Trolling for Crappie

Trolling for Crappie

“The nice thing about having a boat is that you can troll to find the crappie schools.  Some fishermen spend all day trolling whether they catch any crappie or not.  I would like to show you a way to troll for crappie and actually catch fish.  Once you start catching crappie, stop your trolling and start having fun reeling in your catch.”
Equipment you will need:

–Trolling motor:  that will go as slow as physically possible.
–Jigs:  that have a red head and a white or yellow body.

The jigs should have a variety of different weights.  The weight of the jig will determine how deep you are trolling.  You want to have a variety of crappie rigs trolling at the same time and at a variety of different depths.  This is called a “shotgun effect”.

Where to Start Trolling:
Crappie love structure so you want to start trolling near rock points, known stump areas and known sunken wreak areas.  Think of anywhere a crappie could hide as a predator and dart out and return after catching his prey.  I would start by identifying areas on a topographical map.  This is a excellent way to create a game plan to start your fishing trip.

Initial Trolling for Crappie Set up:
   You can start your slow-troll using live bait .  Hook the minnow through the bottom and to top of his mouth. (this will prevent the minnow from drowning)  Use ½ oz or 3/4 oz weight on the end of the line.

Once you catch the first fish stop the boat!

Know the secret tip to identify exactly where that school is located.  Use the crappie you just caught and use him as a scout fish to find that school of hungry crappie:
1.  Run a hook thru the back of the crappie and make sure its not to deep so you don’t kill the crappie by mistake.  The hook needs to be attached to about 10ft of line with a bobber on the other end of the line.
2.   Let your scout fish lead you to the main crappie school.  Just follow the floating bobber.
3.  VERY IMPORTANT   Stay far enough behind your scout fish so you cannot be seen by the schooled crappie.
4.   When he gets back to his home and all his buddies in the school and probably his favorite structure area, cast your line into the area from a safe distance. (If you spook the fish you will have to start all over again in a different area.
5.  Keep fishing the general area until you fish it out.  If you don’t have enough fish, start the trolling for crappie exercise all over again at a different spot.
6.   You would be surprised how many fishermen never do step 6 and it is probably one of the most important step for future fishing trips.  Mark the spot on your topographical map . If you have a GPS  enter the coordinates immediately so you do not forget.  Remember…you want to learn from every fishing trip.
7.   If you want to get real technical, put a dot for every fish that was caught at this location.  And if you want to get even more technical, record the weather conditions .
Store this tip in your crappie fishing arsenal, then the next time you go out fishing you can plan your trip using this trolling for crappie fish technique.  Make sure you check with your local department of natural resources before you use a scout fish to make sure it is legal in your state.  GOOD FISHING AND GOOD LUCK!

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