Many times, when trolling crankbaits anglers may not catch as many crappie, but the ones they do catch are likely to be quality fish. (Photo: Richard Simms)
Crappie Tips: Trolling Crankbaits
When trolling crankbaits, keeping up with depth and line length is essential.
by Tim Huffman
When the post-spawn rolls around crappie anglers need to change out techniques they were routinely using during the pre-spawn and spawning period. Crappie back off into deeper water either suspending or orienting to deep structure.
Trolling crankbaits is an excellent “search and destroy” technique. Some anglers prefer to key in on deep creek channels. In many cases they may not catch as many crappie, however the ones they do catch will likely be quality fish.
Other anglers prefer trolling open water flats, looking for suspended fish. Initially set multiple lines at vary lengths which will put crankbaits at varying depths. But often a pattern will emerge and you should set all lines equal distance to keep lures at the same depth.
Line-counter reels are extremely helpful, but not essential. Use high-viz line and carry a permanent magic marker with you. Once you determine the best depth/line length, mark your high-viz line with the magic marker. When you’re letting line out just watch for the magic marker spot to know when you’re reached the proper distance/depth.
More on this and other great tips available in the book “Limiting Out for Crappie.”