July 2020 Techniques

Crappie Tips: Crappie from a Party Barge, by Tim Huffman

This Ranger 223FC is a great option for a family-fun party barge that also provides a great fishing platform.


Crappie Tips: Crappie from a Party Barge

Big pontoon boats are mostly designed for large groups to enjoy time on the water. But rig it out right and you can catch crappie while you party.

by Tim Huffman


Most serious crappie anglers have fishing boats well-designed specifically for the purpose. But in the summer especially, lots of anglers like to hit the water on pontoon boats big enough to carry a bunch of family and friends to “party.”

But that doesn’t mean you can’t catch crappie while you’re at it.

Ideally you will install a few rod holders on the pontoon handrails. The best technique is to use 10-16 foot crappie poles rigged with a fairly heavy sinker to keep lines vertical as you drift. Of course, you can also troll slowly if your pontoon boat is equipped with a trolling motor.

Finding a flat adjacent to a creek channel or deeper water is a good place to start.

Initially set multiple lines tipped with minnows at differing depths. If you catch a couple of fish on the same rod at the same depth, set all lines to the same depth.

Whether you catch a lot of fish or not, a few rods over the side will always give youngsters, or the young at heart, some extra entertainment while enjoying a day on the lake.

More on this and other great tips available in the book “Limiting Out for Crappie.”

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