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mrpike1973

To minnow or not to minnow?

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mrpike1973

OK some advice here. When most of you post about catching your sunfish or crappies it's almost always on a small jig/worms/plastic set up I rarely hear about on minnows. Now before I get ahead of myself yes I know that sunfish are not noted for minnows yes occasionally but not the norm. I have tried several night bites for crappies with minnows I have caught 2 so far this winter. My question is would a dead stick with just a jig and a few spikes work better? Minnows I'm finding seem to slow me down and even though rumor has it a deadstick is the next best thing since sliced bread I'm not seeing it. Just to note I am jigging with another rod small jig with spikes generally that's what I get my pan fish on. Thanks just want some advice keep the minnows or leave the bucket behind?

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mrpike1973

Thanks Rick good advise

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Wanderer

Most times I’m using a minnow head and jigging - if I’m using a minnow.  Most of my life I used a Demon and whole minnow under a bobber.  That’s how I set my wife up now.

 

At times when you really have to work on them to hit a plastic, the minnow head is a game changer.

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mrpike1973

I never thought of doing just the minnow head for crappies. Just like walleyes but smaller jig I take it?

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Borch

I only use minnows when I'm not running and gunning.  Then it's a deadstick with a minnow and demon most times.   If that isn't getting bit I'll switch over to a split shot above a plain hook.

 

Otherwise it's plastics or tunsten tied flies.  If I'm using a jigging spoon sometimes I'll use spikes,  minnow heads but often use gulp spikes or minnow heads on my jigging spoons.

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Sculpin

Mr Pike:  Are you seeing/marking fish during your time on the ice ?  If so, you should be able to coax a few by changing up your presentation. I like to think that if I can see them, I can get a few to bite. Take care to stay out of the middle of the school, and focus on the fish riding higher in the water column, they are generally the more aggressive of the group, and in many cases the bigger fish. Many times they will charge up well before your presentation even reaches them. Crappies generally feed up, that is to say they will rise to the bait from below, and inhale it. That is why sometimes your float simply tips over, vs. goes down, if so, set the hook.

Lots of great tips throughout the thread on this, so keep trying, and utilize all the presentations at your disposal, crappies will generally show you what they do and don't like, keeping working them until they react. I like small spoons, and work them aggressively, generally with a couple red larvae tipped on the treble.

Good luck !!    

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Rick G

If I'm setting up over a scool or a " fish highway" I will set up a dead stick drowning a minnow. Otherwise,  if I'm actively working an area, or searching for fish,  Its almost always tungsten and plastics for panfish. The exception is when working schools of crappies deeper than 20 ft,  for this I will go to an 1/8 or 1/16 oz spoon and a small minnow head. The bigger presentation will sometimes trigger the bigger fish in the school.

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mrpike1973

Thanks for the replies all. When I run and gun I never use minnows. Lately I have been trying some relaxing sit in the fish house with a dead stick and jig one rod. Just thought I would get more on minnows. I just never thought minnow heads for crappies I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

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Austin12345

This winter a tugstun jig and minnow head seems the be the best thing for crappies it was a new idea to me presented by a friend but I am catching a lot of fish with that and then just seting a deadstick or cork rod down by it with a crappie minnow

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JBMasterAngler

I almost only use minnow heads for crappies. Helps keep small sunnies and perch away too. I’ll always have eurolarvae with, but crappies prefer the minnow heads most of the time. A chartreuse forage minnow is literally the only lure you need!

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mrpike1973

Are the forage minnows the spoon type or a jig?

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Wanderer

These are Forage Minnows

7C3EA816-CD23-4605-BE22-03E2C253DC9B.thumb.jpeg.c954fc5ee5fbf230a9d9a3c6954edb28.jpeg

 

The white with green top jigs are Demons

14655DB6-0258-48DC-AAAB-88CB99262A46.thumb.jpeg.fa606b09b3bfadf622a0c860a8f44080.jpeg
 

Keep at it @mrpike1973, read, fish, and drill baby drill!  When people say try different jigging cadence, really think about that and what you’re doing.  It’s easy to get into a muscle memory habit of jigging one way or another.  My SIL catches fish cuz he doesn’t stop trying - and he’s popped some good ones - but last night I stood over his shoulder while he worked some fish and didn’t get one to go.  He was jigging harder than the fish wanted and dropping the bait a little to the fish.  I asked for the rod, jigged it over the mark in smaller movements and raised it slightly.  10 seconds maybe and I hooked up. He just smiled.  1 more experience to learn from.

Edited by Wanderer
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mrpike1973

Thanks Wanderer! I love those smallest forage jigging spoons they are hard to find. I thought that's what was meant. I've never used the Demonds. I guess a trip to the local bait store is in order. Thanks!

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grey ghost

I always start with a minnow head on a jigging spoon for my jigging rod and if I'm sitting in the portable I have a full minnow hooked by the tail on my other rod. If the fish are not responding to the jigging spoon then I'll down size to a tungsten jig with a plastic or waxy but then I have to sort through the small sunfish too.

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eyeguy 54

I guess if I was sitting over crappies in a house it would be a minnow on a dead stick with spring bobber and a tungsten with plastics on the other. That slow wiggle has been key it seams this year. Hole hopping I like a spare setup in the rod holder on the vex so I have a little variety. Plastics again all season this winter. 

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Tom Sawyer
1 hour ago, eyeguy 54 said:

a dead stick with spring bobber 

 

Who makes one? 

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eyeguy 54

Lotta brands. Put a spring on end. 

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eyeguy 54

I thought you knew dead sticking is a technique. 🤪

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Tom Sawyer
21 minutes ago, eyeguy 54 said:

I thought you knew dead sticking is a technique. 🤪

 

Someone obviously doesn't. A "dead stick" eliminates the need for a bobber. No dead stick rod has a spring bobber attached either, the rod itself is the bobber. The blank is so light on the tip, it would be impossible to add a spring 😆 😆 😆

Please enlighten us all that use this technique .....

 

 

Edited by Tom Sawyer
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eyeguy 54

Lol. Kennel up. 

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Rick G

😂😂😂 you two.

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eyeguy 54

I can use my 28 inch light fenwick elite and put  a titanium bobber on it and the minnow will barely move it. Crappie comes along and sees a nice snack and the spring will go slowly up or down. In my mind this would be a dead stick technique. And also to me a regular bobber under a rod iwill call that rod a dead stick. And I am sure that you know where you can stick it. 😂🤪

Edited by eyeguy 54
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Tom Sawyer
34 minutes ago, eyeguy 54 said:

I can use my 28 inch light fenwick elite and put  a titanium bobber on it and the minnow will barely move it. Crappie comes along and sees a nice snack and the spring will go slowly up or down. In my mind this would be a dead stick technique. And also to me a regular bobber under a rod iwill call that rod a dead stick. And I am sure that you know where you can stick it. 😂🤪

 

R-6520452-1421176344-1134.jpeg.jpg.b956d7b7be9a129d8c8b01252a5d7cd9.jpg

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Rick

I deadstick on occasion with a spring bobber. It works.

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Tom Sawyer
5 hours ago, eyeguy 54 said:

I thought you knew dead sticking is a technique. 🤪

 For those of you that want to try dead sticking sometime, this rod is tough to beat. 

https://jtodp.com/product/jt-walleye-snare

27866503_Capture_2020-02-12-12-19-37.png.d4759dd370c17ae8690d7514a234950a.png

890896162_Capture_2020-02-12-11-48-11.png.4970c78fc7292d41a77d07f78960fe36.png

Edited by Tom Sawyer
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eyeguy 54

Interesting.  A dead stick with a spring bobber. 🤪

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Tom Sawyer

Yep, the entire end of the blank, no wonky add on. Quite the concept.

This should help.....

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tom Sawyer
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eyeguy 54

Too much $ for me. 

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Tom Sawyer

That JT is sweet. Quite a few noodles out there that basically do the same thing. Mine was 12 bucks 😆  

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