Friday, June 3, 2011

Slipping Crappies on & under the Dock

I know this blog is suppose to be all about bass fishing, but I love crappie season, as the weather starts to warm these golden beauties start to stack up and can be easily caught from the shore or boats alike. This past weekend I spent some time fishing with my father n law, doing what we love to do.. slip bobber for crappies.

Crappies are like most other pan fish or bass, in that as the weather warms they move up and in, and look for some nice shady spots to relax. This makes dock fishing for crappies a great way to fill your bucket.

First things first. Like with all types of fishing you need to get your gear right

Step 1: The Gear

Crappie fishing in my mind is a finesse style of fishing, long rods, light line and tiny baits. I use a 10ft pro crappie max rod from the BPS, I pair that with a Okuma Stinson reel. My line of choice is 4-6lb Crappie line from the BPS in either the yellow or camo pink (who knew)

90% of the time I will be using a crappie tube and slip bobber when fishing the docks. If the bite slows or changes I will opt for a tiny spinner bait or a crappie sized crank bait. Those are both last resorts as the crappie tube is king when it come to flipping docks

For a slip bobber I have been using the Wally Marshall series from the BPS, they are a high vis bobber with a weighted end. The small weigh on the tip of the bobber allows for longer casts while still keeping your tube size to a minimum.

Step 2: The Approach

When in a marina or a boat launch with many dock slips, the goal is to hit as many sides and angles of the dock without spooking the crappie for underneath it. Try to avoid walking on the docks if possible, and never walk on an un-fished dock.

I start off flipping to the tip and sides of the first dock from well back. Once they have been fished I move in and flip under the dock. Once confident I have fished the first dock, I may walk on it to hit the tips of the surrounding docks. Depending on how spooky the fish are I may wait till all docks have been fished prior to walking on any of them.

The goal is to keep you bait suspended with the slip bobber, I like to leave at least a foot if not 2 where applicable. If Im not getting the bites, I may raise or lower my bobber. I usually find a clear test spot to drop my bobber and see how close to the bottom my bait is sitting. This is a good gauge.

I find the key to slip bobber and tube fishing is to keep them moving. Small drags or twitches work wonders. On some days they will chase you done and on others you will need to be subtle.

Step 3: Switch it up

As mentioned above nothing will work all the time. So be prepared to switch things up, wether that means a new color, or removing the bobber and bottom dragging, or going to something like a crappie tube or crank.

Also.. be prepared, just because you are throwing small tubes to panfish does not mean you wont run into a monster. I have caught a few bass over 5lbs while crappie fishing a tube.

1 comment:

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