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Do It Yourself Fishing Lures Day 3: Why Fish with Chewing Gum Wrapper Jigs to Catch Crappie

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Editor’s Note: Your family and friends will enjoy making these lures, while you’re practicing social distancing during the Covid-19 problems.

Once while fishing for crappie, I’d only caught several before pulling into a slough off the main river that was much like a big bay with 3-4 foot deep water. I spotted an isolated brush pile in the slough’s middle, dropped in a live minnow and caught a crappie. For about 30 minutes, I caught a crappie there every time I dropped in a live minnow. Then when I’d run out of minnows, the crappie were still biting. Totally frustrated, I remembered what my fishing friend Curt Edney (see Days 1 & 2) had said, “When crappie are hungry, they’ll bite most anything that falls in the water that looks like food.”

As I took a piece of chewing gum and put it in my mouth, I looked closely at its shiny, silver- colored wrapper that’s color resembled the sides of a shiner minnow. I thought, “Maybe that wrapper will fool a crappie.” I placed that wrapper around my hook and added to its bulk by chewing more gun out of my pack and putting the second wrapper around the hook. I flipped that hook with the shiny wrappers into the brush top, and the hook sank. Soon I brought in more slab- sized crappie.”

To learn more about crappie fishing, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “How to Catch Them Spring and Summer,” available in Kindle, print and Audible at

Tomorrow: How to Make Inexpensive Fishing Lures

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