When all else fails to catch crappie, try THIS…

Water still cold? Well, here’s a bunch of crappie fishing tips that work like crazy when it’s cold, including a bunch more to shove up your sleeve, and pull out when it gets warmer…
Pay special attention to a sneaky technique I want you to try when ALL ELSE FAILS…it’s killer.

And always remember that nothing works 100% of the time with crappie fishing. Kinda like life, no guarantees.

We’re dealing with mother nature and the response you get from trying different things can change with the winds.

Now, if you want to actually discover how to “use” mother nature AGAINST the crappie…so more of them end up on your line, I’ve got 12 old guys who are going to take turns showing you some unbelievably powerful “old school” crappie catchin’ secrets.

Straight outta the backwoods!

Old School Crappie Fishing Secrets From 12 Backcountry Crappie Masters!

Here are just 3 killer tactics they’ll show you, out of hundreds!

* How to doctor up any bait (or jig) so it creates a crappie blood lust. It causes crappie to lock on to your bait and HAMMER IT… even if you are fishing next to an expert! (This unique biological trick is so simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it first

* How to use a pill bottle and a common household item to make “catnip for crappie”… and doctor your baits with it! (Steve got the base formula from an old guy who used it to catch 78 crappie compared to Steve’s 26! Steve has since perfected his homemade “crappie catnip” formula…)

* A special herb to tip your hook with that surrounds minnows with an irresistible smell, attracting hundreds of crappie! (I’ve actually seen crappie ignore regular minnows, to attack a minnow with the “smell”)

…and much, much more!

It’s all here:

Old School Crappie Fishing Secrets From 12 Backcountry Crappie Masters!

Now, on with your tips for this week…


A lot of the time, the difference between catching crappie, or coming home empty is simply some knowledge, rather than your equipment. Depth-Finders, $10,000 Crappie Boats, $100.00 specialty Crappie rods and other Tournament gear is great if you like it, and can afford it, but a little knowledge will do more for your success than all of that gear put together.

The first, and most important thing is to understand your quarry. Crappie are schooling predators that cover large areas of water at times, chasing schools of baitfish. Crappie are almost exclusively fish-eaters. Night crawlers aren’t going to work.

There are two species of Crappie. They are : Black Crappie (Promoxis nigro-maculatus)- The Black Crappie is, as the name implies, darker than the White Crappie, has 7-8 dorsal spines, has very pronounced spotting on the sides, and prefers larger, cleaner and more acidic lakes. They are more predominate in the Northern states, but their range frequently overlaps with the White Crappie. Their habits are very similar.

Inter-breeding between the two species is very rare, but not unheard of. Black Crappie have also interbred with Flier Sunfish (Centrarchus macropterus) in a few rare instances.

White Crappie (Promoxis annularis)-The White Crappie is lighter colored, has 6 dorsal spines, 8-9 vertical darker-colored bands on the sides, and is found more frequently in the southern states. The White Crappie prefers quite backwaters, and slow rivers, but is present in many larger impoundments as well. The White Crappie can tolerate more turbid waters then the Black Crappie.

Both the black and white crappie grow to over five pounds while three quarters of a pound to a pound is more typical. Crappie are very season oriented. Their behavior can be broken down into 4 distinct seasons:

1. Pre-Spawn is when the water temperature approaches 60 degrees. In the south, this can be as early as Feb., and in the north, as late as May, or June. Crappie that have been holding in their winter habitat will begin to move along lines of cover towards shallower water (8-10ft), starting with the males. They will congregate for a short while, then move into water as shallow as 2-3 ft. near cover to build nests. The females soon follow, and pick a male to breed with. Crappie can be caught with live minnows and jigs fairly easily at this time.

2. Spawn is when the females have picked a male to breed with, moved into the nest, laid eggs, and allowed the male to fertilize them. Then, the females take-off for deeper water, leaving the males to guard the nest until the fry hatch. This occurs when the water temperature is between 60-65 degrees. At this time, the males will attack ANYTHING that comes near the nest, so catching them is child’s play. A cane pole with a minnow, or jig works as good as anything.

3. Post Spawn is when the males are done, and both the males and females school back up, and move along cover to deeper water to sulk, and recover. They have a maddening habit of suspending at a particular depth, with no relation to any cover, and refuse to move more than a few inches to take a bait. At this time, they are very moody and uncooperative. This is some of the hardest crappie fishing of the year. As the water gets warmer, they go into their summer mode of migrating in search of baitfish, and preferred temperature. You will usually find them at, or near the thermo cline, along structure, and large schools of baitfish, especially small shad. They can be as deep as 30 feet during the day; and as shallow as 5 feet at night. But when you do find them, they will actively feed.

4. Winter-When the water temperature drops to the low 60s, crappie will move to 15-20 ft. of water and suspend over structure. They will stay here all winter, until the Pre- Spawn. They will still feed, but the key here is ‘Small and Slow’. Use very small jigs or minnows, and they must be presented almost in their face.

But there is some great crappie action to be had at this time of year due to less fishing pressure, and they don’t move around as much. When crappie get ‘Lock-Jaw’, here is a trick to entice them into action that is very effective at times. You need two rods, one rigged with a jig, or minnow, under a bobber, and the other rigged with a larger crank bait or spinner. Cast the bobber rig out and let it settle for a bit at a suitable depth. Then, cast the lure out beyond the bobber, and reel it rapidly towards the bobber rig. Keep doing this, and you will get lots of hits on the bobber rig. Crappie think the lure is another fish about to chow-down on your bobber rig, so they will try to beat it to the punch.

When you are night fishing, put your extra minnows in a glass jar, seal it with the lid, and tie a rope to the jar and suspend it a foot or two under the surface, just within the circle of your fishing light. Drop your line near the jar. Crappie will see the minnows in the jar and make a serious effort to ruin their day, grabbing your offering in the process.

When all else fails, try a double jig rig, with a chartreuse jig on top, and a yellow or white one underneath. Suspend them under a slip bobber, and give them a little jerk once in a while. Double hook-ups are not uncommon with this rig.

You can also try fly fishing. Any streamer fly pattern works, but the very best patterns are small Clouser minnows, and Crappie candy.

Happy Fishing.


No better time to give these tips a whirl than this weekend. And make sure to let me know what’s working best for you.

I might just feature your story or tip in an issue of this newsletter! :)

I’ll see you next week…

Gone Fishin’,

Bob Cross

P.S. WARNING: some of these crappie catchin’ tricks are NOT for the squeamish.

Serious crappie fishermen who aren’t afraid of a little slime ONLY:

Old School Crappie Fishing Secrets From 12 Backcountry Crappie Masters!



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Some people think this crappie jig won’t work. They’ re dead WRONG

This Friday is all about technique, technique, technique…

Lots of guys out there focus too much on what bait… and not enough on how and WHERE to fish it. Big no, no. You’ve gotta pay attention to all key crappie catching factors equally. You’ve gotta know the little tips and tricks around each. And we go into a few of them in today’s newsletter alone.

Now, if you want access to more inside secrets to catching crappie than you could ever test out in a lifetime…

… each one delivered by old crappie fishing gurus (some of whom are as old as dirt…)

… each one tested through the decades… each one proven to put food on the table…

Feast your eyes on this:

Old School Crappie Fishing Secrets From 12 Backcountry Crappie Masters!

…and check out just a few of the things these old masters reveal:

* An easy secret for catching crappie with flies (It will blow your friends away when they see crappies go “airborne” to grab your fly!)

* How to doctor up any bait (or jig) so it creates a crappie blood lust. It causes crappie to lock on to your bait and HAMMER IT… even if you are fishing next to an expert! (This unique biological trick is so simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it first)

* A simple method of “programming” your fishing rig to target the exact depth crappie are schooling! (This simple tactic will allow you to find and target the sweet spot again, and again, and again…with the same rod you’ve always used)

* And so much more…

It’s all here:

Old School Crappie Fishing Secrets From 12 Backcountry Crappie Masters!

…and you can try every inside crappie fishing old school secret for a full year before you decide if this is for you. It’s a good day to seize the advantage all to yourself…right here at the beginning of spring!

Now…onward with your Friday crappie tips!


Many people have trouble catching crappie on jigs, especially when the fish get sulky.

This will sound over-simplified, but the difference between going home empty, or filling a fish basket up is simply proper techniques for the prevailing conditions. During the spawn, anyone can catch crappie, on just about anything, but in Post-Spawn mode, crappie tend to be moody and uncooperative.

Many times, they will suspend at a certain depth, without regard to cover, and refuse anything unless it just about swims into their mouth on it’s own. Here are some tricks that will boost your harvest next time.

First, let’s talk about equipment. If you are going to be a serious year-around crappie angler, there are a few thing you MUST have. You’ll need a boat, of some kind. It needn’t be a $14,000 Tournament boat. Any dinghy, skiff, canoe, kayak, inflatable, Jon Boat, or even a Float Tube will work in many instances.

I use a Kayak, Canoe and Float-Tube, myself. You’ll need a depth-finder, but the portable units work fine. Next, the main rods you will need are crappie poles in 10′, and 12′ lengths. They can be true poles, or have reel seats. B & N makes several great models.

You need a ultra light reel and 4 lb. test Trilene. I use nothing else for crappie.

As to jig selection, you can fill a tackle box up quickly (and you no doubt will) with the plethora of different heads and bodies available, but to start with, I’d keep it simple.

Nothing out fishes the plain-old 1/16th oz. marabou jig. They come in all colors, and combinations, and are dirt-cheap. Next, I d have a good supply of small tube jigs. And, a good assortment of twister tails rounds out the well-equipped arsenal.

The best colors are Chartreuse and Yellow, with white being a good second choice early in the season. In murky waters, use lighter and brighter colors. At night, use all-black.

Top all this off with a good brand of scent, like Smelly Jelly, or Berkley Baitmate, in Minnow and Shad flavors.

Now, what to do with all this gear? Here are the proper techniques to use in different situations.

Still-Fish-For some reason, a lot of people think that a jig is not effective unless it’s moving. This is definitely a false assumption. When crappie are moody, they get ultra lazy, and will refuse anything moving fast enough to have to make them expend any energy to get it. Sometimes people fish right in the middle of a large school of crappie, and never get a hit, because they are moving the jig. After locating a school with your depth-finder, watch them for a minute. If they are stationary, chances are they are moody.

Now is the time for still fishing a jig. They will usually suspend near the thermo cline, which can be anywhere from 10-20′ deep in most places. Take your 12′ rod, tie a jig on the end of the line, then hold the pole straight up and down. Let line out until the jig is even with the butt of the pole. This is all the line you need out. Now, drop the jig straight down, and just let it set. Every few minutes, you can slowly move the jig around a little.

Soon, a crappie will slam the jig.

Down-Jigging – After a cold front moves through, the barometric pressure will go up, and the crappie will be uncooperative. They will usually go to the bottom in 10′-15′ of water, with their noses tight in cover. Hover your jig about 1′ off the bottom for several seconds, then, suddenly and sharply, drop your rod tip 2-3 inches, to make the jig drop sharply.

The sudden drop often triggers strikes from fish that were too lazy to hit even a stationary jig.

Slow -Rise -When down-jigging doesn’t work, allow you jig to suspend 2-3 inches off the bottom for a few seconds, then slooooowly raise your rod tip up about a foot. Hold it there for around 15 seconds, then sloooowly allow it to drop back down. Be ready to set the hook at anytime. Crappie will usually hit the jig on the rise, or fall.

Finger-Popping-in situations where the fish are a bit more aggressive, you can trigger strikes by grasping the line above the reel between the thumb and forefinger, With your free fingers, repeatedly ‘flick’ the line, making the jig ‘dance’ underwater. Any crappie watching the jig can’t resist nailing it.

High-Hopping-when crappie get inactive immediately after spawning, here is a trick to entice them a bit. Drop your line to within 2 inches of the bottom, and set it set for a few seconds. The sharp[y pull up 2-3 feet, and let the jig fall back down. This can trigger some Vicious strike.

Studying your quarry helps a lot. Learn about crappie habits, and use these techniques and you will seldom get ‘skunked’.

Happy Fishing


Anyway…thanks for checking out the crappie fishing tips, and I’ll be sending more
next Friday…like clockwork!

You don’t wanna miss it…

Gone Fishin’,

Bob Cross

P.S. You also don’t want to miss this.

Don’t let another springtime pass without grabbing the biggest crappie fishing advantage I’ve ever seen.

Unfair? Some say…


Old School Crappie Fishing Secrets From 12 Backcountry Crappie Masters!

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