A Simple Plan
A Simple Plan:
When searching for those mid-summer crappies, keep your plan simple. Sometimes finding them doesn’t take long if you know where to look. I will always work shallow weeds and weed lines at the depth of 7-12FOW. It’s hard to believe that crappies and even bluegills will hold in that structure and that shallow. But, they do and big ones too. Granted, the deep basins will hold suspended pan fish as well, but you’ll have to cover some ground finding them.
Location: Like I said, I’ll start in primary hot spots that have good vegetation and structure. The most common area that I start working is a shallow flat surrounded by a deep basin. Work the flat and also work the outside weed lines slowly by dropping in open pockets in the weeds. If you watch your presentation, you’ll see the crappies dart right out of the weeds. This is a very effective way to target mid-summer crappies. I believe the reason they hold there is because it’s a good cover from predators, with plenty of bait fish, and oxygen. I often get asked, “Where do you catch those big crappies?” Well, it’s simple, look for the weeds and work the structure slowly. If you work the areas that hold weeds, you’ll soon develop a pattern and you’ll also know where the pan fish are relating to as far as what weeds and structure. Presentation is also a key element too.
Presentation: The presentation that I have used for years is the Northland Fire Fly pink and white or the Black and yellow tipped with Impulse Plastics. Either the 1/32oz or 1/64oz jigs are a great size for your arsenal. One of the tricks that I’ll do is place a split shot about 12-18” above the jig to get it down in those pockets where that next big slab is hiding. The other reason is I like the slow drops of the smaller jigs is that it will trigger the bite. The split shot helps keep your presentation in the right depth while your jig can show the slow up and down action. The other element for success is your rod selection. It doesn’t really matter what rod you use, as long as it has a soft tip. I’ll use a 7’ or a 8’ St. Croix Pan fish Series rod and it’s because of the soft tip. Some use a spring bobber during ice fishing, well this acts like that for open water fishing.
Often times, the simple areas like shallow weeds and weed lines gets overlooked, but these are areas that I like to call, ”honey holes”. The fish are always there, you just have to find them and you will if you take some time to work the areas that have good vegetation. Remember to keep it simple and have fun targeting those mid-summer crappies.
Until next time, be safe and we’ll see you in the outdoors.