Fishing Bass Spots for Big Crappie

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Fish from the Bank, Duck Hunt Crappie and Fish for Big Crappie in the Heat

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John’s Note: Fishing over the years with some of the greatest crappie fishermen in America, I’ve discovered a couple of all-important secrets to catching really big crappie. If you fish for crappie in a lake that traditionally has homed monster-sized crappie in a state that manages its crappie in places where no other crappie fishermen fish, you’ll consistently catch bigger crappie. You can adapt these strategies to where you fish and catch big slab crappie throughout the year.

17Crappie anglers know that during the early spring, crappie move into shallow-water bays to spawn. The very first spawning activity usually takes place in extremely shallow bays and creeks with plenty of brush in them. However, most crappiers fish these regions from boats and fish the outer edges of the cover – usually the deepest part of the water. Joe Champion, of Camden, Alabama, has learned a technique to beat the boat fishermen. Joe gets out on the bank with a pole and either a 1/16- or a 1/32-ounce crappie jig and fishes from the bank on the back side of the brush that boat fishermen can’t reach. Champion fishes shallow water close to the bank around wood cover where the giant, early-spawning crappie will hold. Because most serious crappie fishermen fish from a boat, they rarely if ever fish the backside of wood cover that bank fishermen can and will fish.

Duck Hunt Crappie:
Rarely will you see a duck hunter without a pair of waders. Duck hunters have to get out in shallow water to reach their blinds and often to pick up their ducks, especially if they duck hunt in green-tree reservoirs off main-river systems or in the backs of pockets and creeks where they can’t use a boat. You’ll find big, early-season crappie that no one else fishes for in these same green-tree reservoirs, shallow-water sloughs and bays where duck hunters hunt. Put on a pair of waders, carry a stringer to string your fish, place a small, tackle box in your shirt pocket, and fish with a lightweight B‘n’M jig pole. Then, you can fish around trees standing in the water, stumps, grass and brush in the same places where duck hunters hunt and crappie fishermen rarely, if ever, fish. To pinpoint these duck-hunting crappie hot spots, talk to hunters, or go out during duck season and look for duck hunters. Where you see duck hunters in the wintertime, you’ll often discover big crappie in the spring.


Big Crappie in the Heat:
Phillip Criss of Scottsboro, Alabama, today a bass and crappie guide on Guntersville Lake in north Alabama (call him at 205-461-5549, or email him at [email protected]), took me crappie fishing on the Alabama River one July. The air temperature reached 105 degrees. As you might guess, I didn’t see a crappie or a bass fisherman in sight during the heat of the day. Criss went to a spot that he knew had a big flat about 5-feet deep in a bend on the river where he’d found an underwater creek channel with a bottom that dropped off from 5 to 9 feet. “When Alabama Power Company starts running current at the dam, baitfish will drop into this creek channel to dodge the current,” Criss reports. “Then, the crappie will move into this creek channel to feed on the baitfish running just below the lip of the break. But the power company doesn’t begin running current until about 10:00 a.m., and that current doesn’t run that strong this far down the river until about 11:00 a.m.”

20So, we sat in the blistering sun, waiting on current in the middle of the river. I could think of no other crappie fishermen who would fish at this time of the day out in the middle of the river. Finally, when the current became strong, we started casting 1/16- and 1/32-ounce jigs, suspended by bobbers, just off the bottom upcurrent. We let the current bring the jigs down the river to the lip of the break. Every time a bobber got to the lip of the break, it would sink. All of the crappie that we caught weighed more than a pound, and by 1:00 p.m., we both had our limits of huge slab crappie. Although I sweated like someone had sprayed me down with a garden hose, I learned a technique for catching really big crappie in the heat of the summer.

These monster-sized crappie strategies will work for you all across the United States.

To learn much more about crappie fishing, get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and some print books, “Crappie: How to Catch Them Fall & Winter,” “Crappie: How to Catch Them Spring and Summer,” “Catch Cold Water Crappie Now” and “Catch Crappie All Year: Fishing a Single Pole, Using No Boat and Farming Crappie.” Click here to get these books. To receive for free the “Crappie Catchers’ Cookbook,” by John and Denise Phillips that offers free recipes, click here.

Top Crappie Lakes Picked by Tournament Anglers:
* Grenada Lake, MS
* Sardis Lake, MS.
* Kentucky Lake, TN
* Reelfoot Lake, TN
* Arkabutla Lake, MS
* Green River Lake, KY
* Lake Washington, MS
* Barkley Lake, KY
* Lake Dardanelle, AR
* Logan Martin, AL
* Weiss Lake, AL
* Nimrod Lake, AR
* Clarks Hill, GA
* Chickamauga Lake, TN
* Patoka Lake, IN
* Santee Cooper Lakes, SC
* Eufaula Lake, OK
* Pickwick Lake, TN
* Oologah Lake, OK
* Enid Lake, MS
* Harris Chain of Lakes, FL
* Truman Lake, MO
* Toledo Bend, TX
* Alabama River, AL
* Lake Erie, OH
* Texoma Lake, TX
* Buckeye Lake, OH
* Ross Barnett, MS
* Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, MS (Columbus, Aliceville, Aberdeen)
* Douglas Lake, TN
* Monroe Lake, FL
* Lake of the Ozarks, MO
* Lake Fork, TX
* Neely Henry Lake, AL
* Kinkaid Lake, IL
* Rend Lake, IL
* Shelbyville Lake, IL
* Conway Lake, AR
* West Point, GA
* Oconee Lake, GA
* Lake Cumberland, KY
* Lake Talquin, FL
* D’Arbonne Lake, LA

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