Crappie on the surface

While hunting is our passion here at the hunt blog we are no rookies when it comes to fishing.

You are just as likely to find any one of our prostaff in a boat or on a crick bank as you are to find us in a tree stand. As such we are going to be doing a series about fishing on the blog this summer.

The same as always, in an attempt to keep our blog unique and cutting edge we are going to avoid the ordinary and talk about some new patterns for catching some of your favorite species.

Nice looking slab.
Nice looking slab.

As sometimes happens with fishing we came across this strategy somewhat by accident. During the summer months one of our go to techniques is top-water action for smallies.

Tossing poppers, buzz baits and various twitch baits around structure in the early evenings.

What we began to notice while doing this is that not infrequently, while fishing large logs and beaver lodges, we would hook into a crappie. And not just any old crappy but some serious slabs! Usually catching these on poppers we often had swirls and hits that we suspected were crappie as well.

Something that I really enjoy about fishing is the infinite number of adjustments that you can make to a presentation until it is ‘just right’. At the campfire one night we began to brain storm over a cold beverage about how we could alter our presentation to make it more specific for our desired catch.

Micro-poppers
Micro-poppers

Step one was to get small! These crappie were big but not compared to the 4 and 5 lb smallies we usually target. So went out and picked up some miniature skitter pops. These were the smallest poppers we could find and not much larger than a pack of matches. To match these we needed to adjust our gear. 5′ 6” ultra lights with 4 lbs test proved optimum for tossing the miniature lures. The final adjustment we made was to use some type of braided line that would float on top of the water to allow for the best ‘popping’ action.

We kept our approach simple. Focused on structure that abutted deep water, mostly brush-piles and rock-piles, and we keep the action on the lures very subtle. What we found was that the aggressive crappies loved these top water treats. We routinely pull in 4-5 big slabs in a night as long as the winds are still. And even better on the light tackle they put up some great fights.

Big top-water Crappie
Big top-water Crappie

So if you are out on a lake known to hold some crappies this summer give this light tackle technique a try and I am sure you wont be disappointed. And as an added bonus if you happen to latch into a nice smallie or pike instead you can be sure you are in for some fun on the light line setup.

Happy fishing and safe boating.
James
thehuntblog.com

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