The Pulse

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It’s hard to call vertical fishing a retrieve. But there is an art to it. I’ve been with some pretty good crappie anglers and they have definitely mastered the art of getting a jig to stay deep and still have an enticing action. I call it a pulse. They don’t hop the jig up real high in the water. They almost give the rod tip a heartbeat like pulse. Just pulse the rod tip up a few inches and let the jig settle. Hold it a few seconds. Then pulse agin. The bite happens most often after you pulse, let it get back to depth and sit still for just an instant. It’s like they see it move, turn towards it. And then as they see it sitting there still they suck it in. 

It’s really effective when the fish are down in the cover and casting will get you hung more often than not. I will keep little weights to knock my jig loose if I do get hung vertical pulsing. See how I get them loose here. 

The other thing about the pulse is it’s a great tool to employ on the initial cast with a steady retrieve or in tight lining. Just give the jig a little pulse as it falls. You will be surprised how often that is when the strike occurs on a drop, a tight line and vertically fishing. There is something about a crappie that actually wants to hit a jig at the inaction right after an action. I usually think about my move is just to get the crappie’s attention and then wait for him to bite after I got his attention.