It had been a while since I had been out fishing for white crappie. It felt good to finally be vertically jigging them on structure again! With a ton of recent rain followed by a heat wave, the fish have slid into their summer haunts. The water today was very murky and hard to believe better than it was a few days before. We were looking in water from 10-20 feet where we could offer the fish with a “pendulum swing presentation”. The idea behind this technique is to cast just past the structure and let it swing through the strike zone, hopefully keeping it away from the structure. Throughout the day the strike zone tends to change so being versatile is a must! Other considerations with this technique are speed of retrieve, wind, sun/shade, and current.
Having a slight chop on the water seems to make the crappie bite. Fortunately, other than about 2 hours when it was whipping in the morning, the wind was just strong enough to hold out anchor lines tight. Although being able to anchor up isn’t necessary, it keeps your casting angles a bit more consistent. When the wind is moving the boat as you use your trolling motor, keeping track of where to cast so your bait runs parallel to the structure becomes difficult. Using throwable markers also work for reference but they are just one more thing to either snag into or get tangled in the structure.
The bait that I used all day was the “Live” Baby Shad by Lake Fork Trophy Lures. Although I caught fish on just about every color I tried, anything bright worked best. Throughout the day, I mainly used pearl, chartreuse/pearl, and chartreuse glo. The only change in color choice today came when the fish became conditioned to one specific color. Sometimes that is all it takes to stay on a bite!