Hugh Krutz On Powering Through Summer Crappie Fishing
By Phillip Gentry
Over his years of crappie fishing on Mississippi’s famous crappie factories like Enid, Sardis, Grenada, and Arkabutla, B’n’M pro-staffer Hugh Krutz from Brandon, Mississippi has discovered that the heat of summer doesn’t mean it’s time to stop fishing, it’s time to change tactics.
While tight line trolling is one of his most trusted crappie fishing tactics, Krutz has found that a souped-up version of the tactic – power trolling – is putting more fish in the cooler for him in the heat of the summer over any of the other tactics.
“This time of year, crappie will be keying on that layer above the thermocline,” said Krutz. “Most of the fish are deep, meaning 18 – 20 feet of water and they are suspended above ledges and contour lines. You need a tactic that can get you to that depth and keep your bait in the strike zone longer.”
B’n’M’s specially designed Pow ‘R Troller rod handles all the weight needed when power trolling and catches fish like a champ.
Krutz said he does tight lining and has caught a lot of fish in the process, but the weakness in tightlining is the inability to cover enough water in the targeted area.
“Let’s say I mark fish suspended on the edge of a flat that’s 10 feet on top and drops sharply into 23 or 35 feet of water. That’s a pretty typical summer scenario, especially if there are bait fish present,” said the B’n’M pro. “I can tight line that area, assuming I have everything dialed in right on the depth and I might catch a couple of fish, but it’ll take me an hour to do it and even then, the slow speed may not be what they want.”
Power trolling allows the angler to present baits, in Krutz’s case he favors combinations of 1/4 and 1/8 Crappie Magnet Fin Spin jigheads paired with Crappie Magnet Slab Curlies, at precise depths while pushing the baits at typical crankbait trolling speeds from 1.5 to 2.0 miles per hour.
Because the baits are pushed from the front of the boat versus being pulled behind the boat, targeting specific areas and then reversing course and going back over that area quickly is much easier done.
Hugh Krutz and his son Wyatt tangle with some monster crappie during the summer on Mississippi’s flood control lakes.
Keeping relatively small baits deep in the water column while trolling at over a mile per hour requires some heavy metal. Krutz utilizes a Capps and Coleman trolling rig outfitted with egg weights that weight from 1 ½ to 3 ounces.
“From the barrel swivel at the top, come down about two feet and tie a loop knot which holds a 1/4 Fin Spin jig, then it drops down another 2 feet and wrap a 3-ounce egg sinker into the rig and then drop down another foot and tie on a ¼ ounce Fin Spin head at the bottom,” he said.
“The setup is the same as tight lining,” said Krutz. “I’ve got two seats set in the front of the boat, side by side and the boat moves using a variable speed trolling motor and the rods are set in Driftmaster Crappie Stalkers.”
At the end of the day, power trolling with B’n’M’s Pow ‘R Troller rods provided a limit of crappie for the Krutz boys.
Krutz also said targeting baitfish was another integral component to the success of power trolling. He spends a lot of time graphing for baitfish and the crappie that are relating to them and then spends his entire time trolling with an eye on the graph.
“You can’t do this with just any rod,” he said. “Several of the guys at B’n’M who fish like this put their heads together and designed the B’n’M Pow ’R Troller rod. It’s the perfect rod both to handle the weight and the fish.”
Krutz said all of Mississippi’s flood control lakes – Enid, Sardis, Grenada and Arkabutla, have defined creek channels and ditches that you can just follow when power trolling.
“I use a split screen on my sonar unit and one side I’m watching the graph and the other I’m watching the contour lines on the map. Tight contour lines together mean a drop off. Get on that contour drop and keep moving till you mark bait or fish.”
Krutz adds a wide canopy patio umbrella stand on the front of the boat to provide some shade and there’s always at least the breeze of moving at a couple miles per hour to stave off the heat.
“Don’t stay at home just because it gets hot outside,” he said. “Change your tactics, get outside and catch some nice crappie.”
***********Wherever fishing takes you, B’n’M has been there. To view all of our fish catching products, including our Pow ‘R Troller rods, visit our website at bnmpoles.com
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