Jerk Fishing for Crappie

Sunday, March 08 2015 7:00 am - for Crappie
Want to try something a little different when crappie fishing this spring? Try jerking for them. Jerking is a technique that’s been used in some parts of the country for quite a few years but is just now catching on in others. Here's how you do it. Rig a minnow or jig under a bobber, cast it around crappie cover, then moveit with short, quick jerks every minute or two. Beneath the surface, your jerks make the bait dart erratically for a second and then flutter down, simulating a wounded baitfish, and that really excites a crappie. When using this…
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The last period of safe ice typically offers some of the best ice fishing of the year for panfish like bluegill and crappie.  For crappies in particular, we often find fish shallow and the fish can often be fairly aggressive.  The locations to find crappies is often a matter of connecting the dots.  On most lakes and flowages, crappies will suspend out over holes and basins through much of the winter.  Crappies will than set up in shallow protected bays, marinas and creek arms that have a few feet of water to spawn.  So we know where the fish were…
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Great Ice Fishing Buys for Under $5

Wednesday, January 07 2015 4:00 pm - for Ice Fishing
Don’t let an empty bank account keep you from a great hard water outing.  These items can make all the difference on tough days, and at under $5 each you can still afford to pack some beverages! Berkley Bucket Rod Holder: A steal at $3.99, I regularly use this rod holder for securing my dead-stick rod when soaking a minnow for walleye, perch or crappie. I highly recommend it. Bass Pro Shops Depth Finder Weights: Depth finder weights are traditionally used to quickly find bottom when setting tip-ups and other stationary lines. I also like to use them to add…
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4 Panfish Ice Baits You Need

Saturday, November 29 2014 9:00 am - for Ice Fishing
The big profile of the Rapala Jigging Shad Rap and wide, gliding action are the ticket to trophy slabs and jumbo perch. For those of us in the North Country, ice fishing is just around the corner. The start of the season can provide some incredible action. Here are four must-have baits for icing big panfish all winter long. 1. Jigging Minnows Slab crappie and jumbo perch love jigging minnows, such as the Rapala Jigging Shad Rap. When panfish are on the chew at early ice, the big profile of these lures and wide, gliding action really have a knack for…
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4 Tips for Sight-Fishing Crappie

Wednesday, November 26 2014 9:00 am - for Crappie
Bright baits are the ticket for sight fishing for crappie. Try glow, white, chartreuse and other vibrant patterns. Metallic lures also give off good flash, making it easy for anglers to track baits during the retrieve. Fall is a great time to catch crappie. One method I use in northern clear-water lakes is sight-fishing crappie around deep, healthy weeds. These crappie are hunting baitfish and various tasty invertebrates living in the aquatic plants. The best fishing days tend to be overcast. Here are four tips for this approach. 1. Fish high Crappie are up-feeders so best results often come working…
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3 Reasons to Fish Fast for Panfish

Monday, September 08 2014 3:00 pm - for Panfish
While there is a time and place for slow presentations for panfish, I'm here to tell you that fishing fast is a great way to catch more and bigger sunfish, crappie and yellow perch. Reason 1: It Covers Water and Finds Fish Faster Part of why I like crappie fishing so much is that these fish are such a challenge to track down. Yes, some days their elusiveness leaves me scratching my head, but when I locate a school it makes the hard work worth it. Dillydallying with slow, methodical tactics is not how I search out crappie. It's run-and-gun,…
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3 Ways to Catch the Neglected Rock Bass

Saturday, July 26 2014 6:00 am - for Bass
The lowly rock bass won’t win many popularity contests among anglers. These fish are not sleek and powerful like a landlocked striper. They don’t jump like a belligerent bass or streak through the currents like a rainbow trout   Panfish such as rock bass can be a fill-in for those days when fishing for other gamefish isn't effective. But despite their lack of credentials as a gamefish, these stocky little olive and brass-colored panfish are strangely appealing. Maybe their dependability is what makes them so attractive as a quarry. Rock bass can almost always be counted on as a fill-in…
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Every now and then I get the urge to catch a mess of panfish for a fish fry. Where I live that generally means rock bass, which are in abundance. In fact, they’re common enough to be considered a nuisance fish on most lakes around here. A trick to keep catching larger panfish if your catching runts is to keep moving to find a larger school of specimens. I’d be lying if I told you there was a lot of skill in catching them. They’re plentiful, overly aggressive and will happily take woolly buggers or any other reasonable impersonation of…
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Panfish aka: bluegills, sunfish, crappies, bream, perch, shell crackers, pumpkinseeds, slabs and even smaller walleyes are called "pan" fish for a reason. Properly filleted and fried, they eat s-o-o-o-o-o good! Here's a simple filleting technique for slabs, sunnies, perch, bass or anything else. It's fast, easy, and clean up is a cinch. That way you get to the eating all the sooner! FISH FILLET EQUIPMENT: 1. Fillet Knife — must have a flexible blade that will hold its edge. Grip of hard material such as wood, plastic, etc. is desirable as it provides the best feel. Some filleting techniques especially require…
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Tips for Crappie Lure Colors

Friday, June 20 2014 10:00 am - for Crappie
Lure color is important when it comes to catching crappie. Sometimes, only one color will catch fish; other times several colors work. But sorry folks, there are no precise rules to follow.   Carry a wide variety of fishing lure colors in case the crappie aren't biting. You can try matching the fishing Lure to the color of the water. For example, lime or metallic green in greenish water, motor oil or yellow on yellowish lakes, white or blue when the water is clear. Some anglers like the contrast of bright colors in dark water and dark colors in light…
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