Many anglers make crappie fishing out to be something as complicated as rocket science. This doesn't have to be the case. Crappie fishing is actually quite simple and fun, especially for those of us without the luxury of a boat. I know, not having a boat can seem like a big pain in the butt, and we all wish we had one, but not having a boat can actually make things a lot easier and much less expensive. The first thing that needs to be done is to locate your local fishing pier. Many lakes and/or reservoirs have man mad fishing piers and there has usually been structure sunk under the water around such piers. If there are Crappie present in the body of water, they can be caught around such piers. Your local bait shop should have all the information that you could ever need about individual piers.
Once you've located your pier, you'll only need a few things in order to catch Crappie effectively. These things would include: 2 lanterns, a length of rope long enough to reach the water while on the pier, a variety of jigs, a variety of small bobbers, small hooks (preferably gang hooks), some split shot sinkers, and a minnow bucket. The idea here is to fish mainly live minnows and to do this fishing at night. Hence the reason for 2 lanterns, 1 for light on the pier and one to hang off of the pier above the water.
Once you arrive at the pier, tie the rope to one of the lanterns and light it. Now lower it over the pier, so it's hanging right above the water. This will attract bugs and bait fish, which will in turn attract Crappie. You're next step is to rig a bobber and small hook onto your line. A small hook (size 6 or 8) works fine, but I suggest rigging a set of gang hooks. A set of gang hooks is simply 2 hooks that are tied together. For crappie fishing I suggest size 8 or 10 gang hooks. As far as your bobber, you're going to want to experiment with the depth. Start with your minnow being about 3 to 4 feet below the bobber. Now simply rig a live minnow onto your hook (s) and lower it into the water. If you're using gang hooks, as you should be, simply hook the top hook through the minnow's lips and leave the bottom hook free. The important thing to remember is that you want your minnow to be alive. A dead minnow won't catch anything. This is why baiting them through the lips is so effective. The minnow is hardly harmed at all.
At this point you wait for a Crappie to bite. The bobber will start moving when a crappie is interested. Remember to use a small bobber, so the Crappie doesn't feel much resistance. You want the bobber to be as easy as possible to pull under. While you're waiting for Crappie to bite the live minnow, you can be jigging with another rod. This is an effective tactic. Many times Crappie can be caught jigging a small jig. The small jig can be tipped with a live minnow as well for added presentation.
Just remember Crappie fishing isn't rocket science and a boat normally isn't necessary either. Follow the simple instructions laid out in this article and you'll have a cooler full of Crappie in no time flat. As we all know, this is why we fish for Crappie. We fish for Crappie to eat them. They are widely known as being an absolutely delicious species of fish.
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com and an avid angler. He has more than 20 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country ..Montana!
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