Reelfoot Lake Guide Billy Blakely shows off the kind of crappie the right technique can produce on the Northeast Tennessee Lake. (Photo: Richard Simms)
Crappie Basics – Summer Tips from the Tournament Trail
CrappieNOW Senior Writer Tim Huffman talks to some crappie pros about their summer techniques:
“Reelfoot’s my home lake so shallow water lily pads are key summer spots,” he said. “We usually fish three feet deep, straight off bottom and don’t bounce the jig.”
Griffin usually fishes a straight jig, no scent and no minnow.
“I put the jig into the spots where I don’t’ think the jig will go. The thicker the pads the better. Nine out of ten times the best spot will be where it’s difficult to get the jig in.”
Gants says summer tactics depend upon the lake you’re fishing. “Pickwick (Gant’s home lake) has plenty of oxygen because of the river and current. You can catch fish deep all summer. In other lakes fish will suspend up in the water because of the thermocline.
“I fish the thermocline just like I will the bottom. You can look on the depth finder to see where the fish are suspended.”
McElroy likes to fast troll but in the summer he goes to tightlining.
“I try to find structure that’s holding fish, he said. “They can be cantankerous on the bite and that’s when good baits make a difference. I use meal worms like I do a minnow to tip a jig. Or, I’ll add a piece after I put the minnow on a plain hook. It doesn’t guarantee that you’ll catch fish but it can help when the fish are not cooperative.”