February 2021 Techniques

Crappie Basics – Slow Down!

Swapping a regular jig head the same size head equipped with a spinning blade can sometimes be just enough to slow your bait down and entice winter crappie.

Crappie Basics – Slow Down!


One of the best ways to slow presentations for winter-chilled crappie is to alter size or shape of your offering.

Crappie are cold-blooded critters. We all know that and it would serve most of us well to pause and consider that simple bit of biology and what it means to crappie fishermen.

Falling water temperatures and corresponding falling fish body temperatures result in lower metabolism rates in the crappie. That means the fish can’t move as quickly and they have less of a need for meals. But present the right lure to them, slowly, and no self-respecting crappie can ignore it.

Various factors include size, weight and body material impact the sink rate. More appendages, especially broad flat-sided or cupped appendages, equate to added water resistance, as do body rings and other contours that add surface area. Bushy skirts on hair jigs have a similar effect.

Spinning blades also moderate the speed of bait because of added water resistance. A simple way to slow overall bait movement for any presentation that involves a jighead is to replace a regular head with a Road Runner head of the same size. Whether you’re slow trolling live minnows on plain heads or vertical jigging tubes, Road Runners slow fall rates just a bit while at the same time adding flash.

Read much more about “tempered action” here.

(Jeff Samsel is the Content Specialist for the Rebel Lure Company. From Clarkesville, Georgia has been a full-time professional writer, photographer and editor for more than 25 years. You can follow Jeff on his blog, www.jeffsamsel.blogspot.com, on Twitter (jeffsamsel) or on Facebook (jeffsamselfishing).)

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