Through the years, jig fishing has proved to be a very effective and convenient method for crappie fishing. Jig fishing is also a more cost and time efficient alternative to using a live minnow. For ever crappie you reel in you do not need to replace your jig as you do with a minnow. However, it may take getting to know where to fish a little bit better. Casting and retrieving a jig does not cover ground as quickly as trolling and it doesn’t give you as much control over your location as fishing with a bobber.
With these tips, you will be able to jig fish for crappie successfully.
Get to Know the Lake
Most anglers already know the importance of finding a good location, but crappie can be a bit touchier in this regard than other pan fish. The key to finding the right location for crappie fishing is two-fold. You must first know what structures, features and depths the lake you have selected offers.
To have a good understanding of the features of they lake you have selected, you are going to need to get to know a bit about the world under the water. This can be accomplished by paying attention to structures, depths and anomalies on your fish finder as you travel across the lake and over areas that look appealing. Make mental notes of logs, stumps and weed beds.
The alternative method, which I enjoy much more, is to fish the lake. Yep, fishing the deeper parts of the lake with a deep diving lure for fish such as bass and northerns will allow you to find underwater weed beds and brush while having the pleasure of fishing. If this is a lake you aren’t as familiar with, it also gets you acquainted with the lake, so you can make note of locations for a variety of fishing.
Know Where the Crappie are Most Likely At
The second aspect you need to consider as far as location goes is where the fish are most likely to be based on the time of year. During spring, crappie will be in closer to shore due to pre-spawn and spawn season. Their beds will be made in the shallower waters, thus where they are more apt to be found.
As it gets later into summer and fall, the crappie will be in schools in the deeper areas around underwater weed beds and structures. This is where getting to know the lake comes into play. You are going to want to focus on the prime underwater features you have found.
Find the Right Depth
It is important to understand the difference between the depth of water in which you fish in and the depth of water the crappie are actually at. This may seem basic, but I have asked many anglers in the past what depth they are catching crappie on jigs at and they usually give the depth of the water they are fishing in, not the depth from the surface in which the crappie are biting. Now, this isn’t meant as a form of deception, just a common miss understanding. Schools of crappie will typically stay in a particular range from the surface; the distance from the lake floor is typically less important.
Now the depth that crappie are from the surface is vial information, because crappie have a limited ability to look down. This means that if crappie are said to be biting at 12 foot and the depth from the surface the lake floor is 12 foot, but where they are biting is at an 8 foot depth from the surface; if your run your jig at 10 foot it will be missed by the crappie. The best practice is to see what depth from the surface the crappie are biting at and work that depth with your jig. You can also run your jig above this point and it will still be noticed by the crappie.
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