Slipping Crappies on the Dock
I love crappie season, as the weather starts to warm these
golden beauties start to stack up and can be easily caught from the shore or
boats alike. This past weekend I spent some time fishing with my father n law,
doing what we love to do.. slip bobber for crappies.
Crappies are like most other pan fish or bass, in that as
the weather warms they move up and in, and look for some nice shady spots to
relax. This makes dock fishing for crappies a great way to fill your bucket.
First things first. Like with all types of fishing you need to get your
Step 1: The Gear
Crappie fishing in my mind is a finesse style of fishing,
long rods, light line and tiny baits. I use a 10ft pro crappie max rod from the
BPS, I pair that with a Okuma Stinson reel. My line of choice is 4-6lb Crappie
line from the BPS in either the yellow or camo pink (who knew)
90% of the time I will be using a crappie tube and slip
bobber when fishing the docks. If the bite slows or changes I will opt for a
tiny spinner bait or a crappie sized crank bait. Those are both last resorts as
the crappie tube is king when it come to flipping docks
For a slip bobber I have been using the Wally Marshall
series from the BPS, they are a high vis bobber with a weighted end. The small
weigh on the tip of the bobber allows for longer casts while still keeping your
tube size to a minimum.
Step 2: The Approach
When in a marina or a boat launch with many dock slips, the goal is to hit as many sides and
angles of the dock without spooking the crappie for underneath it. Try to avoid
walking on the docks if possible, and never walk on an un-fished dock.
I start off flipping to the tip and sides of the first dock
from well back. Once they have been fished I move in and flip under the dock.
Once confident I have fished the first dock, I may walk on it to hit the tips
of the surrounding docks. Depending on how spooky the fish are I may wait till
all docks have been fished prior to walking on any of them.
The goal is to keep you bait suspended with the slip bobber,
I like to leave at least a foot if not 2 where applicable. If Im not getting
the bites, I may raise or lower my
bobber. I usually find a clear test spot to drop my bobber and see how close to
the bottom my bait is sitting. This is a good gauge.
I find the key to slip bobber and tube fishing is to keep
them moving. Small drags or twitches work wonders. On some days they will chase
you done and on others you will need to be subtle.
Step 3: Switch it up
As mentioned above nothing will work all the time. So be
prepared to switch things up, wether that means a new color, or removing the
bobber and bottom dragging, or going to something like a crappie tube or crank.
Also.. be prepared, just because you are throwing small
tubes to panfish does not mean you wont run into a monster. I have caught a few
bass over 5lbs while crappie fishing a tube.
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