Wally Marshall got his nickname “Mr. Crappie” for a reason, he knows how to catch fish. One of the most overlooked steps in catching crappie, however, is rod control. From cast and retrieve, all the way to hookset and fish fighting, Mr. Crappie lays out his 6 most vital tips on how to control your rod in order to get those giant crappies in the boat.
- PLASTIC – Strike King Mr. Crappie ShadPole Curlytail, Monkey Shine
- JIG – Strike King Mr. Crappie Slab Slasher Jig Head, 1/8-ounce
- ROD – Lew’s Wally Marshall Pro Target Rod, 7′ Medium light
- REEL – Lew’s Mr. Crappie Signature Series Spinning Reel
- LINE – Lew’s Mr. Crappie Hi-Vis Monofilament Line, 6-pound
Wally lays out his 6 most important rod control tips below:
1. Keep rod tip low when fighting fish. This allows you to have ultimate control and fighting power. By fighting a fish with your rod over your head, you also maximize your chances of breaking your rod. Instead, keep your rod low and in control.
2. Maintain a low rod tip when retrieving bait. This is essential in setting the hook once you get a bite. If your rod is up in the air and you get bit, you have nowhere to go with the hookset. Having the rod in a lower position gives you a full range to pin those fish.
3. Use wrist to set hook. It does not take a ‘full wind-up’ hookset to stick a hook in a crappie. By flicking your wrist in an upward direction, you can pin fish without tearing the crappie’s tender mouth.
4. Take your time reeling fish in. Wally stresses not horsing the fish in. Again, with the tenderness of a crappie’s mouth, it is really easy to pull the hook out if you try to hurry the fish in. Take your time, relax, and enjoy the fight!
5. Whip line down after cast. Why? By getting your slack line down at water level, you minimize it getting blown around in the wind. Especially with light crappie baits, creating a bow in your line can result in your bait not reaching its desired depth.
6. Keep in contact with bait. Wally saved one of the most important tips for last. It is essential to stay in contact with your bait at all times so you can feel when you get a bite. If a crappie grabs your lure and your line is not tight, the fish can spit the bait out before you even knew you had it.