Hugh Krutz – “Catch ‘Em Where You Can”
Phillip Gentry
B’n’M pro Staffer and Magnolia Crappie Club Tournament Director Hugh Krutz explains the importance of fishing where the crappie are, not where you want to fish.
– Magnolia’s next tournament at Oktibbeha should offer plenty of opportunity to catch fish, but finding the big ones will be the key.
At Eagle Lake, Krutz had to fish in a low-overhead environment to catch crappie, not exactly the place he wanted to be.
Fishing standing timber at Barnett makes for a hot day of fishing. Fishing standing timber at Barnett makes for a hot day of fishing. Fishing standing timber at Barnett makes for a hot day of fishing. Fishing standing timber at Barnett makes for a hot day of fishing.

Question: Hugh, a lot of anglers have never heard of Okatibbee Lake. What kind of crappie fishery is it?

Krutz: Okatibbee is a small Corps lake near Meridian.  The club used to fish it several years ago and the area has been real receptive to us coming back and fishing it again. It’s more of a numbers lake than a big fish lake so it will be interesting to see who figures out where the bigger fish are.


Question: For a lake like Okatibbee or any relatively shallow lake, what’s the best pattern for finding crappie during the post spawn?

Krutz: If we’re talking late May or even into June, crappie will be finished spawning and heading for deeper water. That means they’ll be on the move. The weather is also likely to be hot here in Mississippi so anything you can do to stay on the move and keep a breeze flowing will make it a whole lot more comfortable to fish. I plan on either tightlining around the edges of drop-offs, long line trolling the flats adjacent to the drop-offs, or pulling crank baits to find out where crappie are holding.


Question: So many anglers get caught up fishing where they want to fish, how important is it to be versatile in your fishing methods when trying to locate crappie?

Krutz: It can mean the difference between catching fish or in some cases, winning a tournament, and not catching fish at all. I can give you a good example. Back in December, the club fished Eagle Lake near Vicksburg and man, it was a tough day. Luckily I happened to find some fish buried deep under this huge metal pier and we had to pull the boat all the way under the pier and sit in the bottom of the boat to fish. My partner and I took all the rod holders and seats down to get under there. We had a hard time even getting a net under the fish because of the low clearance overhead but it paid off. We ended up winning the tournament, but it was definitely a matter of fishing where the fish wanted to be, not where we wanted to catch them.


Question: That pattern you fish during the heat of the summer on Lake Barnett is another tough one. Tell us about that pattern.

Krutz: During the hottest part of the day during the hottest time of the year, crappie will suspend around the standing timber in the middle of Barnett. The branches that stick out off of that timber is the only shade they can find in deep water so that’s where they go. Catching fish out there means single pole jigging right up against those underwater snags. It’s hot and miserable, but you can also catch some nice fish doing it.


Question: What tips can you offer to other crappie anglers to help them catch fish where ever you can?

Krutz: Don’t be afraid to try new places and experiment. That’s one of the main reasons I love being on the B’n’M pro staff. B’n’M makes a rod for every application and every technique that’s out there. If one of our pro-staffers comes up with some off-the-wall edge that helps him catch crappie, you can bet there’s a rod that’s perfectly matched for it. And if there isn’t, you can bet that Jack Wells will be interested in building a rod that will get the job done. We have ultra long, sensitive rods like the new Buck’s graphite jig poles that a lot of guys are using to troll shallow away from the boat. We also have short rods like the Sharpshooter and the new 410 for fishing in tight spots that don’t offer much room to maneuver. That’s not counting the array of trolling rods that can handle 2 ounce weights and big crank baits or something as light as a 1/32 oz jig. That’s our slogan – Wherever fishing takes you, B’n’M has been there.


Take a stroll through B’n’M’s online catalog of quality crappie, panfish and all-purpose fishing rods at Let B’n’M help you catch’em where you can.