Now, everybody pretty much knows that crappie are my favorite fish to catch. I’m usually ninety-percent artificial lure using and ninety-nine catch and release. I’ve got plenty of pics posted here and there on social media and the like to serve as a reference to my past successes, so I never feel the need to have a taxidermy replica laying around. Besides, I like to let the big ones go, regardless if I decide to keep a batch or not.
Over the years, I have become pretty good at plucking some fourteen-inch plus-sized crappie out of the nastiest submerged brush piles you’ve ever seen. Now, I have had great success with slider jigs and paddle tail grubs, but I have had far more success with my version of a dropshot rig. What’s a dropshot you ask? Well, it’s nothing more than a weight being tied onto the lowest position on your line and your hook or jig being tied on anywhere from a few to several inches above it.
When I started playing with this rig years ago, I would use a size seven or five split shot and would just press it together with my fingers. It held on the line to give it the weight I needed to get it down in the thick of it, but if it got tangled it would slip off the line freeing the rig.
I said used to. That was until my friend, Mark Lick of Sink’em Sinkers, introduced me to his line of quick release dropshot weights. These things go on like a breeze, and the good thing is they will slide off if I get lodged in a bad place. All I have to do is attach another one, and back to thumping tree branches we go. What is nice about the design of these is if I feel like 1/8 ounce is too much, I can just take my snips and cut a chunk of lead off if it to make a 1/16 ounce or 1/32 ounce just that easily.
The main reason I like the dropshot set up like this is I can feel the structure I’m fishing. Just like a blind man using a cane to detect his surroundings. I do the same with the lead at the bottom of the line. I’m tapping my way around the brush while keeping my bait suspended off the bottom. I use a twelve-inch ultra-light BnM rod paired with four-pound fluorocarbon. The rig is well tuned, and I feel everything from mud to grass to wood.
When you have your gear synced up, you should be able feel the slightest nibble. The rig works well with live minnows or shad type plastics like the Bobbie Garland series. I normally use a size four Mustad Aberdeen hook with minnows or a size two Gamakatsu dropshot hook with plastic. It also works well with hair jigs like the 1/32 ounce “popeye” by Leland lures.
In two weeks, check back to learn more of Jerry’s tips and tricks for dropshot crappie fishing.