesn’t nonetheless work; it could actually, and infrequently does. However the sort out field of ’22 doesn’t look close to the identical as dad’s all-metal Outdated Pal field. 

So what would right this moment’s ‘final crappie sort out field’ appear like? What may it have within the rows upon rows of trays? Would it not be a mixture of previous and new? And does it should be all fancy and costly and weigh roughly that of a small whitetail buck? Not likely, however it ought to have the necessities, and to me, these would come with the next. 

The Sort out Field Itself

I’m a fan of a soft-sided sort out bag relatively than a tough field; one thing with a shoulder strap, plastic trays with inserts to compartmentalize the rows into smaller sections, and roughly 1,400 cubic inches of cupboard space, give or take. I search for a rugged waterproof backside and at the very least one waterproof zippered pocket for my cellphone, pockets, keys, and something that ought to keep dry. Bass Professional Outlets presents a pleasant one of their Advanced Anglers II bag. Piscifun has a backpack, additionally with onerous plastic trays (4), that works nicely, particularly for walk-in anglers.

The Finest Line For Crappie Fishing

Crappies, particularly these in clear water, is usually a little line-shy, and this makes a rattling close to invisible fluorocarbon line a sensible choice. My spinning reels—Pflueger President #20—are spooled with 4 pound Berkley Vanish fluro in Clear, and I’ll pack one other spool within the bag simply in case.

Weights For Crappies

I’ll admit it. I’m nonetheless my Outdated Man’s son, which suggests my bag will embody an assortment (Professional-Pack) of detachable Water Gremlin split-shots ought to I determine to go Outdated Faculty and run the snelled hook/bobber rig, which I do. However I additionally deliver a small collection of bell-style swivel sinkers in ⅛- , ¼-, and ½-ounce sizes for these occasions I’m drop-shotting plastics, which isn’t just for bass however is usually a killer crappie method, notably on scattered and/or deep water fish.

Swivels 

A collection of small snap swivels—Measurement #12 by way of #18—for drop-shooting and when throwing inline spinners and crankbaits is important. I’ll have black, not gold or silver. I need the fish putting the bait/lure, and never the flash of a snap swivel.

The Finest Floats For Crappie Fishing

Gone—sadly—are the pink ‘n white spherical bobbers; so, too, is the Snoopy Bobber, although both one will nonetheless work in a pinch. As we speak should you want a bobber, any bobber, the oldsters at Thill could have it. My bag at all times has quite a lot of sizes, however two types – one, a pencil (cigar) shaped spring float that attaches static (fastened) to the road, and the second, a slip bobber, together with the wanted bobber stops and beads. Nevertheless, Thill does provide a hybrid of their Crappie Cork, which serves double obligation as each a hard and fast float and a slip bobber. I’ve a 1/8- and ¼-ounce hybrid, however sometimes use both a spring float or a slip bobber. Good to have, although.

The Proper Sorts of Hooks For Crappie Fishing

I hold two or three flat packs of Eagle Claw #4 snelled hooks are in my sort out field together with an assortment of #4 gold Aberdeen model hooks, that are good for fin-hooking full of life minnows. They’re sturdy, however flex and straighten out through the inevitable snaggy conditions. Lastly, I hold a price pack, of non-snelled Aberdeen hooks, out there from a variety of sources together with Eagle Claw, Mr. Crappie, and Gamakatsu. 

3 Sorts of Jigheads for Catching Crappies

So, right here’s the place the sort out bag begins to actually tackle some weight—not in complexity, however in quantity. First, jig heads. My trays will maintain loads of the next.

1) Spherical Jigheads

1/64 by way of ¼ ounce, painted and unpainted. I’ve the molds, hooks, and kilos upon kilos of lead, so rolling my very own isn’t an issue. The colours are foundational—black, white, pink, yellow, orange, and at all times chartreuse. 

2) Tube Jigheads

Bullet-shaped jig heads can be utilized together with smaller tube jigs. I purchase them unpainted as a cost-saving measure. 

3) Roadrunner (Horse Head) Model Heads

I’ll pack each the willow and Colorado-style blades with these popular jig heads. Sizes to incorporate 1/32 by way of 1/8 ounce; the colours are additionally primary like chartreuse, white, and black.

Marabou jigs 

My father was a believer—at occasions—within the effectiveness of an old-school marabou feather jig tipped with a minnow, and I observe in his footsteps on this depend. I often have half a card (5) of 1/16, ⅛,  and ¼ ounce jigs in yellow, white, pink, and chartreuse.

The 4 Finest Smooth Plastic Jigs For Crappie Fishing

If there have been one phrase synonymous with crappie fishing, it could be jigs—extra particularly, maybe, mushy plastic jigs. The excellent news about mushy plastics? The choice is nearly infinite. The unhealthy information? The choice is, nicely, virtually infinite. And this makes it considerably troublesome for the angler new to crappie fishing to select half a dozen from among the many a whole lot. That mentioned, I’ve managed to slender my decisions within the mushy plastics world all the way down to only a handful. These have made the lower and reside in my sort out bag.

However first, a be aware on colour. Crappies might be extraordinarily color-selective, usually with even a slight change taking you from zero to hero in a solid or two. To this finish, lure makers provide their mushy plastics in a painter’s palette of hues. Mister Tornado, for instance, lists their 2-inch Teenie Curly Tail grub in 40 totally different patterns. Do you want all 40? You don’t; nevertheless, I might counsel having the fundamentals—pink, yellow, white, black, and chartreuse—together with mixtures of these, plus a handful of off-beat choices, like flake, pearl, and neon, and something that resembles a minnow or small shad, resembling silver flake. Too, there are colours or colour mixtures that simply appear to supply on sure waters, so it’s worthwhile to cease on the native bait store and ask. 

1) Curly Tail Grub

Additionally referred to as tornado tails, these small plastics catch a ton of crappie every year. Two-inch and three” are Go-To sizes for specks. 

2) Sassy Shad (Paddle Tail)

These odd-shaped plastics mimic a baitfish like tiny shad, virtually transfer for transfer, so that they’re in there, and in each the 1-3/4- and 2-1/2-inch sizes.

3) Freaky Frank’s

I used to be only recently launched to Freaky Frank’s plastics by a superb good friend and crappie devotee right here in Washington state. I don’t know why they work in addition to they do, however they do. I’m working each the 1-3/4-inch Lil Freaky Worm and the unique 2-1/2-inch Freaky on 1/32 and 1/16 heads. Colours? Stonewall Silver, Phantom Pearl, and Black/Chartreuse.

4) Tubes

Tube jigs and finesse work, in my view, go hand-in-hand. A crappie information in California, Ed Legan of Clear Lake, turned me on to Berkley’s tube bait—the PowerBait Atomic Teaser—and it’s labored nicely for me right here at dwelling on Silver Lake. 

The Finest Synthetic Baits For Crappies

In some elements of the nation, notably out West, using reside minnows is prohibited, the priority being the introduction of non-native species. Is smart, however the prohibition pulls the Quantity One crappie bait out of the equation. The reply? Pretend baits resembling Berkley’s GULP! Minnow, Paddleshad, or Crappie Nibbles, the latter working nicely when inserted right into a tube jig. So these all discover their means into the sort out bag. 

Learn Subsequent: The 8 Best Crappie Bait Rigs

Spinners

And final however definitely not least, there are three trays dedicated to spinners in my sort out field, which assist sort out huge crappies. Smaller inline spinners, resembling Mepps Aglia, each in #0 (1/12 ounce) and #1 (1/8 ounce) sizes, and in Black/Yellow/Crimson, Firetiger, and my private favourite, Rainbow Trout. Others within the tray embody the Outdated Faculty C.P. Swing, Yakima Baits’ tried and true Roostertail, and one of many best inline spinners ever crafted, the Panther Martin Classic in black with yellow dots (The Bumble Bee) and a silver blade. That one simply plain catches fish.





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