Finicky Light-Biting Crappies

  • Profile photo of Joel NelsonJoel Nelson
    Moderator
    Southeast MN
    Posts: 2,889
    #1302170

    A buddy and I took our boys out to a small Faribault area lake in search of crappies last night, and luck must’ve been on our side. First hole had fish in it, but we spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get these fish dialed in. Finding them was only half the battle, getting them to bite was challenging to say the least. The next hurdle was detecting a bite once the fish committed. A swing and a miss wasn’t a good thing, causing these negative fish to scatter for a minute or more until they slowly made their way back to you.

    Crappie minnows rigged several ways in different sizes…..on different lures….didn’t work. Spoons of various sizes got them very interested, just not enough to bite. Vertical style jigs, even diamond jigs tipped with arrays of plastics/bait were snubbed. The only thing that would convert was a #8 Mini-Mert in chartreuse gold glitter. I don’t think color played as much of a role as the horizontal swimming action of this jig. Give it a pop and it darts, slow swim it and whatever you use for bait has the flicker we all try to achieve. Give any of these horizontal presentations a try when things are tough-going out there, I know it’s worked for me in the past when most else won’t.

    Spring bobbers or some strike indicator was essential. I was using a 32″ TB Power Noodle which basically has the spring bobber built-in. My son Isaac would hold the pole, and I’d keep a finger just below the blank to keep the rod steady until I saw the strike……I’d lift quick and say “set the hook”….which made him feel like he set the hook. All in all we kept a few black and white crappies for a meal, put the rest back and enjoyed the time out. Not a single foot in the hole, almost an entire quart of hot chocolate consumed. Success!

    Joel

    Profile photo of bucketmouth1bucketmouth1
    Participant
    Lancaster, WI
    Posts: 564
    #924765

    great report!

    Profile photo of big_gbig_g
    Participant
    St. Cloud / Isle, MN
    Posts: 15,951
    #924768

    Nice report Joel I love using a camera with pannies..especially the light biters no wet feet ???

    Profile photo of catchnreleasecatchnrelease
    Participant
    Rochester, MN
    Posts: 1,381
    #924771

    That sounds like a blast. Great smiles to prove your success too

    I’ve found this year that anything but plain plastic usually gets snubbed. They are on to us!

    Profile photo of Joel NelsonJoel Nelson
    Moderator
    Southeast MN
    Posts: 2,889
    #924773

    Quote:


    That sounds like a blast. Great smiles to prove your success too

    I’ve found this year that anything but plain plastic usually gets snubbed. They are on to us!


    Thanks Catch’n……how are you rigging your plastics? What have you been putting them on? I tried a variety of different options with limited success until I found a winner.

    Joel

    Profile photo of Joef421Joef421
    Participant
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts: 122
    #924774

    When the crappies are finicky like that it can be very frustrating but i love the challenge. It seems like if you keep changing up lure/bait/presentation you will eventually hit the right combo. One presentation that i have used often when presented with finicky crappies is to jig it down. Wait until they swim up to investigate, then when they pause and stair at your bait, very slowly jig it down past them. When you notice the wieght of your jig is no longer pulling line through the hole, reel up and smack em! Also this jig is a “go-to” for me when the crappies are picky…it is tough to find though. http://www.halilures.com/todl/morrit_marmooska.pdf The ittika is my favorite tipped with a waxie.

    Profile photo of cpeteycpetey
    Participant
    Onalaska, Wi
    Posts: 1,124
    #924780

    I came across the same situation on Saturday. I finally tied on a blood worm and started getting some solid bites and bigger fish.

    Profile photo of bret_clarkbret_clark
    Participant
    Sparta, WI
    Posts: 9,407
    #924784

    Cool Beans

    And thanks….I’m headed for some hot chocolate now

    Profile photo of catchnreleasecatchnrelease
    Participant
    Rochester, MN
    Posts: 1,381
    #924785

    Actually the shrimpo is what is working for me. Other lure styles are a no-go (even a ratso, go figure). And I’m going fairly light/small too. If I add a splitshot to speed things up my results are not positive. Waiting on the fall is painful but paying off.

    Can’t wait to get my little one on the ice

    avatariacanoeguy
    Participant
    Iowa - Franklin Co
    Posts: 262
    #924788

    I was also fishing on Sat and found the same thing. I found the spot that held fish, but had a very hard time getting them to bite. I switched often and each time I would switch, more would come to look, but no real pattern. I very small red plain jig with one small waxie caught the 8 I brought home. Not many considering how long I was there. I went back Sunday with some minnows and only managed one (none on the minnows). Maybe the ideas shared here will help.

    Profile photo of bob-bowmanbob-bowman
    Participant
    MN
    Posts: 3,468
    #924791

    Nice white, nothing better then havin the young guns out

    Profile photo of Joel NelsonJoel Nelson
    Moderator
    Southeast MN
    Posts: 2,889
    #924797

    Most of our fish were whites, and they seemed to be the better fish. Those two were about the same size, great year class going through. Was cool to catch a few of the smaller black crappies to show the boys the differences.

    Agreed on the advice shared here…..this time of year is about when it starts to get tougher statewide. Having a few tricks up our sleeves will continue to bring fish to the top!

    Joel

    Profile photo of bob-bowmanbob-bowman
    Participant
    MN
    Posts: 3,468
    #924830

    Funny how truck and car traffic makes those fish get tight lipped.

    avatarPat Howard
    Participant
    Sparta Wi
    Posts: 1,525
    #924837

    Great report Joel and great pics with the boys

    Profile photo of jesse-krookjesse-krook
    Participant
    Hudson,WI / St.Croix River USA
    Posts: 5,907
    #924844

    Great pics and write up Joel.

    I encountered the same situation yesterday with some gills and after thorwing the box at ‘em it was a glow green Ratso to take honors for the day.

    Profile photo of glenn-dglenn-d
    Participant
    N C Illinois
    Posts: 367
    #924875

    Joel that is priceless!!!!!

    avatarfireline
    Participant
    Rochester
    Posts: 765
    #924938

    Joel anything on Gulp minnows heads ?

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