Gil loves to spider rig.
Like a crappie, (crappy, slabs, specks, speckled perch, sac-a-lait) the techniques often have different names. This simply confuses new or returning crappie anglers even more. I hope that this primer will clear the air.
We have briefly covered; casting, dock shooting, float fishing, and jigging.
Some call it “trolling” or “pulling”. This is a very effective technique. Trolling speeds are typically .1 to .5 MPH. Many anglers pull double minnow rigs. Still more will pull a jig like a Road Runner. Estimating depth is harder than spider rigging since there is more line out. Crappies like to suspend, so pulling the baits at various depths is highly recommended. Two Driftmaster #250H rod holders will separate the lines nicely. Use six to eight identical rods and reels loaded with eight-pound line. Fish the same jig across the set. This will eliminate the color variable. Measuring your set back is as easy as pulling the line from the spool to the first guide. You can skip the first measurement by using the rod length. Vary this set back to find how deep the crappies are suspending. Once you get the set back or depth dialed in, you can vary the jig colors. Tip: The Road Runner Buffet rigs are deadly for long lining.
Some call this “pushing”. “Tight-lining” is nearly the same. We will touch on this too. This technique is similar to long lining but from the front of the boat. The first advantage is you are not “running over” your fish before the presentation of your baits. The second advantage is the angler is not constantly looking back at the lines while trying to look ahead. Longer, spider-rigging poles put the baits further ahead of the boat. Trolling speeds are often .2 to .8 MPH. Rigs include a jig on the bottom and a Tru-Turn hook above. Minnows can go on both or just the top hook. A small egg-lead above the rig insures a steady presentation. Tight lining is often considered a two-hook or jig with minnow rig, with a 1/2 oz. egg-lead.
The Gant brothers started this technique on Pickwick Lake. This one is gaining popularity. Imagine spider rigging, down the side of the boat. The trolling motor is mounted on the opposite side of the boat. The advantage of side-pulling is using the boat’s length to cover water. The trick has begun to grow in the catfishing world too. The quickest way to learn this technique is to book a trip with Captain Brad Whitehead or Captain Brian Barton.
Spider rigging makes locating crappie, easier.
This is a very brief glossary of the most popular crappie techniques. To learn more, there are DVD’s by Jim Duckworth
and Russ Bailey
that are very informative. The Crappie Book
by Keith Sutton and any book by Tim Huffman
are chocked full of in-depth information. Huffman is also the editor of Crappie NOW
Magazine. This monthly publication is free.