Try These Post Spawn Crappie Tips From The B’n’M Pros
By Phillip Gentry
Across the country, crappie may be entering the spawn up north or finished with the spawn in the south. Regardless of your location, sooner or later “Crappie Season” ends and you have to deal with the aftermath.
We put together these four suggestions from our B’n’M pro-staff to help you keep up with the fish as they move from the spawning grounds to where they’ll be spending the summer.
Fish Standing Timber
“Just because these fish are no longer actively spawning doesn’t mean they’re not going to be in almost the exact same areas,” said veteran Ronnie Capps. “We’re catching some good fish now on Reelfoot in 3 – 4 feet of water. The same areas we’d be wading in but just out a little bit deeper.”
Capps suggests using a single pole to jig standing live timber from now until the fish move out to more open water. In locations like Reelfoot, he said this takes a while and he may still be catching fish around trees till late summer. One key to look for when fishing standing live timber is to target trees or brush that is located on the edge of a creek, ditch or some other depression that gives crappie access to deeper water. That same access also tends to accumulate baitfish moving in and out.
Capps suggests using the Capps and Coleman wading rod or one of the rear reel seat rods made by B’n’M like the Buck’s Best Ultralite or the Sam’s Super Sensitive.
“I like a 1/16 ounce ProBuilt jig with a rubber tube skirt, something that you can just stick down there and it shimmies in front of the fish,” said Capps.
Another factor that plays hand-in-hand with shallow water fishing anytime of year is water levels. Capps reminded anglers that fish will often move up to find new water on rising water levels and will retreat back to deeper water cuts and channels as water levels recede.
Find The Late Spawn
Grenada Lake guide and B’n’M pro John Harrison said that anglers who pattern fish in one area may make the mistake that the spawn is over when those fish move on.
“Everybody has heard ‘They don’t all spawn at once’, but nobody seems to believe that,” said Harrison. “Just because the fish move out of your favorite area or those one or two places you’ve found them, doesn’t mean they’ve all completed spawning.”
Grenada guide John Harrison said not all crappie spawn at the same time and fish in other locations of the lake may spawn later in the season.
Harrison advises that most years he can find fish still in the throes of spawning as late as mid- June. One of the keys to this pattern is to look for spawning locations that are not obvious.
“Everybody wants to run up the creeks and get in the shallow flats to catch fish, but I don’t think all those fish move to the back of the lake to spawn. I’ve found males guarding nests down the lake sitting on humps in 8 – 10 feet of water,” said Harrison. “I think those fish were just waiting on the right conditions for the area of the lake they live in.”
Fish Boat Bocks
North Alabama guide Brad Whitehead said he’s found that a lot of crappie will spawn around boat docks in the spring all over the south, but even after the spawn has ended, many of those fish, and others, will gravitate to boat docks.
“You can fish the pilings with a jig pole and catch some fish but the best way to catch a lot of fish is by shooting jigs back up under the dock,” he said.
Alabama’s Brad Whitehead uses a dock shooter rod to fish boat docks when crappie enter the post spawn phase.
Whitehead was one of the B’n’M pro-staff anglers who helped design B’n’M’s Sharpshooter 6 rod and said the finished product has helped him catch a lot of boat dock crappie.
“Light line, and a slow falling jig are the two key ingredients, but what good are they if you can’t get the jig back there where most of the crappie are,” said Whitehead. “That’s what this rod does, it slings even the tiniest jigs up under the cover and then it’s just a matter of getting that good slow fall and watching that line for even the slightest twitch.”
Long Line Trolling
South Carolina pro Rod Wall said he loves to long line before and during the crappie spawn, but the tactic really shines after the party is over and the guests start to leave.
“The fish scatter right after the spawn,” said Wall. “That’s why so many anglers have a hard time catching them. Some move off to brush piles, some move off to boat docks, but they all move and that’s what you want when you’re long lining.”
Rod Wall said long line trolling is a great way to intercept crappie moving from the spawning grounds to other locations in the lake.
Wall said he would rather have some stain in the water when long lining rather than trying to troll in gin clear water. Water clarity will often be dictated by rainfall, which has not been a problem across most of the country this year.
“Crappie suspend better in stained water, they feel more comfortable. It’s hard to get their attention if they are deep down in brush or other structure, but even if they are just moving, that’s a good time to find them out in the open,” said Wall. “Put your poles out and hunt them down.”
Where ever fishing takes you, B’n’M has been there. Get more information by visiting our website at bnmpoles.com
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