Over the past few weeks the bite has been very good on the panfish, especially for trolling the shallow weed lines. Now, with that being said, I received a few calls and texts regarding tips on what to do and some details when it comes to targeting crappies. Of course, I’ll give information on what to do and all the things that would help them to catch them on there body of water.
After the second and third week of trolling and getting the pattern dialed in, I posted a photo of a nice crappie on a Salmo Hornet and I received a text message from one of my friends. He said “Your killing me man”. I respond by saying……..what? Brennan said that he was struggling on getting on a good trolling bite and he said he was having Hornet withdrawals. I just had to chuckle and gave he a few more tips on what to do. Well, he didn’t have much luck on the lakes that he tried so I said we should hook up too fish. Well, we did this weekend and we headed to the lake where I’ve had the pattern dialed in on. Getting all the gear ready and putting the colors that worked and I said to Brennan….”Are you ready to get your fixation fixed”? Hell yeah Brennan said.
We started on the first weed line stretch and within 5 minutes I was hooked up, and than I catch another one right after that. I could see that Brennan was anticipating he first strike and it happened. A nice 11”er. And during the first trolling run we caught 8 crappies and a couple of bluegills. Not bad, but I had several trolling runs to do and as we headed in to the afternoon to evening, the the bite just got better, with better fish. I’d say it was one of the better days as far as quality and quantity.
A few things that I told Brennan was depth, playing with speeds and colors. The bite is always different everyday as far as the location of the fish. When we started the day, we started at 2:00 and I will fish a little deeper than normal. Like 11-13FOW instead of 8-10FOW, and as the afternoon gets later I start moving in to that 8-10FOW. Why? They will start feeding and you can definitely see the bait fish moving in and also jumping out of the water. You know that fish are in the area. The speed is very important to trigger the active fish. When I see weeds and they are high, I’ll slow down to 0.6-0.8mph. and as the weeds become lower to bottom, I’ll speed up to 0.8-1.0mph. It works and the proof is in the details, so use speed to your advantage to put more fish top side.
Color is fun to experiment with and if I’m fishing a semi-dirty lake, I’ll always use bright colors and I proved that this weekend with Brennan. I used 5 different colors and they all produced. Don’t ever hesitate to change colors or sizes. I do this all the time especially if I troll the same stretch more than twice. Just think outside the box.
At the end of the day, the Hornet fixation was fixed and it was an epic day. We probably caught 50+ crappies and had several bluegills and pike. We still have a few more weeks of this pattern so give it a try on your favorite body of water. Until next time, be safe and we will see you in the outdoors.