Southern crappie anglers are
fortunate. The waters don’t freeze over and crappie anglers can get out and ply
their trades without drilling holes to fish through. Just because the surface
waters aren’t frozen doesn’t necessarily mean that southern crappie act all
that differently from their northern cousins. So, that begs the question: Is
there something to learn from guys who do fish hardwater for crappie this time
While he may not be very well
versed on catching crappie through the ice, B’n’M pro-staffer Tom Mundy
understands the concept very well. Mundy is the owner of Laurens, South
Carolina-based Fish Stalker Lures and came about his understanding of the
habits of deep, cold water crappie through trial and error. Unlike most
anglers, Mundy theorized that a particular rod, bait or tactic would work
better than what was currently on the market, so he devised the tactic, made
the bait himself, and designed a specialty rod to fish it for B’n’M Poles.
ever wets a line when seeking winter crappie, Mundy wants to know for certain
what location crappie are holding in and why they are there. Once he’s found
them, he’s going to look into travel corridors and food supplies. With all
these things in place, he’ll catch fish.
place I’m going to look for crappie locations is out in front of boat docks” said
Mundy. “Not just any dock; I want a dock that’s on a steep bank and I want a
dock that looks like a fisherman lives there. A steep bank on land usually
means there’s a good drop-off in front of a dock-maybe even a creek channel or
ditch. A dock that’s owned by a fisherman will mean there’s brushpiles around
two primary tactics that he uses to catch winter crappie. The first is a double
rod presentation. If the one-two punch doesn’t work. He goes to a single rod,
“Lining up two
brushpiles is critical” explains Mundy. “In most situations you’ll find one or
two separate piles of brush with some clear space in between. That’s ideal for
the two rod presentation but you either need to mark the brushpile with a
marker or line it up with an object on the far shore because you have to back
off the pile to fish it correctly.”
two of his signature B’n’M Slabtail Jig rods lined with 4 pound test mono. The
first rod has a Fish Stalker Slabtail jig on a 1/32 jighead tied to it. The second has a 1/64
weight jig head with the slabtail. Mundy alternates casting the jigs to the
brush-but there’s a method.
the 1/32 either to one side or in the gap between piles” explains Mundy. “I
just let it fall. When the line sinks about half way to the boat, I cast the
lighter jig straight across the brushpile and put that rod between my legs.
Meanwhile I start slowly reeling the 1/32 through the gap. When I get that jig
in, I cast it on the other side of the pile and pick up the lighter jig and
ease it across the top of the brush. The jigs are so small that hanging up is
rarely a problem-they both tend to just float around the brush. Even if the
line lays across the brush I can lift up on the rod and keep it swimming.”
explains that with either of his Slabtail Series rods he’s looking for the bite
rather than feeling it. Once he has a rhythm going, any slight twitch, pause,
or stopping of the line means the jig’s been inhaled and he reaches down and,
with a quick flip of the wrist, sets the hook.
they don’t want it moving at all and that’s when we go to tactic number 2” said
Number 2 is
a purely vertical tactic where he relocates the boat dead over the top of the
structure and drops a tiny 1/64 ounce Slabtail jig to the bottom on 4 pound
test. He compares it to ice fishing without ice. Once the tiny jig hits the
bottom some 24 feet below, Mundy engages the reel and slowly turns the handle.
the idea for the design of the Slabtail Series rods from watching an ice
fishing video and the tremendous sensitivity that ice rods had for light biting
fish. The rod tip is so sensitive that it’s impossible to keep the tip still.
sensitivity of the Slabtail Series rod makes all the difference in detecting
bites” he said. “The rod tip is so sensitive that the reeling of the handle
makes it quiver. When it stops quivering, you set the hook.”
tactics give new meaning to the term finesse.
combination of deep brush, tiny baits and an “in your face” presentation is
more than crappie can stand, even in the dead of winter,” said Mundy. But don’t
try this with just any rod, without the extreme sensitivity of the Slabtail Series
rod, you’ll wind up just sitting out in the cold. ”
For more information on the Slabtail Series rod
visit our website at www.bnmpoles.com.