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united jigsticker

Rick, crappies and plastics...

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united jigsticker

Stop, Tom! You're making me itch!!! and jealous too... smile.gif

Sounds like fun, which means it had to be a blast!

Congrats you guys!

------------------
Good fishing,
UJ
[email protected]

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Rick

We caught some bass, both smallies and large mouth, sunfish and a few crappies.

Thanks Tom for a great trip.
rick-bass-crappietomzumbro032504.jpg
1st Fish

rick-tom-crappietomzumbro032504.jpg
First Crappie

rick-crappie-crappietomzumbro032504.jpg
Biggest Crappie smile.gif

All the Crappies & Sunfish were taken using plastics only!!!

Tom knows his crappie fishing.

Thanks again Tom.

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just havin fun

Crappie Tom,
I am not much of a crappie fisherman and I want to learn to get better. My question to you is this what would be your top three lures to catch crappies and would you care to share your best technique to catch them. Thanks for your reply in advance.
Steve

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CrappieJohn

I took Rick out to a little corner of open water this morning and fished for some craps. We Started with bait, trying to locate a few, but all we could catch was bass. After making a couple shoreline adjustments I found where the craps were and we commenced to have a ball....every one of them came off plastics over deep water at abot 6 feet deep. And they were dandies. Twisters on small jigs were very hot when fished under a float. We also took numerous sunfish , a white bass, a smallmouth and another largemouth ....all off the plastic. Found the water to be 44 degrees even though we were within a short distance of some serious ice-pack. We had a great time packed into three hours of fishing. Thanks for the company Rick! We need to do this again!

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Plastics...making better fishermen without bait! Good Fishing Guys! CrappieTom
[email protected]

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CrappieJohn

Steve....I would have to say plastic, plastic, and plastic. I tend to put an awful lot of emphasis on the correlation between water temp and profile. And to a certain extent color. In water which has opened up in yet-frozen lakes, much like what I'm currently fishing, the temp will be in the low 40's almost immediately. The fish will prefer a smaller profiled bait...some thing too that does not have lots of action at rest. Right now I am focusing on 1" twisters on small heads(1/32)fished under a float. I cast this out and basically let the current carry the unit where ever the current is going. Whe you find the fish, you can almost pinpoint the location where they are stacking and can cast time after time to this spot and hit fish every cast. The only adjustments at this time that I will make is with color and to maybe cut off half of the twister to reduce the acitvity level of it if the fish are neutral. This fashion of fishing will hold up until the water approaches between 48-50 degrees. Then I swith to tubes. I never use two inch tubes. I fish the tubes with insert heads (1/32) and again the only thing I will change is the color. These too are fished under a float. I use this set-up until the craps move off the spawning beds. Water temp will determine where I fish, but I strongly lean towards staying in the general proximity of deeper water.... this is where the fish will be after cold fronts until we have gotten to the immediate pre-spawn period. Keep in mind that this fish which are visisble during the immediate pre-spawn and during the spawn are NOT the largest of the fish. Those stay in the deeper water for all of the activities. As the spawn winds down and the fish move into the larger expanses of the lake, I get rid of the bobber and fish a tight line, vertically jigging twisters up to three inches in length on 1/16 and 1/8 ounce heads, often in water over thirty feet. If the wind is favorable, or by using an electric motor, you can hang a twister under a float on a jig and drift or slowwwwwww troll. I mention floats. I prefer the #2 mini-stealth thill float....shows hits well, especiall the upward ones and cast very well using the mentioned techniques.The only reason I use floats though, is to keep my presentation consistant- very important if you want to stay with fish. As the water cools in the fall, this order gets reversed. Hope this will help.

------------------
Plastics...making better fishermen without bait! Good Fishing Guys! CrappieTom
[email protected]

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BLACKJACK

Good post Tom!

You talked about 'current'. Were you fishing on a lake where a creek runs in or on a river? The reason I asked is that I've always waited for the ice to go out when open water crappie fishing but might try it on some lakes around central MN here when the starts going out.

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just havin fun

Crappie Tom,
Thanks for your post. You provide a lot of good info. One more question, how often do you use live bait for crappies or do you always use plastics?

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Rick

Thanks again Tom for a good time and great company!!! Those Culprit Crappie Plastics were dynamite. We used the Chartreuse Pepper Culprit Paddle Tail Grub (Tom calls them Sliders).
ptg.gif

Again we had a very productive morning and it was a blast to say the least!!!!!

Here are some pics. I made Tom stand in fornt of the camera for all but one pic today.

We were catching all black crappies and I caught a white crappie earlier. Then Tom caught a very nice white crappie at the exact same time that I caught a black crappie. Here is a picture of those two fish.

Black & White Crappie:
rick-crappietomzumbro032604-whiteandblac
Both Caught Using Culprit Paddle Tail

Nice Bluegill (Paddle Tail Pictured).
rick-crappietomzumbro032604-sunfish-culp

Nice Crappie
rick-crappietomzumbro032604-crappie-culp

Nicer Crappie
rick-crappietomzumbro032604-crappie1-cul

Smallie caught fishing for crappies.
rick-crappietomzumbro032604-smallie-culp Also using the Culrit Crappie Plastic Paddle Tail Grub

We used NO live bait. Get some plastics and stay with them. I caught one crappie with the Culprit Paddle Tail sitting absolutely still while taking a picture of Tom's fish.

It's not hard to figure out the touch once you're on crappies.

The best part is I never had to re-bait up getting cold fingers and wasting time out of the water in the process.

Bring your minnows if you have to. It's not a bad idea. If you need to use the minnows to find the crappies. But be prepared with a plastics rod and get after them.

Many times you will outfish your friends who insist on using minnows only (I know, we had a minnow user down a ways from us. He had two crappies). Maybe it was location and maybe not.

Can you tell I'm a plastics believer smile.gif

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CrappieJohn

Blackjack....The lake I fish is an impoundment with a dam at one end. There is always current to some degree. If you have open water and water in the 10 foot deep range within casting distance, I'd be hitting it now. You don't need current to drill first open water crappies. Just havin fun....I prefer plastics over bait. BUT, you have to remember that we are fishing and sometimes things are not going to go in our direction so bait has to be considered an option. Don't get me wrong, I do fish with bait when the fish dictate the use of it. My comfort zone is with plastic. It is where my confidence lies. Hope this helps answer your question.

------------------
Plastics...making better fishermen without bait! Good Fishing Guys! CrappieTom
[email protected]

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CrappieJohn

Well, the commander (Rick) and I did the crappie thing this morning and it was far from a bust. Coservatively, we threw back about fifty/sixty and brought a couple home. The bass were at it again and Rick stuck a nice smallie and a whitebass. Today we took all of our fish on Culprit sliders, chatreuse and junebug/chartreuse, and black/chartreuse. These baits seemed to be real head- turners for the fish and when hit, it was solid. They were fished on 1/32 heads and at six feet over ten foot of water. Under a float. Last nights rains were bringing the water up at a fair clip...it rose three inches in that many hours. The water temp came in at 45, up a degree from yesterday. On average, the fish were at least an inch bigger than yesterday with only one fish at the end that may have been a questionable keeper. Rick has some pics and will post those this afternoon later. Thanks again for the company Rick...you should move to Rochester!

------------------
Plastics...making better fishermen without bait! Good Fishing Guys! CrappieTom
[email protected]

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buzbunni

Thanks for the great information guys. Not knowing much about crappie movement, patterns, etc., this gives me agreat place to begin the offerings. I love the idea of using plastics. One of my goals this year is to learn how to fish plastics more effectively and successfully in all manner of species pursuit.

Now, about smilin' for the camera... smile.gif.

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SERIOUSLY! It was THIS big!

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Rick

Buzzbunni,
it's all about profile and action. Color plays a role as well.

Be persistent until you find the type of plastic profile and action they want, then give it to them.

Twisters, paddle tails (sliders), and power minnows give a nice selection of profiles and action. They are a good place to start.

Anyone else having decent crappie or sunfish action in open water yet?

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CrappieJohn

I was back to this spot ,where Rick and I had our luck last week, on Tuesday. Things had gone down hill badly. The water was up a bit and dirty, the water temp had dropped four degrees and there was a cold front racing down at me. The fishing was not good, regardless of what was tossed to them. All of this is classic of early open water crappie fishing and clearly shows how different elements on different days can change the outcome of a fishing trip. This spot incidently is notorious for being good for only a week or ten days when the ice is coming off this particular body of water. Had I had the boat, I think I would have done better by backing out into much deeper water and fishing with smaller twisters vertically, no float. Thinking that the fish will be in one spot one day and again four days later netted me only one sunfish. That, I guess, is my payment for thinking.

------------------
Plastics...making better fishermen without bait! Good Fishing Guys! CrappieTom

Culprit Tackle Crappie Pro Staff
[email protected]

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • fisherjmb
      My parents were up yesterday and Wednesday and they did pretty good. Out in the mud in about 33-34 feet. Lots of boats were trolling but they did well looking for pods of fish and then spot-locking over the top of them and jigging with leeches and frozen shiners. 
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