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How to catch a really big crappie

  • robby
    Participant
    Quad Cities
    Posts: 2491
    #2130595

    I have caught 2, what I call really big crappies out of the Mississippi River. Both incidental catches. The first was on a silver/black back crankbait while fishing smallies, that fish was just under 17 1/2 inches. Fishing rocks/wood, with plenty of current. The second was right at 18 inches, slack water, backwater lake pitching a 3/4 oz black and blue skirted jig with a 5 inch craw trailer. Some crappie fishermen saw me catch this fish, I gave it to them. It did not mean anything to me at the time, I was hardcore bass guy. They thanked me, said they would mount it. Took my name and wrote it down, said they would put my name on it. Have not heard anything about it since. I did not know these guys, but they were nice and really impressed with that fish. Both fish, Pool 16. Other than bass and catfish, most of my really big fish have been caught incidentally. lol. Gotta love fishing.

    Joe Scegura
    Participant
    Alexandria MN
    Posts: 2724
    #2130625

    I don’t think the big ones hang out with the schoolies. On a lot of local lakes, the smaller fish will be in the weeds pre and post spawn. I’ve seen it enough times where the big fish are on structure. Probably near where the smaller fish are but not schooled up. I’ve seen it happen enough to believe getting away from the schools will yield a larger fish. That’s what I plan to focus on this year more.

    No offense but I find big crappie in schools often. Just last week I ran across a huge school of large crappie. There were hundreds on the side imaging. The sallest was 12.5″ and the biggest was over 15″.

    We catch them over 15″ on every lake I fish in Alexandria. It doesn’t happen every day but it happens regularly enough my 8yr old boy has about 25 crappie over 15″ to his name so far.

    Obviously fiding them is the number one goal. 2nd throw any crappie bait in front of them and they well eat it. I have never seen them to be very picky other than in the Winter. Like others have said big fish eat big baits. Yup they do but they also eat small baits.

    He caught over 20 fish 13″-15″+ in less than an hour. They bit anything we threw at em.

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    eyeguy507
    Participant
    SE MN
    Posts: 3224
    #2130635

    nice ones Joe! i see the little guy already knows to hide his little fingers when showing off his catch! those would make some great pics to display.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7919
    #2130649

    That is impressive Joe.

    It’s apparent that a fair number of posters on here accidentally “run” into a sizable crappie or school of them while targeting something else. That’s not really a strategy to catch one. What you’ve done here is proven that there is a specific route to finding them and catching them. I will have to try some more side scanning for them in the future. You definitely have an advantage being a fishing guide though.

    Thanks

    Aboxy17
    Participant
    Posts: 300
    #2136083

    We got into some nice ones in Bemidji biggest was just shy of 15. Getting more into big panfish open water and it’s a lot of fun. We found nice gills up to 11 as well. They are so hard to find in the metro so I think I am not even gonna bother anymore unless I am up north a ways. Anyone chasing the panfish around this summer at all?

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    tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4280
    #2136178

    Nice catch Austin, I fish for them 12 months a year. I give myself xtra points if the big fish I catch was the target species. I too am tired of fishing the metro, that said I might do some exploring out at ‘tonka this fall

    Joe Scegura
    Participant
    Alexandria MN
    Posts: 2724
    #2136183

    You definitely have an advantage being a fishing guide though.

    Thanks

    Everyone says this but in my opinion. The average angler gets to look for crappie way more than I do. I fish walleye 80-90% of the time. The average angler is a lot more flexible. It should be much easier for you to find crappie than for me.

    Picture this scenario. I’m out looking for walleye with clients… I’m searching a weed line on the outside edge, that’s all I get to do. If I was by myself I’d check the top weededge for crappie on the next pass, but I can’t. That’d waste time from the walleye trip.

    Just get out there and search the top of the outside weededge and you’ll find your crappie.

    Gregg Gunter
    Participant
    Posts: 374
    #2136211

    Cool pic Austin. I like the shadows of the fish on your hoodie. One looks like it’s been digging a nest.

    John Rasmussen
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 2465
    #2136212

    On opener this year we pulled out some 14.5-15 inchers out of spawning area’s and they were mixed in with the 11-12 inchers. They may or may not hang out together later in the year but they were at that time of the season. And minnows were the ticket we watched guy’s run the same spot with plastics and did not catch any of the big ones that way.

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    tim hurley
    Participant
    Posts: 4280
    #2136214

    Minnows have their place, would not use them now though.

    Joe Scegura
    Participant
    Alexandria MN
    Posts: 2724
    #2136221

    Minnows have their place, would not use them now though.

    Agree, Minnows in the Spring and fall. This time of year… 100% pointless. Good advice.

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