One of the benefits of selling the Brim Reaper is all the feedback I get from fishermen. Here are some tips that I have found and some that I have been told.


  1. I was down at Reelfoot Lake, TN in May and fishing was slow. I could see down about 4 feet. It really helped when I added a wax worm and cast 50 feet from the boat. Obviously in clear water light line works.

  2. Sometimes it helps to shorten the legs. I am not sure why, but sometimes they want them short.

  3. One fellow reported that he was using the reaper and his brother was using a cricket and neither were doing much until he added a cricket to the Brim Reaper. Then the Brim Reaper with a cricket on it out caught the plain cricket two to one.

  4. One day the fish were hitting slowly. Just nipping the bait and would not hold on. I made 6 casts into one stob and had 6 snibs. No fish so I shortened the legs and dunked it in fish formula (Crappie flavored) I then made 9 straight casts at the same stob and had 9 consecutive bream.

  5. Another fisherman reported the same problem, which he solved by putting on a red lead-head.

  6. Try casting the Reaper with a # 00 L-Shaped spinner in either gold or silver. This can be Deadly. Add a split shot when needed, I do. I tend to use this more often in very clear water.

  7. The Reaper might last even longer if it does not get hot. Take it into the house when you are through rather than leave it in the car. Keep it out of the sunlight, it will last longer.

  8. I have even used the Brim Reaper with a touch of trout dough bait and caught bluegill, crappie, and trout.


  1. BIG Crappie!!!! More and more fishermen are finding out every day that this bait can be Deadly on Big Slab Crappie. This summer when it was hot, the good Crappie sometimes moved into real shallow water in heavy cover in the river sloughs. Try the Brim Reaper, some people prefer to change the lead-head to one with a # 6 hook instead of the standard #8. Some people prefer a plain lead-head or painted. Depending on the water, you might want to us the Reaper with the chartreuse legs. I went out one day and did better with the chartreuse legs on both Brim and Crappie. The water was pretty dingy.


Catch Summer Slab Crappie

Tactics for Catching Crappies in Hot Summer Weather

Remember how awesome the fishing was last month? Crappies were spawning, bunched in the shallows thicker than fleas on a hound. You were catching slabs off stake beds and brushpiles in every bay, cove, and flat. Then suddenly, just like somebody pulled the plug, it was over. Now you’re figuring it’s time to stash the crappie tackle until next spring.

Hold on. Even though the spawning bonanza has passed, there’s still plenty of great crappie action out there if you change your tactics. After the spawn, crappies follow submerged creek channels out of reservoir tributary arms toward the main body of the lake. Although they’re unlikely to be packed together now as they were during the spawn, they’re still in predictable places and respond eagerly to live bait and lure presentations. Here’s how to find these summer hangouts.


TROLL CRANKBAITS When lake temperatures reach about 75 degrees, postspawn crappies will be scattered along the first dropoff they encounter adjacent to their bedding areas—12 to 18 feet deep is typical. These fish will be suspending now rather than holding tight to the bottom, so your best approach is to cover a lot of water by slow-trolling small crankbaits like the Bandit 100 and Bomber Model A. Target the deep ends of gravel flats, major points at tributary mouths, and creek-channel drops [figure 1]. First scan these areas with your sonar and put marker buoys along channels and ditches to chart your route. Using soft-action baitcasting rods and 8-pound abrasion-resistant line, troll between 1.5 and 2.5 mph in a lazy S pattern, alternately sweeping the open water over the channel and banging bottom on top of the drop with your lures. When a fish strikes, don’t grab the rod and set the hook—crappies aren’t called “paper-mouths” for nothing, and a hard hookset may rip out the hook. Instead, pick up the rod and just start reeling. The strike is usually sufficient to bury the hook. Don’t forget to take along a plug knocker to retrieve crankbaits that hang up in brushy cover.


PROBE CHANNEL COVER With the lake now topping 80 degrees, crappies will most often be hanging around deep creek and river channels. Look for them to be suspending near, or holding tight to, stumps, brushpiles, and flooded standing timber adjacent to channels in 20 to 30 feet of water. Mark channel drops with buoys, then probe for crappies using a Kentucky rig [figure 2]. Use cheap 30-pound mono as leaders off of the main line. The stiff, springy leaders will keep the two lures from tangling. A bow-mounted sonar with the transducer attached to the trolling motor will help you stay on target. Lower the sinker straight down into bottom cover and s-l-o-w-l-y reel it up, repeating as you progress along the channel [figure 3]. July crappies often suspend in a tower formation, and this presentation will catch fish from 30 to 10 feet deep.


DRAG OFFSHORE HUMPS Even though the lake temperature may exceed 90 degrees now, you can still catch crappies by keying on offshore humps (submerged islands). Target those no shallower than 15 feet on top, especially if they rise out of deep water near a flowing channel. Crappies gravitate to the peak of the hump to feed on baitfish when current is being generated from the upstream dam, then drop back to suspend off its deep sides once the turbines shut down.

Idle over the structure, marking it with buoys. Move to open water, let out about 40 feet of line with a Kentucky rig on the business end, and head back to the spot with your trolling motor, dragging the rig behind your boat. When you move across the hump and feel the sinker hit bottom, speed up slightly; if you haven’t felt the sinker drag for several seconds, slow down until you do.

Crappies suspending in hot water can be maddeningly slow to bite. When you spot a school on your sonar, you may have to approach it from several different directions to entice a strike. A sudden change of speed can also trigger a bite. As the rig passes near the school, either speed up your trolling motor to quicken the presentation, or kill it so the rig sinks. Find the right combination, and you can get two hookups at once.

Follow the Forecast:


Minnows fade quickly in the heat, so switch to tube baits. Look for towers of suspending fish at dropoffs down to 30 feet and probe them vertically with a Kentucky rig.


Wave action creates cloudy water perfect for ambushes, and crappies emerge from channels to prey on bait feeding on windblown plankton. Head to banks with nearby dropoffs and slowly swim a small white or chartreuse twister jig.

High Pressure

Under clear skies, crappies retreat from piercing UV light in brushy cover near channel drops. Fish straight down into the thick stuff with a Kentucky rig.

Dropping Pressure

Before a storm, crappies school up to bird-dog wandering baitfish. Make multiple passes over channel drops until you find them on your graph, then troll crankbaits or slow- drift jigs through the school. —DON WIRTH

Source: Tactics for Catching Crappies in Hot Summer Weather

Drift fishing for Crappie

Drift Fishing for Crappie

Drift Fishing For Crappie: A Productive Way To Catch Some Big Crappie 
Equipment You Will Need:
Trolling motor
Marker buoys
Spinning Tackle
Crappie rigs
Marker buoys

Best Location To Drift Fish
The Hardest part about catching crappie while drift fishing is locating the schools.  You will need a topographical map of the area, and should have a good depth finder.  You can pick the topographical map up at the local bait store. (It’s advisable to go there to get the latest fishing report anyway.) Crappie school in open water and if you can find the schools, you can catch a good batch of crappie. 
   Also it has been my experience , the crappie you catch in open water while drift fishing seem to be bigger. The first step you should do before you get out on the water is locate the deepest part of body of water you are fishing on from your topographical map, this will be your starting point. You will be fishing the break areas on the bottom surface.    To Locate a break area, look for changes in depth on your depth finder. Any break deep to shallow, or shallow to deep are good spots to drift. Try to avoid any flat bottom surface areas. You will just waist your time in these areas.How to Set Your Drift for Crappie Fishing
Locate the wind’s direction and set you boat in position to drift along the break (change in bottom depth).  Make sure your boat drifts along the deeper side of the break. You will use your trolling motor to keep your drift in position along the deep side of the break. If you don’t have a trolling motor, you’ll have to use you boat motor to get back in position, (this can spook the fish, thats why a trolling motor is recommended).  The Depth finder will be your guide to stay along the deep side of the break, and to locate the fish.

   Set up a weighted crappie rig to just touch bottom with sinker position, your baits about 18 to 24 inches off the bottom.  As you drift, watch the rod tip.  It will bounce up and down slightly as the weight drags along the bottom.  If the tip of the rod remains still, the sinker is not in contact with the bottom.  When you catch the first fish drop one of your marker buoys to mark the spot.

   Continue to drift until another fish is caught or about 75 yards, then drop another buoy. This marks your drift location for a return drift or anchor position.  Drift about 50 more yards past the second buoy then start up your boat motor and go around the buoys approximately 75yards away.  Now move your boat back in position for another drift. 

   Normally the school will be concentrated in one area.  Keep working the spot until you get no more bites.  If you’re lucky, you can catch your limit and a short time.

You can use this technique on any body of water, so have fun and good luck!

Pre Spawn Crappie

Pre Spawn Crappie

“In early spring when the water temperature reaches the mid 50s, the crappie will go into their pre spawn mode. To find crappies this time of year look for the warmest sections of the lake. Generally shallow areas on the north side of the lake in the backs of protected coves.”
   The ideal spawning areas will consist of a sandy or semi soft bottom. If the bottom is hard, it is difficult for the crappie to fan out a proper nest. If the bottom is soft such as a soft muck it will not hold the shape of the nest very well and will be difficult to keep the nest clean. The best spawning areas will also be in close proximity to cover such as tree stumps, brush piles, fallen logs, or standing timber.

Another consideration is wind. Crappie prefer to spawn in areas protected from excessive wind and wave action. Extended periods of high winds and cold weather will force the crappie to move out of the shallows and back out to deeper water. , usually they will move to the first drop off or edges of the creek channels.

Crappie tend to spawn in the same areas as largemouth bass. The bass will spawn before the crappie so if you find an area in which the bass are spawning. Move out to the first deep-water drop off and scan the area with your electronics. Once you find a concentration of suspended crappie cast past the school with a 1/16-ounce jig on 4-lb test line. Count down as the jig sinks to the same depth as you found the crappie. Once your jig reaches the depth they are holding begin your retrieve through the suspended crappie. It is better to keep your jig slightly above them then below them. Crappie have a tendency to feed up rather then down.

Another strategy is to position your boat directly above the crappie. Lower your jig down while counting until your offering is directly above the fish and hold it there with very little movement.
In the early stages of the crappie’s pre spawn movement, they are not very aggressive. However, they will take a jig presented directly in front of them but will not chase the bait. Once you catch the first crappie make note of the depth you caught the fish. Then repeat the count down until you reach the same depth where the first fish was caught.

When a fish is caught, play the fish for a few seconds at the depth it hit. This will sometimes trigger the competitive instinct in other crappie and they will become more aggressive. A bobber setup can also be effective at keeping your bait at the right depth, however only when the crappie are holding at 8’ or less. Any deeper then 8’ and the bobber setup will be ineffective. Crappie tend to bite very softly at this time of year.

As the weather warms, the crappie will start their movement to the shallows. The shallower they are holding the more aggressive they will become. Move your boat shallow in a position where as not to cast your shadow on the area you are fishing. I like to use a 10’ – 12’ rod when the crappie are holding in 3’ to 4’ of water. Lower jig down into the cover or along the side of stumps. Hold there for a while and if you do not get a bite lift the rod, move a little and lower it back down. Fish the piece of cover from all sides and very thoroughly.

Spring Crappie Spawn

Spring Crappie Spawn

Crappie Spawn is an exciting time of the year usually between March and April each year in the Southern regions when water temperatures reach 62 to 68 degrees, however this is not always true, the northern part of the region may take until May or June to reach the right temps for the crappie spawn to take place.”
   As seasons change, crappie have a migration path that they make their way to the shorelines to lay their eggs for the big crappie spawn when the seasons change to spring time. When the temperature is right I have seen crappie so shallow the top fin is out of the water. Always remember the west side of the lake always warms up first, this is where the first wave come in the shallows for the crappie spawn. Crappie are very similar to Largemouth bass when it comes to spawn, they share the same space at the same time.   When the crappie spawn occurs on your lake or pond they can position themselves anywhere from the bank to shallow underwater ledges, and those drop-offs will fall to 10 feet or more, look for shallow ditches, cuts and gullies, near bank-side bluffs or coves. Also it always helps to scan your sonar to find these areas in your boat. As the crappie spawn takes place there are unlimited places to find them, look around the edges of weed beds, timber stands, brush piles, bridges and boat docks.   Here are some tips to help you locate and catch these fish during the crappie spawn, the best way to fish starting out is to use medium size minnows either straight line or use slip corks on your reel so that you can easily adjust your depth as necessary. You will also want to use 6lb line, the lighter line will not be easily detected in shallow waters for the crappie spawn. You can use a light bait caster rod and reel or an ultra-lite open faced rod and reel setup using a small beetle spin or spinnerbait with a single blade on either bait that mimics baitfish. Be mindful of colors, if one works good, another color may be excellent.

   Chartruese/black colors work well in low light conditions, when in clearer water use silver/black or plain white baits for some serious action. Remember what depth you got bit at and return to that same depth, sometimes a one to two foot depth difference will mean getting bit or not, this applies to not only crappie spawn, but when they retreat to deeper waters. Here is a great tip to take to the lake with you, like most of us we are unable to know where the crappie are at all times so you can stop by or call your local marina and ask the marina manager what depth the crappie are being caught, some local fisherman will boast about their catch to the marina managers and this can give you valuable information, sometimes even baits choices.

   Remember to carry a certified measuring stick with you to measure your fish, as some states have a 10″ minimum length and a limit of 25 crappie per person.  Always check with your state parks & wildlife to make sure about length and limits, make sure that you carry your fishing license with you when you are at the lake, it will save you from getting a ticket. A very important tip to remember after the spawn is over, is that they will retreat back to deeper water and generally they will stay at 75 degree waters.

Spring Crappie Fishing

Spring fishing will not be the same in one area vs. across the U.S.  Find what is working in your area by local DNR or through fishing forums in your state.  The window of opportunity in the spring spawning is narrow, so make the most of it.  About May is when the water temperature reaches 58-68 degrees.  During this period of time in May, you will have many plates full of crappie and lots of memories.

Veteran anglers will go earlier in the spring and search the deeper waters, then as spring progresses they follow them right up to the spawning beds.  Typically, these fish are deep enough for anglers to set up directly over them and drop jigs or minnows to the fish.  Vertical fishing, when done properly, allows you to find crappie, or at least find cover thats likely to hold fish and present offerings very precisely.  With this method, they increase their spring catches by 50%.

In the spring when the water temperature is on the move upward along with the length of the day, males will come to build their nest.  You will be able to also catch females, but you will find your stringer will have more males on it.

> Small lakes and/or ponds, search coves or dams of the smaller lakes.
> Channel ledges
> Major creeks in pockets near bodies of lakes
> Reservoirs
> Submerged structures, ground trees, & bushes.

Two Feet Too Deep
Two feet can make a difference on you getting your share of crappie.  They tend to be approximately in the same depth.  No matter what type of fishing you are doing for example: vertical, trolling, or jig & float…the key is to find the depth they are at.  Crappies are a lazy bunch and will not work that hard to find you, so you have to find them.  One of the keys is to find the big groups of shad which could be around 12 feet deep, you will find the crappie are at the same depth.

Stripping Made Simple
Once you have found their depth, if it be in deep waters or spawning beds, is to always get your bait back to the same depth.  Start by letting your bait at water level, then strip your line out one foot at a time to the depth you are seeking.  Then mark your line with a black marker, that way one can go back to the same depth time after time.  With bobber set-ups, all you need to do is adjust them to the right depth.

Double Up
  Use two hooks (jigs and/or minnows) to be more effective.  By offering second bait, you are covering more underground water increasing your catch by 50%.  Also keep in mind to use two different colors of jigs.  Another idea is to tip one jig with a partial minnow, and another jig without a minnow, jig and minnow method.  Try and use small jig and one large jig to see what their taste is today.  Tomorrow their taste & depth could be different, but start out with what you were doing successfully yesterday.

Anchoring & Buoys
  DO NOT anchor over the top of brush piles, would you like it if someone else invade your space.  Key to stay away from their area, by using longer poles to reach into their habitat.  Forget the anchor if possible, as anchors tend to spook the fish.  If you have to use the anchor, stay as far away as possible and lower ever super slow off the front of your boat facing into the wind.  Better way is to use a floating marker which can be purchased for a low price.  If you have a trolling motor, face your boat into the wind, thereby making the boat almost at complete standstill.

Too Much
Crappie does not like go-go dancers (jigs) that do alot of dancing.  Slow dancing down like when you were dating is the best to entice them to hit your jig.  Once in a while do gentle twitch by lifting the rod tip up, better yet that is why they make rod holders.  The movement of the boat will assist in the movement of the jig.  Early spring tube-style or paddle-tailed grubs work better in the spring as there is not that much wiggle.

Last, But Not Least
  Crappie tend to inhale their food, so therefore you will not see much action on your float or line.  Anglers when they know they have a crappie, do not try to reel as the first method, instead lift the tip of your pole to set the hook without tearing the hook out of their paper mouths

Crappie Fishing Tips

Crappie Fishing Tips


Crappie Fishing TipsWelcome to our section on crappie fishing tips. Here you’ll get a chance to learn everything you’ll ever need to know about crappies and crappie fishing. It doesn’t matter if this is your first time fishing for crappie or if you’ve been doing it for years, there is information on this web page that will help you. First, you’ll have the option to learn more about crappies and get a better understanding of what they do and why they do it. Followed by a list of crappie fishing tips, crappie fishing records, crappie facts and a list of resources to further your research into fishing for crappie. We’re confident that this article can immediately help your fishing game.

About Crappie (Pomoxis Annularis)

White CrappieCrappie (pomoxis annularis & pomoxis nigromaculatus) is a species of fish native to North America. There are two types of species of crappie, white crappie (pomoxis annularis) and black crappie (pomoxis nigromaculatus). They live in freshwater and are one of the most popular game fish among anglers. Their habitat will usually consist of water that is moderately acidic and highly vegetated. When crappie are juveniles they feed mostly on prey that is microscopic, such as cyclops, cladocera and daphnia and when mature they will feed on aquatic insects, minnows, and fish fingerlings of other species.

A School of CrappieCrappie are a schooling fish and will also school with other types of pan fish. They prefer underwater structures like fallen trees, weed bends and other structures that might be submerged. Generally during the day crappie tend to stay deep under water and only move to shore when feeding, mostly at dawn or dusk. However, during their spawning period they can be found in shallow water in large concentrations. They do not go into any semi-hibernation during the winter, making them a prime target of anglers that are ice fishing. Crappies, both black and white can have color variance that is affected by their habitat, age and the colors of the local breeding population.


Crappie Fishing Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Most likely you came to this web page for the below information, our crappie fishing tips. These tips were put together by our team by searching all over for the most effect tips used for crappie fishing. In fact, some of the below tips even came from anglers such as yourself. Feel free to submit a fishing tip if you’d like to see your own crappie fishing secret appear below.

    • Use the Right Fishing Knot– If you’re fishing for crappie with a jig you should use a loop knot. This type of fishing knot will allow the jig to move more freely when casted. In addition, it provides crappie with a subtle movement that is very enticing when done vertically to the fish.


    • The Best Live Bait Setup– One of the best bait setups for crappie is to use a #6 hook, a small split shot, a live minnow and a slip bobber. The slip bobber will allow you adjust for any depth while not sacrificing casting ability. Hook the minnow either through both lips or just behind the top dorsal fin.
    • Fish the Right Depth– Crappie can usually be found between three and six feet of water. During the peak of summer crappie will move to deeper areas and come out to the surface during dawn and dusk to feed.
    • Keep the Line Tight– Crappie are known to have a soft lip. This means that they can tear easily and shake your hook if the line isn’t kept tight enough. Luckily crappie will put up a good fight, so keeping your line tight shouldn’t be a difficult task.
    • Don’t be in a Hurry– Crappie will give you more action if you are slow and steady with your jig and/or minnow. Try to avoid retrieving your cast too quickly. If you’re not getting any action and you know crappie are in the area then try slowing down.
  • Use a Topographical Map– Since depth is important when trying to fish for crappie you’ll want to make sure you use a topographical map of the body of water you’re fishing. A map will at least contain depths and in some instances sunken structures like fish beds. You don’t need to pay for these, there are tons of free ones available on the internet.

Crappie Fishing Records

Below is the world record crappie caught by anglers just like yourself. This information came from the IGFA (International Game Fish Association) at the time this content was written. While these type of records do change it’s not that often, you can look up crappie records in real time by visiting the IGFA website. Their is a link to their website in the additional resources on crappie section below. Who knows, in the future we might find your name in the top anglers for crappie because you used information on this web page!

Walleye World RecordJohn R. Hortsman caught a black crappie in a private lake in Missouri, USA on April 21st 2006 that weighted 2.26 kg (5 lbs. 0 oz.)

Walleye World RecordFred Bright caught a white crappie at Enid Dam in Mississippi, USA on July 31st 1957 that weighted 2.35 kg (5 lbs, 3 oz.)


Crappie Facts

We’ve put together for you some basic facts and data about crappie. This information is useful to better understand this type of popular game fish and to get an idea of what to expect when fishing for them. The maximum weight and length is from the latest all-time record at the time this information was written. It may have changed slightly, but that is only for the top 0.5% of crappie you’ll find in the wild.

  • Scientific Name: Pomoxis annularis (white) & Pomoxis nigromaculatus (black)
  • Nickname(s): Papermouth, Sac-a-lait, slab, speck and speckled perch
  • Average Lifespan: 10 years in the wild and 12 years in captivity
  • Length: Up to 20″ for white crappie and 19″ for black crappie
  • Weight: Up to 5 pounds, average is quarter to half pound
  • Range: North America
  • Spawning Water Temperature: Black crappie 58-64 degrees and white crappie 60-65 degrees


Crappie When And Where To Catch Them

Crappie When And Where To Catch Them


crappie when and where to catch them
Well, the Crappie will hit the shallow just in front of the bass. Grandpa and other fishermen will tell you when the Dogwood Blooms, the Crappie are hitting.
I have found this to hold true except when Mother Nature throws you that curve…and everyone has heard me say that.
Normally the crappie will start their Spawn in water temperature in the low to Mid 50’s then it is time to hit the lake.
Spring time and fall are the shot at big Slabs and I am talking 3-4 pounders. Down south, Enid Lake in Mississippi hold the World’s record for a crappie caught and I believe it is over 5 pounds.
Almost every state has a lake that holds Crappie and it is the best time to get the kids out when the Crappie are biting. There is never a dull minute; in fact it can wear you out.
Around the MidSouth, I would recommend the following lakes if they have water and that is the big if. 
Mississippi lakes and I rank these for the best and will list them in that order
1. Arkabutla, 2. Enid, 3. Sardis, 4. Lake View, 5. Flower lake,  6. Grenada
1. Greers Ferry, 2. Island 40, 3. Horseshoe,
Tennessee Lakes
1. Kentucky Lake, 2. Reelfoot Lake, 3. Cold Creek, 4. Pickwick Lake
Ok, now once you get to the lake where do I look for the crappie and by the way, Crappie have another name. They are also called papermouths, and the reason will become real clear to you when you try and set the hook like a bass and rip it through his lips.
crappie lcoationsThe crappie are going to be in Rock, Wood, Grass in the shallows… Hey there are those three places just like the bass again. 
Two years ago when Mississippi had some water, I was hitting one little grass shoot and would nail a three pounder. What is the old saying “do not leave a spot until you have tried them all”.
Check out the boat docks and marinas…and don’t forget those honey holes that I mentioned in another article.
After all you built them, now is the time to cash in on them. 
Crappie are not like Bass. They will come in by the thousands and after you have caught what seems to be all the fish; back off and believe me when I say follow this tip. The available crappie supply will restock itself within 1 hour; new fish will move in and they are there for the taking.
Fishing for Crappie can start at daylight and run until midday then again at dusk and night time under a light is also very good.
The only part about night time; I recommend fishing from a pier if you are like me and do not like them wiggly sticks (snakes). They will also be out looking for a meal and I prefer to be in a place that I can run and a boat does not give me enough room to run.
One last thing I must remind you to do; please check with the local Wildlife agency to make sure the size that is legal and the amount you can have in your cooler.
I will try and run an article of what I can find out about the laws forth coming.
Keep the Hooks Wet!