Tom Mundy

Tom Mundy on Fall Crappie Fishing Around Bridges and Brushpiles

October 27, 2017

B’n’M pro-staffer Tom Mundy from Laurens, SC never met a bridge he didn’t like. If that bridge crosses a body of water that has crappie in it, he loves it even more. Mundy is the owner of Fish Stalker Lures whose flagship crappie bait is the Slabtail jig. If you only had one word to describe the Slabtail jig it would be “small”.

Mundy said slow and small is often the secret to his success for crappie fishing around bridges and open water brush piles when the weather is transitioning from summer to fall. To complement the slow speed and small size of his bait presentations, Mundy designed the Slabtail Series rod for B’n’M.

These super-lightweight rods are designed for the most sensitive and lightweight tackle that will keep your jig moving and wiggling in a fashion that’s irresistible to crappie, even when they are lethargic.

The rods feature a genuine Portuguese cork handle and stainless alloy guides for superior line flow in all conditions.

The spin cast version features guides that “half twist” around the rod blank to help prevent the line from sticking to the blank in freezing weather and offer added sensitivity when using 4 or even 2 pound test line. The result is a casting rod with the feel and delivery of a spinning rod.

Mundy’s signature technique for catching crappie that are the less than agreeable moods that tend to be prevalent during the Fall transition period is to use 4 pound test line and put his big little jigs right in the fish’s face.

“Boat positioning is real important,” said Mundy, “you want your baits to be right next to or on top of the structure. Some people frown on fishing under the trolling motor, but I’m fishing in 20 – 25 feet of water and the trolling motor only goes down about 3 feet so I don’t view that as a potential disturbance to the fish below.”

Mundy said fishing bridges is a lot like fishing a vertical brush pile that comes all the out of the water. In fact, most of the sweet spots he likes to fish under a bridge are where brush has been placed intentionally or collected naturally. He drops the baits vertically and then tests the fish’s patience.

“It took me a long time to distinguish between a bite and the jig bouncing off a limb,” Mundy said. “The secret is watching the rod tip. When a crappie sucks the jig in, the rod will go from a limber bounce to a stiff look, that’s when it’s time to set the hook.”

 

“You can also watch the line,” he said. “The line will twitch long before you feel it with the rod or it will start piling up in the water, which says the crappie sucked it in and is holding still while the line’s still sinking.”

Mundy also said time of day is a big determining factor in his success in the Fall. He believes crappie feed more heavily at dark than any other time of day and that suits him. He’ll get on the water as the heat of the day is leaving and fish through the sunset and even into the night.

“I’ll put lights out once it gets dark, a green light on each end of the boat and a white light in the middle,” he said. “Fish will come up toward the surface at sunset, then later they’ll settle back down right on top of the cover.”

After dark, the pro said the bite changes. He also changes his offerings by switching to a glow tail jig on a 1/64 oz. jig head poured on a #6 hook. He’s fond of tipping the jig with a small live minnow once the lights start attracting baitfish to the vicinity.

Once he changes into night mode, he will put his extra limber rods in rod holders, fishing up to 8 rods for the entire boat, sit back and wait for a rod to bend over.

“The Slabtail Series rods are so lightweight, a crappie will eat the bait, especially if we tip with minnows, and just swim off and hook himself,” said Mundy.

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