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Using LiveScoping to Catch Crappie Day 1: What Equipment to Use for Crappie

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Editor’s Note: What if you could catch crappie that weighed 1-1/2 pounds or better most every time you went fishing? What if you didn’t have a spider rig with four poles per person and only used one pole to catch the biggest crappie in a lake? What if you could use your depth finder to pinpoint the biggest crappie, follow it until the fish stops, and then put your bait on its nose? What if you could tell the difference between a crappie’s head and tail before releasing your bait? This new technology is LiveScoping – some of what has been introduced to the crappie-fishing world since 2018. This week, JITW will tell you about two anglers forging a new path that other crappie fishermen will surely follow with LiveScoping.

Ryan Young of Eufaula, Oklahoma, isn’t only a crappie guide and a crappie tournament fisherman; he’s also a history teacher and offensive football coordinator at Checotah High School. He’s been crappie fishing for 28 years and has been fishing in crappie tournaments for 24. He often fishes crappie tournaments with his brother, Darin Young. They’ve won several state and national tournaments. Ryan and Darin are convinced that without using some of the newest crappie-fishing techniques, they wouldn’t be as successful as they’ve been.  

“Our Garmin Panoptix LiveScope is a primary reason for our success in crappie fishing,” Ryan Young explains. “We like fishing B‘n’M Brushcutter Rods, B‘n’M Sam Heaton Super Sensitive Jig Rodsa, and 18’ B‘n’M Pro Staff Trolling Rods to catch spooky crappie. But we only fish one rod at a time while catching the biggest crappie we can find. 

“Sometimes Darin and I will go to the other end of a lake and move away from the channel to start looking for crappie on the flats where there are numbers of shad. Even if there’s lots of standing timber, instead of fishing there, we’ll move out into open water and use our electronics to catch big crappie. Sometimes we’ll average catching 50-60 big crappie each day – perhaps with the biggest one weighing 2+ pounds.” 

Types of Jigs:

While fishing, the Youngs use Pro Built jigs with June Bug-colored hair ties. Ryan said, “We especially like these jigs because of their extremely light wire hooks. We use the Pro Built Extreme Sickle jig heads for a bigger size, and for live bait, we like to use the Pro Built Minnow Capps Coleman Minnow Riders. When fishing in open water, we’ll fish black-and-chartreuse Bobby Garland Slab Slay’R 3-inch tubes (with either an orange, a pink, or a red jig head. Although the hair jig seemed critical for our success, we’ll tie a 1/2-ounce sinker above a 1/16-ounce hair jig on a Pro Built Extra Lite No.2 crappie hook. Occasionally, we’ll put a minnow or a waxworm on the hook behind the jig, and sometimes, we’ll fish minnows alone. 

“We rig our poles with various types of baits because we’ve learned that every crappie doesn’t have the same preferences over time. For example, sometimes, a big crappie won’t take the hook until we put a different bait in front of it. If we ever drop two different baits right in front of a crappie, and it doesn’t take either one, we’ll leave that crappie and look for another fish to catch. We generally catch each fish using the single-pole LiveScoping technique.”

If you’d like to learn more about the LiveScope or fish with Ryan Young or see the size of fish he’s catching, you can go to his Facebook page at Eufaula Boy’s Crappie Guide Service.

Looking for more content? Check out our YouTube channel and watch “How to Pick Crappie Jig Colors” by John E. Phillips.

Expert Guidebooks on Crappie Fishing: Best Sellers

Fishing rivers for crappie and being able to find and catch speckled sides consistently has long been one of the mysteries in the crappie-fishing world.

“One of the reasons that river systems are so difficult to fish is because the water’s either rising or falling in them,” says Ott DeFoe, the 2019 Bassmaster Classic champion.

Rivers also are very susceptible to floods and droughts and constantly have current moving through them. Often fast current or slow current in rivers is created by rain or droughts upstream. When rivers flood, they can wash away fish habitat like logs, sunken trees, manmade brush piles and stake beds. But that’s the time when a river also creates new crappie hot spots that haven’t been available to the crappie or the fishermen before the flood. 

Because river systems are so unpredictable, I’ve felt the best way to get the most useful information on how to fish rivers for crappie is to talk to numbers of anglers all over the nation to learn their best tactics.

In this book, I’ve gleaned crappie-fishing wisdom from three dozen crappie anglers and guides from a dozen states, who consistently catch crappie at all times of the year. The tournament crappie fishermen in this book fish most of the country at different times of the year on various river systems and lakes. And, these anglers use techniques you never may have considered, including:

  • Setting up a casting ring with your electronics to keep you from getting too close to the crappie that are holding on underwater structure, while you’re fishing all the way around the structure;
  • Buying an automotive laser temperature gauge to measure water temperature
  • Evaluating the most-productive places to sink brush and other structure, according to prevailing wind direction, the crappie’s summer, fall, winter, and spring migration patterns, and other factors.


Crappie: How to Catch Them Fall & Winter
Yes, you can catch and eat crappie during the fall and winter months. Often, at many places, you’ll catch more and bigger crappies in the fall and winter than you do in the spring and summer. To learn where to find and how to catch cooler weather speckled sides, we’ve interviewed a wide variety of some of the nation’s best tournament crappie fishermen and guides. 

Many of the individuals you’ll hear about in this audiobook are tournament crappie pros who travel the country to fish in crappie tournaments from New York to Florida and from Virginia to California. They use the latest crappie-finding equipment, the best poles, rods, reels, line, and the most-productive baits. Each of the people mentioned in this book has the ability to be dropped out of an airplane anywhere in the United States and catch crappie on any lake close to where they land that contains crappie. 

From over 50 years of crappie-fishing experience, I’ve learned that you get the best advice by interviewing a large number of people who have different tactics and fish under various water, weather, and fishing-pressure conditions.

In this book, you will learn:

  • How to spider-rig (slow-troll), which is one of the fastest-growing techniques for catching the most and biggest crappies in the shortest time
  • How to catch crappie on crank baits and when and where using a crank bait is the most appropriate
  • How to find areas of any lake that will hold large schools of crappies during the winter months – places you can return to time and again and expect them to be there
  • Why competing in crappie tournaments is one of the quickest ways to learn how to catch more and bigger crappie faster
  • Why and how to look for and catch the biggest crappie in a lake


Catch Crappie All Year: Fishing a Single Pole, Using No Boat, and Farming Crappie
I’ve interviewed some of the best crappie fishermen in the nation for my new audiobook, Catch Crappie All Year: Fishing a Single Pole, Using No Boat and Farming Crappie to learn how, where, and when to catch the most crappie with or without a boat while single-pole fishing. I’ve also included information on how to grow a crop of crappie to catch every day of the year. Although I’ve fished in fully rigged crappie boats costing $45,000 – $90,000-plus that can have up to 16 rods at one time to slow troll, I still enjoy….

  • Watching a quill cork sink in a brush top
  • Fishing with an ultralight spinning rod
  • Reeling jigs or minnows along a grass line and feeling that thud when a crappie takes the bait
  • Fishing with family and friends, even if we all can’t fit in one boat
  • Participating in less-expensive and hassle-free yet highly-productive crappie fishing like single poling 

I’ve tried to capture in this new audiobook the old way of crappie fishing with new twists and detailed tactics to aid you in catching crappie all year.


Crappie: How to Catch Them Spring and Summer 
You can catch crappie all year long if you know where to find them and what techniques to use to catch them. However, crappie fishing is so technical these days, and we’ve learned so much about how to crappie fish because of the professional crappie-fishing circuits, that one book can’t hold all the information.

This book is the first of a three-part series on how, where, and when to catch crappie, with the best crappie fishermen in the nation. Many of these men have proven they are the best, because they’ve won crappie-fishing tournaments or been successful fishing guides for many years.

This audio version of Crappie: How to Catch Them Spring and Summer includes crappie pros like Ronnie Capps, who has won seven national championships and over $1 million with his partner Steve Coleman.

We also have Malcolm Lane, Stokes McClellan from North Carolina, Billy Blakeley from Reelfoot Lake, John Woods, Kent Driscoll, fishing biologist and professional basser Ken Cook, and many others. We asked the questions that crappie fishermen want answered about how to find and catch crappie during the spring and summer months, and these fishing tips are the result.

In the world of crappie fishing, no one man knows it all, and that’s why I’ve interviewed so many fishermen, asked so many questions, and tried to get so many answers for you about how to fish.


Tomorrow: How to LiveScope to Catch Crappie

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