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Trigering the strike(Crappies&Gills')


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There are a few tricks to trigger a strike from Crappies and gills. Jig orientation with Crappies and gills' is very important, much as worm positioning is critical to get a bluegill to bite.
Things like "keep away", horozontal jig positioning, and covering the barb of the hook with the worm all plays key roles in catching slab fish. Sometimes it helps to "mush" the worm some to trigger a big bluegill bite.

[This message has been edited by Pro Crappie Guide (edited 12-09-2001).]

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Pro crappie guide... Have you ever experienced the "gaurdian fish concept"

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Yes CT. "Gaurdian Fish" is something that few people are aware of...and would never know exist without the aid of electronics.
But gaurdian fish can hinder an effort to catch fish. A gaurdian fish is typically a single fish suspended about 2-4 feet above the rest of the school. Other fish will not come above this fish, and typically the so called "gaurdian fish" is not catchable.
However, if you do catch the guardian fish it is typically a large sized one. Are the fish really that smart? I dont know but its a trend I have seen on many lakes when fishing panfish.

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The best jigs in my opinion are lead heads. Some believe in teardrops in the winter, but I prefer a jig that I can set horizontially on my line. By that I mean, so the head of the jig is horizontal to the hook, rather then a 45 degree angle or straight up and down. I have caught Crappies 10-1 by using this method when others aren't.
Also, the best color, regardless of water clarity is a solid graphite(lead)color.
My best success comes from taking a #8 or #10 plain dark shank hook, and taking the smallest lead split shot I can find and crimping it right on the hook, without tipping it with any bait. The fish eagerly race to investigate and suck the bait in to see what it is. However, if you don't have electronics on the ice(namely an FL-8) the bite you usually goes undetected. When the signals on the screen come together I set the hook and the fish is there most of the time. Sometimes it takes some experimentation with timing, like a one-thousand-one count before setting the hook, but once you find the right timing fishing can be fast and exciting. This tactic works good for bluegills too. But the same rule applies: the hook MUST be horizontal. So you might need to experiment with placement of the sinker on the hook to help "balance" the jig out.
After dark I prefer to use a silver or bright colored jig in clear water(5 feet and better) tipped with a minnow or wax worm. In darker water, two tones seem to work best. (pink and yellow)tipped with the same baits.

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Guardian fish is just a term used to describe the fish as there is no other way to explain them. Most people laugh at the mention of "guardian fish" and I don't blame them. It is just a pattern I have found many time when fishing Crappies and Bluegills. The fish below still bite, and hold decent sizes, but takes a little different approach to entice them to bite. I usually never let my jig get any closer then 3 feet to the top of the school, which makes the fish have to "chase" my bait to even check it out....which usually triggers a hit. Otherwise, with a so called "Guardian fish" present, the bite is lighter, and more finicky

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  • 3 weeks later...

Pro Crappie Guide
Your post about catching crappies by using a plain hook with a light weight on the end is intriguing. I would like to know more about what you are talking about. I don't have any electronics and am wondering if i could detect the fish sucking the hook with a spring end? Also have you tried using any bait on the hook at all with this setup? Like an eye of a minnow or minnow head instead of a weight. Great information keep it coming. Be safe and Happy New Year.

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Crappie Hunter,
Take the smallest dark colored split shot you have and a #8 or #10 plain shank hook and crimp the sinker just above the curve in the hook.
Pull the hook as horizontal as you can.
The hardest part about not using electronics is knowing where the top of the school is. With this method of fishign I find that I typically stay about 4 feet above the school to get the fish to run at the bait.
The only detection I have found, other then my FL-8, is they typicaly hit the bait "up", so that the lines goes slack just a little bit.
If you have an FL-8, I usually count one thousand one after the signals come together before setting the hook.
There are a few people that are catching on to this, and catch alot more fish because of it.
Good luck,
Hope it works for you.
PCG

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Having a little trouble visualizing a split shot near the curve of the hook and being able to present it horizontally. Do you bend the eye? Snell the line down the shank? To me the fun is in the experimenting. Thank you for the tips!

------------------
Thumper

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  • 3 weeks later...

By using a shorter shank hook and a very light split shot it is possible to keep the hook presented at a horizontal position while having the split shot crimped near the curve of the hook.
It is simply the friction of the knot holding the line in place. However, at certain times it takes some experimentation and movement of the location of the split shot to trigger a strike. At times, hooking the split shot right above the eyelit directly on the line works too. That makes it very simple to keep the hook horizontal.
It's all trial and error, and sometimes the silliest things work.
Keep fishing!
PCG

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