Crappie Basics Techniques

Crappie Tips – Trolling for Pre-Spawners

Longline trolling is a proven March technique for putting big numbers of pre-spawn crappie in the livewell. (Photo: Richard Simms)


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In most Southern states March is prime time for catching pre-spawn crappie. In many lakes, rather than orienting to structure, crappie are on the move in open water – basically migrating from deeper winter holding areas into shallower creeks and coves. They are also often following bait schools.

So how deep should you fish?

Your lake is likely to vary but in many cases pre-spawn fish will be holding only 5-10 feet deep, even in 25 feet of water.

If you are longline trolling 1/16th ounce jigs on 6-pound test line, moving at 0.7 mph on a 60-foot line, your jigs will likely be running about 9 feet deep.

This article from The Magnolia Crappie Club in North Mississippi provides an outstanding lesson in longlining, including a trolling depth chart.

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