Summer crappie fishing patterns are getting settled across the country and as crappie seek out the various locations they will spend the next three months, crappie anglers need to not only focus on those locations and patterns, but what size, style, and application of fishing line will help them catch more crappie.
In days gone by, crappie anglers never gave much thought to the line on their reels. The line breaking strength was matched up with the average size of the fish caught. It was under this reasoning, most panfish reels would be spooled with either 6 or pound test monofilament line.
With so many different tactics and tackle to fit a variety of situations, it’s important that the line you use match your presentation. Some of the B’n’M pro’s weighed in on what fishing lines make them the most successful at catching summer fish.
When he’s not on the road fishing tournaments, North Carolina pro Mike Parrott likes to shoot docks on his home waters at Lake Wylie. Parrott prefers a 4 pound test line that he can see as the line falls.
“Using four pound test is a must because the water is usually pretty clear in the summer. I try to get the jig deep into the corner of a slip and let the jig free fall back in the deepest corners of the dock stalls. Most of the time I never even feel the bite because crappie gently suck in the bait and don’t move. My first indication of a bite is either a slight tick in the line or it starts to pile up at the surface.”
For this reason, Parrot often uses a clear/blue or fluorescent line that is less visible under water, but can be seen on the surface. Parrott favors the smaller line when shooting docks using B’n’M’s Sharpshooter 6 rod.
It’s no secret that pro staff manager Kent Driscoll loves to pull crankbaits for crappie nearly any time, but especially during the summer on some of his old stomping ground lakes in Mississippi. Based on the amount of rainfall areas like Sardis, Enid, Grenada, and Arkabutla receive over the summer, water clarity may range from only slightly stained to downright muddy.
In any case, these crappie factories tend to have at least some stain in them and, combined with the need to keep his ducks in a row, figuratively speaking, Driscoll opts for stout monofilament line that he can clearly see trailing behind his boat.
“My line choice is a 12 pound Vicious hi visibility green. The visibility and higher than average test line helps me keep the cranks running straight and allows me to retrieve a bait if it gets snagged,” said Driscoll. “You can tell a lot about what’s going on behind the boat by watching the line. A small fish or a snag may be caught on the hook and you can see that because the line will have a different angle than the other lines. That’s important to keeping everything in formation.
Driscoll’s favorite rod for pulling crankbaits is the B’n’M Pro-Staff Trolling Rod.
Crappie icon Ronnie Capps said summer time crappie fishing for him means running double hook minnow rigs through some heavy cover. Capps and his fishing partner Steve Coleman prefer to use fluorocarbon line when they know there will be a lot of contact between their fishing line and the structure they’ll be fishing.
“It’s a constant deal, checking rods when you are slowly crawling through heavy cover or lily pads like you see in the summer at Reelfoot,” said Capps. “There’s a lot of abrasion going on and a lot of potential hang-ups that can happen, but that’s where you’ve got to fish if you want the good ones.”
Capps opts for heavier fluorocarbon in the 12 – 15 pound class which is also helpful in the event a hook gets stuck in a piece of wood.
“From the beginning, that’s why we always went for light wire minnow hooks,” said Capps. “With the heavier line, you can bend the hook out, take a pair of pliers and bend it back in shape, and you don’t lose so much time re-tying the rigs.
Capps and Colemen prefer B’n’M’s Buck’s Graphite Jig poles in 16 fool lengths for spider rigging during the summer.
No matter what line you choose to pick up crappie this summer, B’n’M has got the rod and the tackle you need to bring home the big ones. Visit us online at bnmpoles.com or Facebook.com/bnmpoles