The Reel Deal: Spider-Rigging
by Lindsey Lucas
(Editor’s Note: Please welcome a new writer to the already long-list of CrappieNOW contributors. Lindsey Lucas brings a new spin to our ezine pages. At only 15 years old, this young lady is already obsessed with all things outdoors. She comes by her outdoor passion honestly, having grown up in the woods and on the water with her father, Kody Lucas. Our hope is that Lindsey will help us reach out to a younger demographic – a demographic we all want to see enjoying the outdoor life. But there is a good chance Lindsey will offer some good info for the gray hairs in our crowd as well.)
If you want to fill your boat with big slabs, you should try spider rigging!
I find it bizarre when I’m talking fishing with my friends and a lot of them don’t know what spider rigging is. In my opinion, spider rigging is one of the most exciting ways to fish for crappie. I always get excited when I explain spider rigging to someone. Spider rigging is when you use lots of fishing poles, often eight or more, on your boat held in rod holders. Hence the name – spider-rigging – because it can sort of make your boat look like a spider crawling along the surface of the lake.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the original single pole fishing – just casting one fishing rod outfitted with a float and a minnow or a plastic jig.
However, with spider rigging, there’s nothing like going through a school of crappie and all eight poles start to dance like a spider that stepped on a hot stove. That’s when you know you’re in for a treat!
If you don’t have the fancy electronics to help you find what depth the fish are, you can set the line of each pole at different depths until you find where they are located. After you find the correct depth and where the fish are, be prepared to rip some lips!
A lot of times when my dad and I are spider rigging, we do what he calls double-rigging. Double-rigging is where you put one jig at the end of the line and another jig approximately two to three feet above the first one.
When double-rigging, you can cover two depths of water at the same time.
When choosing rods for spider rigging, there are several lengths to consider. Most people use 12-, 14- or 16-foot rods. We prefer 16-foot rods so our baits get farther away from our boat and the fish are less likely to get scared off before they even see our lures.
I’ve been fishing with people that used different length rods at the same time. They all work the same and you’ll still catch good fish, it’s mainly based on personal preference.
When choosing your rods for this set up, there are several colors to choose from, some having brightly-colored tips. We like to use rods with chartreuse tips so it’s easier for us to notice a bite.
No matter how many times I’ve been fishing, I learn something new every time. One thing I’ve learned with spider rigging is a fisherman can use artificial bait, live bait or get the best of both worlds, a jig tipped with a minnow! I have fished all three ways, but it truly just depends on what the fish are biting that day.
Spider rigging could be your best option if you want to catch your limit and your time on the water is limited!