Crappie Fishing

Sight Fishing Big Crappies with Jerkbaits and Jigs

Wired2fish multi-species guru McKeon “Keys” Roberts loves targeting big crappies when they hit the shallows in the spring. He shares a unique lure approach involving jerkbaits and a jig and plastic suspended below a bobber; this system allows Keys to cover water, find active fish, and tease tentative ones with the bobber offering.

TACKLE USED
JERKBAIT SETUP
JIG AND BOBBER SETUP

Sun, coupled with little to no wind and a good pair of polarized sunglasses, makes searching the shallows fun and productive. Roberts uses micro jerkbaits to pitch around and trigger bites from the biggest and most active crappies. Suspending or slow-sink models come through dead vegetation surprisingly well. He drops anchor when fish are located and will switch up to an insect-imitating micro plastic suspended below a float — this system allows him to keep a bait in their face, which triggers crappies locked onto cover or a bed.

Gear is crucial for both tactics. Roberts uses a shorter rod setup for accurate jerkbait pitch casting around cover and a much longer rod for dangling bait in their face. The longer rod also excels at extracting fish vertically out of the cover instead of through it, resulting in a better hook-to-land ratio. He prefers a bright-colored braid for each tactic, which aids in bite detection with the low stretch and power to extract crappies from heavy cover.

BOAT AND MOTOR
BOAT CONTROL (TROLLING MOTORS AND SHALLOW WATER ANCHOR)
FISH FINDERS
BATTERIES AND CHARGER
OTHER GEAR