Cold Weather Crappie Tricks
by Ken Sturdivant
Southern Fishing Schools Inc.
Cold weather crappie are
not easy to catch in the dead of winter because most anglers don’t
fish deep enough. But most anglers try to force them to be shallow.
catch cold weather fish but some extra work is required.
Once the water
cold the crappie head to deer water. The food source the thread
fin shad move to main lake
haunts and the crappie will follow. Most anglers can’t find them so going
fishing for cold weather crappie is not a common goal. Using a quality depth
produce not only numbers for crappie but some really large fish. Look for
these fish in and around deep structure and on major docks. Deep structure
bridge pilings, standing timber and deep creek channels. The major docks
around lakes that are over deep water will hold crappie all year. Lots of
these docks hold fish. Sunlight on enclosed docks will warm the water and
only a couple of warming degrees can make a world of difference.
Live bait is not
a cold weather tactic. Live bait moves around and the crappie are not willing
to chase their food in cold water. We have seen small sunfish pick the eyes
out of the shiners on the Aqua Vu under water camera while using these
use a slow deliberate jigging technique and the fish will bite. Small spoons
and Bass Pro Shops Squirt mini tube baits will attract a hungry crappie. Using
light line in the four pound test on an ultra light spinning rig is deadly.
Colors in the spoons will be silvers and shad colors. The Squirt tube
baits can be in
almost any color. Use the smallest lead head jig as possible. Down to a 1/64
ounce lead will give the baits a very slow fall.
Dropping bait vertically is
the key. Casting, trolling and drifting are not good cold weather tactics
because the fish will not chase their food. Another reason vertically
works is that the depths can be carefully maintained.
all the way to the
bottom. Very slowly pull the baits up and gently shake the rod tip. Strikes
will be very light and the fish simply hold on the baits creating
slack in the line.
Add some Jack’s Juice shad scents to the baits for extra strikes.