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Stan's Tips on Finding and Catching Big Crappie

Stan's Tips on Finding and Catching Big Crappie

By Hall of Fame Angler Stan Fagerstrom

Crappie Fishing Tips From Stan Fagerstom

What some anglers never realize is that only about ten percent of a given lake or river holds fish. You can fish the other 90-per cent all day with little hope for success.

Successful anglers are the ones who find the fish. The need to fish where they are is every bit as important in crappie fishing, in some respects more so, as in other angling endeavors. 

I say that because often in the spring big crappie schools tend to congregate in just one small piece of cover.

I like to mark spots where I’ve caught even one crappie. 

As soon as I get a half dozen spots so marked, that’s where I concentrate my fishing. I run from one to another of these spots and forget about fishing elsewhere.

Trolling for crappie is another successful strategy for catching this panfish.

I now hang my fishing hat in Arizona. One of the most successful crappie guides in this area gets most of his fish trolling. I’ve done some of that myself. I’ll troll a proven crappie lure of one kind or other behind a Mack’s Lure Smile Blade to find where the fish are holding.

However, once I get that first one area of the lake ever so carefully. This is especially true if there’s cover where the fish might be holding. I say that because in springtime crappie schools are often tightly grouped.

Where there’s one there might be a bunch. 

I remember once fishing at Lake Shasta in Northern California. I was put with a guide. It was in May, and we were fishing for bass.  I much prefer to stay put and fish that action was slow, but every now and then I felt something pecking at my small spinnerbait. The guide pulled the troll motor out of the water and prepared to move. "Please hold on for a minute,"

I asked. "Something keeps nipping at the trailer of my spinnerbait, and I’ve hunch it’s crappie. They can’t get themselves caught because the lure’s hook is too large. Just hang tight and let me try something.”

The guide waited while I rigged up a 2-inch grub on a 1/32nd-ounce lead head. I hung it on the lightweight spinning outfit I usually carry in the spring. We were near a rocky shoreline, and I knew those rocks ran on out into the water.

You'll recall I’ve mentioned crappies liking rocks.

I made a quick cast with that little grub. Bingo! A crappie picked up before I moved it three feet.

The guide and I sat right there and caught 24 fat crappie that would do credit to any skillet.

You can bet I marked that spot before we left. That way I knew I could go back to the same location and have a good chance of making the same kind of catch. I did exactly that the next morning.

Make finding the fish-holding spots your first priority in any kind of crappie fishing adventure. I've told you the best places to look.

Put these suggestions to work in your own fishing. They really do get results. If you don't believe that now, you will after you've given them a fair try. 

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