Lure of the Month: Crappie Tamer
by Terry Madewell
Crappie fishing is a year-round sport, but it takes a dedicated angler to put slabs in the boat during August.
Pair that angler with a crappie lure specifically designed to tame a crappie in any weather and we’ve got a winning combo. Crappie can be picky about what they choose for a meal. So, make them an offer they can’t refuse.
The TTI Blakemore Team Crappie Crappie Tamer, specifically paired with a 1/16-ounce Roadrunner head with an Indiana blade, is the August Lure of the Month.
Ron Stallings with TTI Blakemore/Team Crappie said the Crappie Tamer’s design included two sizes of jig heads to meet year-round fishing requirements with 1/16-and-1/8-ounce versions.
“The Crappie Tamer is a year-round producer, as was the intention when developed,” Stalling’s said. “But for summer fishing in high water temperatures, the smaller profile is ideal. The 1/16-ounce Roadrunner, with the #4 hook, blends perfectly with the Crappie Tamer.”
The Crappie Tamer was released in the spring of 2020 and Stallings said angler feedback has been amazing. He said one early product test result came from a fisherman in Alabama who, on his first use of the Crappie Tamer, caught 58 crappie in one hour.
“That’s literally almost a fish a minute and the fish ranged in size from 1 ½ pounds to over 2-pounds” he said.
Stallings said the Crappie Tamer is highly versatile for different presentations. One effective tactic he employs is one-poling deep woody structure during the summer.
“Because of the buoyancy of the plastic body paired with the 1/16th ounce head, the lure is highly maneuverable and literally bounces off deep structure instead of clinging and snagging as a heavier bait is prone to do,” Stallings said. “It’s ideal for the deepwater crappie fishing typical of this time of the year.”
Dan Galusha has been a Pro-Staffer for TTI Blakemore for 45-years and has fished the Crappie Tamer extensively. The 71-year-old Galusha from Milan, Illinois is a fulltime outdoor communicator and a member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as a Legendary Communicator.
“The Crappie Tamer plastic has a ringed body that traps air on the cast and releases bubbles on the downfall creating a frequency that crappie pick up on their lateral line,” Galusha said. “That’s crucial in dark, or deep, water. Also, I dip the flared tail in a scent attractor, adding scent release to the attraction components. The Road Runner head completes the lure’s profile.”
Galusha said the sound, scent, and vibration from the lure body, coupled with the flash and vibration of the Roadrunner head, creates a unique sound blast coupled with flash and vibration.
The Crappie Tamer is effective in multiple presentations including vertical jigging and cast and retrieve, but Galusha developed a “Finger Jigging” tactic that’s lethal with the Crappie Tamer.
“For Finger Jigging, the reel can be any spinning model that fits comfortably in the hand and any rod will work, but I like the 7-foot Shakespeare Agility,” he said. “This rod is ideal for action, playing fish, strike detection, and casting distance. My choice of line is NanoFil in 8-pound-test that provides better jigging with its “no stretch” attribute.”
Galusha said the technique is simply reeling and sticking your index finger straight down to bump the line.
“Every time the line makes a revolution it bumps the finger, making the rod tip jump, thus jigging the lure,” he said. “A faster retrieve makes the jig bounce in shorter jumps, while slowing it down gives it a longer rhythm. A uniform rhythm with quicker/natural bouncing to the jigging action is the major reason for this technique’s success.”
Galusha said all that remains is to vary speed and depth when working out the retrieve pattern.
The Crappie Tamer lives up to the named billing by offering multiple crappie-attractors packed into one profile package. We’ve still got to find the crappie and make the right presentation. But this lure tames the appetite of crappie year-round, and certainly during the dog-days of summer.
Terry Madewell of Ridgeway, S.C. has been an outdoor communicator for more than 45 years. He holds a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Management and has a long career as a professional wildlife biologist/natural resources manager. He’s passionate about sharing outdoor adventures with others.