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Tips for jigging for crappie
Professional fishing guide Mike Simpson makes
his living in pursuit of America's favorite pan fish, and manufacturing
his distinctive line of jigs now on sale at Zeiner's Bass Shop
in Wichita and online. Mike says if you want to catch more crappie
more often, consider the benefits of a vertical presentation.
The vertical advantage
By Mike Simpson
One of the most productive methods I use to consistently
catch crappie is a vertical presentation. You can accomplish
this whether you are fishing from a boat or the bank; with live
bait, jigs, or other artificial lures.
Although there are several different aspects to
this type of fishing, understanding a hand full of basic information
will have you well on your way to enjoying the benefits of what
I call "the vertical advantage."
There are two keys for success with this method
of fishing. They are finding the right depth and maintaining
that same depth with your bait or lure.
Once you determine the depth range in which the
"active fish" are holding you are well on your way
to catching America's favorite pan fish. Since a vertical presentation
literally keeps your bait in the strike zone, your chances of
success are greatly enhanced.
Many baits work for this type of fishing, of course
jigs have always been my favorite. Most importantly you want
to choose a bait that presents a natural appearance whether it's
moving through the water or suspended in one general area. A
bait that will allow you to maintain and fish the proper depth.
Here are some of the more common baits for a vertical presentation.
If you are anchored at your favorite fishing hole,
fishing directly below the boat and using minnows for bait, it
is pretty simple. You could hook your minnow in any normal fashion,
lower it to the desired depth, and guess what? You are fishing
with a vertical presentation commonly referred to as "tight
If you were drift fishing or slow trolling with
that same minnow, you would hook it through the lips so it looks
natural moving through the water but it is still a vertical presentation,
as long as you are holding the same general depth.
Not too many years ago any lead head jig was considered
just about as good as another. Some jigs had feathers, some had
plastic bodies, sometimes they were painted different colors
or had eyes, but a jig was a jig. You had two basic choices,
color and size.
For a more effective vertical presentation, there
are certain types of jig heads you can use that could give you
a distinct advantage. There are several types, styles, and names
for these jigs but the main consideration is that they are "balanced"
heads. A balanced jig head is special because it always hangs
horizontally on your line, giving the appearance of a natural
minnow or baitfish. It doesn't matter if your bait is moving
or not because it looks realistic, in fact some of the most aggressive
bites come when I lower a balanced jig into a brush pile and
just hold it as still as I can.
Jigging spoons and blade baits
There are several small jigging spoons and blade
type baits on the market that do well for crappie fishing. Anglers
use them in the winter while ice fishing, which is a perfect
example of a vertical presentation, however these lures can also
be productive in the summer months.
A good old fashioned bobber will work to suspend
your bait at precise depths as long as you are fishing fairly
shallow, however a slip cork will offer more versatility, especially
in deeper water. Whether you fish from a boat or from the shore,
a slip cork is an excellent addition to any angler's collection
I hope you find this information helpful, and it
helps put more fish on the end of your line. I invite all readers
to email me with any questions and be sure to visit my website
for this and other articles, tips, techniques and information
for booking your own guided fishing trip with me.
Remember to take only what you need, leave the
rest for seed. "I'll see you at the lake"
Editor's Note Simpson is a 44-year
old Professional crappie fishing guide and lure manufacturer
who has been preoccupied with fishing as long as he can remember.
He is an acknowledged pan fishing expert, recognized for his
enthusiasm and willingness to share knowledge with anglers of
all ages and skill levels.
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