Summer Crappie Locations And Tactics

There’s a myth that crappies strictly school and suspend during the summer when they actually can be belly to the bottom this time of year.

Start by searching deep water. Sunken islands are good places to start, along with rock piles, and deep weed points. Check out deeper water near the spawning grounds you targeted a month ago.

Crappies also can roam a main basin (not just bays!) on their quest for food. Electronics are very valuable in this search. Motor around some of these structure locations and monitor the bottom, though crappies also will suspend.

Your crappie search should start with lakes that offer a good size profile of fish. Look for lakes with a solid walleye population. If you’re looking for big fish, then consider larger bodies of water. Rule of thumb: Lakes with good walleye and bass fishing often have good crappie fishin.

If you find suspended fish, you’re going to see a school and you may have to assume that you’re seeing crappies. (It’s obviously easier if you’re on a good crappie lake).

It may take 30- to 45 minutes to find fish, but that’s time well spent, because otherwise we’re working dead water and wasting time.

Crappies will relate to a deep weedlines on some mid-age lakes, say 10- to 17 feet. These typically are good walleye lakes with solid natural reproduction. Avoid dark and shallow lakes.

Crappies do bite in the heart of summer, and if they’re not, then you’re just not looking in right spots!

Try These Tactics
How about some top tactics for summer crappies? For warm-weather slabs, I outfit a 7- to 7-1/2-foot rod with 4-pound-test line, and I make sure it has a soft tip to detect subtle crappie bites.

Summer crappies do bite, but it may not be sharp. So concentrate on your rod tip. Watch for any kind of movement. I’ll run the line from my spinning reel over my thumb or forefinger to pick up those real sensitive bites.

As for technique, start with small jigs, 1⁄32- to 1⁄64-ouncers. Anything too heavy and crappies will blow it out. In rivers or rough water, you may be forced into the 1⁄16– or 1⁄8-ounce range, but when in doubt, stay small. Tube jigs, Power Grubs and hair jigs, are very productive, too.

With plastics, don’t put a large curly-tailed tail on a small light jig. It acts and looks unnatural and twists line.

With live bait rigging, use three-way swivel rigs with minnows and cruise slowly and quietly with yourelectric trolling motor. Other live bait rigs employ a No. 0 blade, and I also try jig-spins — trolled or cast.

I’ll use crappie minnows and fatheads, and I’ll hook them through the tail to telegraph more struggling action to the fish.

With real inactive fish, we’ll use a plain jig head, no dressing and live bait, just like when we’re walleye fishing. The simple rule is “slow and small” with real inactive fish, and “larger and fast” with more active fish.

Once you pinpoint crappie locations, consider a float system. I’m more productive if I don’t anchor.

Oh yeah, and crappies are still delicious eating in the summer! I hear a lot of people say that crappie fillets are too soft in summer, so here’s what you do about that: Fillet the fish, put it in a container with some ice cubes on top with a paper towel, then put in the fridge. That firms those fillets right up!

4 Quick Tips for Selecting the Right Crankbaits

Keep in mind that the bigger the “lip” or “bill” (clear plastic piece on the front of the lure), the deeper the lure will dive. If you know you’ll be fishing deeper water (15 to 20 feet), look for a larger, rounded bill.
If you plan to fish a shallower area with cover, try selecting a few medium or shallow running crankbaits with square-bills.

 

Lipless quarter ounce crank baits are good to try when fishing shallow water (2 to 5 feet) because of the sounds and vibrations they put off.

 

 

 

Crankbaits with rattles are good to try when the water is a bit discolored or muddy. If the fish seem pressured or if the water is clear, try using a crankbait without a rattle.

    

You’ll find that crankbaits are just great to fish with due to their versatility. Stumps, timber, brush piles, ledges, docks or rock piles are all good places to test them out. Ideally, you want your crankbait hitting some sort of structure or cover to create an erratic motion that causes a reaction strike from the bass.

 

4 Best Lures For Stream and River Trout Fishing

The biggest question most trout anglers face when they head to the water is which lure to tie on first. There are as many lures available as there are rivers and streams snaking across North America, and picking the right one is a tough choice.

One of my personal favorite lure types for trout would have to be crank baits. They are absolutely deadly for pulling out the largest trout in the river.
Of course there are a lot of different live baits that will also be practically unfair, they are so effective for large trout. I will list these brown trout baits and lures individually for your consideration.

1. Mepps Aglia

These lures have proven themselves to be possibly the top producing trout spinners in the world . The blades rotate even at very slow retrieval rates, and their compact design allow for far-reaching casts for the shore-bound angler. When trolling, I find these lures tend to ride up in the water column and need to be weighted to be fished effectively (contrary to the flatfish, spinners are very ineffective surface lures- the blade just wont spin). Check out these spinner fishing tricks to fish them even more effectively.

The Mepps Aglia spinner

Alright, colors and sizes. My favorite color is the original model with the bare gold spoon. Option two would be the same with a bare silver spoon. As for size, i would first reach for the 1/8 oz. Under most circumstances this is the best size and weight. In bigger or faster water,1/4 might be a better bet. In gin clear water, I might size down to a 1/16.

2. Rapala ( X-rap, Husky Jerk and Original Floater )

Trout Lures such as the Rapala X-rap, Husky jerk and floating Rapala’s have always been a standard for hooking large fish. The suspending nature of the X-raps and Husky Jerks will encourage strikes from very big trout. They will stay down in the strike zone, allowing you to concentrate on small twitches and jerks to bring the strike from the trout. One potential disadvantage to these lures is that sinking and suspending lures tend to find logjams and hangups easily. When this turns out to be the case, or when you are fishing in a little more shallow water, a floating Rapala or similar trout lure might be called for. It seems that the floating nature of these lures will encourage a strike from a fish that otherwise might not have hit.

Rapala Original Floater

Another advantage to these floating lures is their ability to avoid hanging up. As soon as you stop reeling, the lure floats over an obstacle if you manage to notice it. If you can see the obstacle coming, by either slowing your rate of reeling in, or totally stopping, you can save your lure from certain doom.

3. Ugly Duckling® 4F

A streamlined and slim shape as well as subtle work that is perfectly felt on the rod, is ideal solution for  large trout in streams and rivers. Ugly Duckling 4 F will be perfectly suitable for trout in mountain rivers, where it is necessary to penetrate the rocky bottom in a fast current. This is another lure by Ugly Duckling company, that charmed many anglers with its work. These micro crankbaits measure 1 5/8” ( 4cm )  overall including the diving lip and have a tight wobble swimming action that drives trouts of all sizes crazy.

 

Ugly Duckling Wobbler 4F

Features

  • Balsa Wood Construction
  • Natural Minnow Profile
  • VMC® Black Nickel Hooks
  • Stainless Through Wire Construction
  • Hand Tuned & Tank Tested
  • Unique Wobble Action

4. Panther Martin

To be more precise, the Panther Martin spinner (they are known for they’re spinner but make a variety of other lures now). I love this lure! In fact, I have a pretty spendy spinning setup that I have devoted just to this lure; it never comes off (except to change it to another size maybe). I would say 80% of the time when targeting trout somewhere new, I will try this lure first. In my book, this is the best all around trout lure ever made.

Panther Martin In-Line Spinner

The compact design allows for tremendous casting radius and allows the lure to work deep in streams. Favorite color: Black body with Green spots (yellow spots work alright too) with a gold blade and Yellow body with red dots with a silver blade.

HOW TO CATCH TROPHY WALLEYE

HOW TO CATCH TROPHY WALLEYE

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All dedicated walleye anglers seek to catch a 10+ lb. walleye, considered by many, a once-in-a-lifetime prize catch. To accomplish this task one must recognize the variety of waters that yield big walleye, using the proper fishing presentations and fishing the best times of the year which increase your chances of landing that trophy walleye.

Walleyes in the North tend to have a much longer life span even though their growth rates are not as high as in the South, but the North still produces many more walleye of 10 lb. plus.

27.25

 

Large walleyes are exceedingly cautious and wary, if they hear or feel anything unusual they stop feeding and head for deeper water. This why only 2 of 1000 walleyes reach this magic 10 pound size.   Our guides know this and use big fish strategies that result in catching many huge walleyes annually.

Big Water Big Walleye:

When considering trophy walleye waters big is best, a large body of water (5000 acres+) like Wawang Lake is more likely to support big walleye populations than smaller lakes (500-1000 acres). Competition for food, living space and angling pressure reduces the possibility on smaller waters for walleyes to achieve trophy status.

Large lakes provide an abundance of usable forage (minnows and lake herring), open space and due to large size angling pressure is reduced.

Best Times to Catch Trophy Walleye:

There are four major periods during the year when the odds increase to catch a trophy walleye, however we will only describe three of them since Wawang Lake has no winter fishing pressure:

Spring

Pre Spawn: During the pre-spawn period, large numbers of big females stage into a relatively small area. Although they are not feeding aggressively, you may be able to catch a fish or two due to the sheer numbers present. The pre spawn bite is good until spawning begins.

 Summer

Post Spawn: A few weeks after spawning the big females recover from and start to bite again but finding them is difficult as they are scattered. You may catch an occasional large walleye, but seldom more than one. Your chances of finding a concentration of big walleyes are much better after they have settled into their typical deeper water summer locations. The best fishing begins about five to six weeks after spawning and generally lasts two to three weeks.

Fall

Late-fall: Fishing is unpredictable, the toughest part is to locate the walleye, but if you do find them a high percentage will be big. The majority of large walleyes caught in late fall are females. Their feeding for the development of eggs for the spring spawn, females must consume more food than males, up to six times more according to feeding studies.

Winter
Wawang Lake has no winter pressure (fishing) and therefore our fisheries remains healthy with strong genetics and lineage.

In waters that stratify, after the fall turnover is completed the depths are warmer than the shallows. Big walleyes may swim into shallow water for short feeding sprees in the evening, but during the day they may be found as deep as 50 feet. Although difficult to find, they form tight schools, so you may be able to catch several from the same area.

 

Trophy Walleye Presentations:

Locating big walleyes is half the equation and other half is the proper fishing presentation. Here are a few tips to help you land big walleyes.

  • For position fishing, idle or use an electric trolling motor past the spot you’re fishing and set your anchor at a distance, let the wind drift you over the spot.
  • For trolling use inline planer boards that spread the fishing lines off to the side of your boat.  Remember large walleyes are exceedingly cautious and wary, if they hear or feel anything unusual they stop feeding and move.

Most often large female walleyes will relate to a piece of structure similar to the smaller males, but will hang 10 to 15 feet deeper this is attributed to a walleye’s increasing sensitivity to light as it grows older. In addition, bigger walleyes prefer cooler water, and they can usually find it by moving deeper.

Increase your chances for big walleyes by fishing in the shallows during low-light periods, especially in spring and fall.  If the water is very clear, or if there is a great deal of boat traffic, big walleyes will feed almost exclusively at night. During the daytime they prefer relatively deep water, deeper than the areas where you typically find smaller walleyes.

In deep northern lakes, the shallow water temperature stays cool enough for big walleyes through the summer. If the walleyes can find boulders or other shallow-water cover to provide shade from the sun they may spend the summer at depths of 10 feet or less. In these lakes, most anglers fish too deep.

Increase the size your live bait or lures, they maybe too small to interest a trophy walleye. Many times large walleyes are caught on musky/pike baits in the 6″ – 8″ range. Larger baits will draw far fewer strikes than small ones, and most anglers are not willing to fish all day for one or two opportunities.  But if you are intent on catching a trophy that is the price you must pay.

Ugly Duckling Fantasy  7 J-MR

Ugly Duckling Lures 7J MR

 

Big walleyes are extremely cautious, especially in clear water. You don’t need to over-rig your set-up. They’re more likely to take a bait using a size 6 hook using 6-8lb test line than 12-17lb test with a 1/0 or bigger hook. A small hook will allow the walleye to swallow the bait without feeling anything unusual and will not pull-out or break. Most large walleyes are caught away from snags and take your time to bring the fish in allowing the rod, reel and drag to do its job.

The first and most common mistake made by anglers is noise, whether it be dropping the anchor on top of the fish, running the outboard over the spot you wish to fish or dropping anything in the boat while fishing.

Cleaning Fishing Tackle

If you are like most anglers you probably ended the fishing season by putting your fishing tackle in the garage, the shop or the basement.  Now is the time to get it out and clean and organize it so you aren’t caught off guard when the ice suddenly goes off in the late winter or early spring and you get the urge to go fishing.

Now is the time to get organized.  Take out your fishing reels and see if they are working properly; if not, take them to a reel repair shop and get them fixed.  If you just need to clean and oil them, consider a parts washer, especially if your reels are full of sand and dirt.

Never put too much grease on the inside of your fishing reels.  Get a small utility brush with stiff bristles and apply the grease lightly to the areas that need it; around the gears and other moving parts.  Too much grease may harden up in the cold or become hard during the hot months slowing your reel down.

If you fish often, make sure you change the line on all of your reels.  There is nothing more frustrating than to hook a nice fish in the spring only to find that the line breaks and your prize gets away.  I change my line two or three times a year and always check for knots in the line, frayed line and the knots that tie my hook or lure to the line.  Always spit on your monofilament line before drawing the knot snug as this will keep your line from overheating and breaking on the hook set.

Organize your tackle box so that you know where everything is located on your first fishing trip.  Check your crank bait hooks to make sure none need replaced or sharpened.  Do the same with your spinner baits; take a hair dryer to the vinyl skirts and rubber skirts that are messy as this will straighten them out.  Replace the skirts that are stuck together or that have come in contact with plastic lures such as worms and lizards.

Check any new lures or jigs that you purchase to make sure the eye of the hook is not covered with paint.  Many modern manufactures of these lures do not take the time to remove the paint and it is frustrating to go to put on a jig or small lure only to find the eye painted over.  Find a small tool of some sort and keep it in your tackle box to make sure you can quickly punch these out.

Finally, check your fishing rods for wraps around the eyes that are coming loose or eyes that are cracked or broken.  If your fishing rod is a 2-piece rod, put a little oil or dab a little grease in the area where the two pieces join together so that the rod comes apart easily at the end of the day.

 

Cleaning Fishing Lures

 

How Do I Remove Rust From Fishing Lures?

How Do I Remove Rust From Fishing Lures?

The hooks, rings and other metal parts of a fishing lure are prone to getting rusty over time. This is especially true for lures fished in salt water. Rinsing lures off with fresh water after every use delays rust formation, but only for a short while.

Eventually, even the best-maintained lures can develop rusty metal parts. Various cleaning methods can remove rust, turning the metal lure parts shiny again. When metal deteriorates too badly, however, replacing the parts is more efficient than trying to clean them.

 

Instructions

Step 1
Set up a work area located on a flat surface such as a table and place a towel down to absorb water and other debris from cleaning the fishing lures. Wear gloves when working with chemicals or abrasives to protect your skin.
Step 2
Spray lures that are not too rusty with a small amount of WD-40, allowing the spray to sit on the fishing lure for approximately five minutes. Rub the rusty area with a cloth until you remove the rust. Repeat spraying the area and rubbing as needed, to remove all the rust from the lure.
Step 3
Use a piece of fine-grit sandpaper to remove a lure’s rust. Gently rub the rusted area with sandpaper, working the paper in all directions. Continue sanding until the rust is gone and wipe the lure off with a clean cloth to remove any sanding dust.
Step 4
Rub the fine and coarse sides of a paper fingernail file across the rusty areas of the fishing lure. Gently rub the file over the rust, continuing until it is gone. Wipe the lure off with a clean cloth when finished, removing any dust or other debris.
Step 5
Attach a fine sanding bit to a dremel-like tool and carefully work the bit over the rusted lure parts. Be careful not to push too hard on the part while sanding, or you can damage the lure. Wipe the lure off with a clean cloth when finished.
Step 6
Moisten an old toothbrush with water and dip into an abrasive powdered cleanser. Rub the toothbrush over the rusty areas of the lure, adding more water and cleanser to the toothbrush as needed. Continue scrubbing to remove all the rust and wash off with clean water to remove soap residue.
Step 7
Wet a soapy, steel wool scrubbing pad with water. Gently scrub the rusted areas of the fishing lure with the pad, removing any rust. Continue moistening the pad and scrubbing the lure until it is rust-free. Rinse it off with clean water to remove the soap.
Things You’ll Need:
  • Towel
  • Gloves
  • WD-40
  • Cloths
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Sandpaper
  • Fingernail file
  • Fine sanding bit
  • Dremel tool
  • Toothbrush
  • Powdered cleanser
  • Steel wool soap pads

Tips & Warnings

  • Store lures in an airtight, dry container to reduce rust.
  • Rinse lures after every fishing trip to cut down on rust developing.
  • Wash the lure in warm, soapy water after using chemical products. This removes chemical residues remaining on the lure that can affect your fishing results.
  • Use caution applying rust removers to fishing lures, as the products are corrosive and can damage the lure.

6 Great Deep-Diving Bass Crankbaits

Bomber Fat Free Shad

Crankbaits are undeniably one of the most popular lures of any die-hard bass addict’s arsenal. From the square bill in early spring to deep divers in the summer months along deep ledges and channel breaks, they flat out catch em’.

No matter how you work them, crankbaits are an effective tool for covering tons of water and determining what depth the fish are. From a steady retrieve to the reliable stop-n-go, the crankbait is a tool you should be tossing in the water if you want consistent success. Having a variety of cranks to choose from can make a dramatic difference in your catch rate, allowing you to figure out which one is up to the fish.

Here’s a rundown of 6 great deep-diving bass crankbaits you might consider:

Bomber| Fat Free Shad

The Bomber Fat Free Shad BD8F/BD8SF dives up to 19 feet. It really separates itself from other diving crankbaits with a rattling model perfect for when bass are aggressive, and a super-silent model for pressured bass wanting something less stimulating.

 

What We Like:The BD8F/BD8SF dives up to 19 feet. It really separates itself from other diving crankbaits with a rattling model perfect for when bass are aggressive, and a super-silent model for pressured bass wanting something less stimulating.

What We’d Change:Needs a weight-transfer system for longer casting

MSRP: $12.99


Koppers | LIVETARGET Crawfish

Without question, Koppers’ LIVETARGET Crawfish looks and swims like a fleeing crawfish while diving to depths of 8 feet. Rig it on fluorocarbon and add a SuspendDot to get it down even deeper. We found the one-of-a-kind craw action provokes strikes even in cold water.

What We Like: Lifelike crawfish color patterns are to die for.

What We’d Change: Super-size it and add a suspending model for varying conditions.

MSRP: $12.99

 


 

Rapala | Scatter Rap

The Scatter Rap is a balsa-wood lure that thinks it’s a deep-diving crankbait. Is that even possible? Amazingly, Crank Deep can reach depths of 10 feet on long casts. Like all of the innovative Scatter Raps, its balsa heart and cupped bill give it a truly unique darting-hunting action.

What We Like: Lifelike scale color patterns.
What We’d Change: A clear coat would help protect the fragile balsa wood body.
MSRP: $8.99

 


SPRO | Little John Deep Diver

We threw the SPRO Little John Deep Diver long-distance, and it does plummet to 20 feet with the help of its tungsten weight-transfer system. It’s also quite a fish-catcher. Maybe it’s the menacing eyes and compact body.

What We Like:Easy to work; sticky-sharp Gamakatsu hooks.
What We’d Change:Add custom-design color patterns
MSRP: $13.99

Sebile | Action First Bull Crank

For less than $7,Sebile’s Bull Crank is a good bait for the money. I’d recommend it for prespawn bassing. We used the 2-inch 1/4-ounce crank with an extended round bill. We heard some chatter about weak bills; we checked a few, and they seemed substantial to us.

What We Like:External weight does keep it on track.
What We’d Change: Packaging! It’s almost guaranteed that the first thing you’ll catch is your finger

Strike King | 10XD

It’s going, going, gone to 25 feet, once unheard of for crankbaits. If that’s not impressive enough, check out the 10XD: It’s ideal for reservoirs with giant bass and huge shad like TVA or highland lakes or most big-bass waters.
What We Like:10XD will dive even deeper when fished on fluorocarbon and longlined.
What We’d Change:Make the front treble a short shank to eliminate hangups.
MSRP: $15.99