Big crappies pushing the 2-pound mark are trophy specimens by any measure and rarely caught with regularity. This video is aimed squarely at making you a more successful crappie angler. Zeke Anderson of The Bass Tank walks us through how he uses live scanning sonar technology (Garmin LiveScope) to find crappies others have been missing, then delivers refined jig presentations “softly” above their nose to trigger the bite.
Here’s a summary of Johnson’s suspended open water winter crappie program:
- If equipped, use live sonar (LiveScope in this case) to scan open water adjacent to submerged cover like standing timber to determine crappie location relative to the cover.
- Once you locate fish at a distance, quietly approach using your trolling motor and position close enough so you can drop a bait on them vertically.
- Watch sonar intently for bites. If crappies are biting extremely light or eating the bait on the fall, you’ll often feel nothing, so seeing your bait disappear on LiveScope can function as a bite indicator.
- Don’t “plop” the bait during the initial drop into the water; rather, drop it with a soft entry and drift it naturally above their nose. You spook less fish and catch more.
- Once you find the crappies experiment broadly with different bait sizes, profiles, and materials (hair, plastics, etc.).
- Garmin Panoptix LiveScope System (The Bass Tank)
- Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 126sv
- Garmin Force Trolling Motor
- Daiwa Tatula Elite Casting Reel, 6.3:1 size 100
- Seaguar InvizX Fluorocarbon Line, 12lb
- Rapala Touch Screen Tournament Scale
- Big Bite Kamikaze Swimon, 2.5″
- Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchor, Pro Series II
- Power-Pole Drift Paddle