Reedy crappie from rend lake

Jim Reedy displays nice Rend Lake Crappie

Perhaps one of the most important factors of winter crappie fishing is to know just how deep the fish are. Depth is particularly important in cold when the crappies are less likely to move around. Using electronics we found the big fish down 40 feet and relating to logs or boulders.

Jim and Barb Reedy employ a technique called Spider Rigging. It is a team effort all the way. Jim runs the trolling motor, watching for fish on the locater as well as catching and netting fish. Barb retrieves 14-foot poles from a rack in the stern and passes them to Jim in the bow. She also places caught fish in the livewell and as passes minnows to Jim as needed. Both are responsible for their own poles when it comes to catching fish.

Spider fishing us basically jig fishing with the long poles. Brackets mounted on the front of the boat hold multiple poles. These brackets can also be on the back. Fishing from the front is spider rigging and from the back it is long lining.

Each pole has two hooks on 6-pound Hi Vis line. Pre-rigged minnow rigs have a hook at the end of the line, with ½ ounce egg sinker 8-inches above it. Twenty-two inches above the sinker is a three-way swivel. One eye of the swivel ties to the main line going back to the pole. The other has a 9-inch line with a hook at the end. Both hooks have a minnow as bait.

Each rod is set at a different depth from one foot off the bottom and in one foot increments up from there. The anglers slowly troll over submerged boulders and other structure approaching from the downwind side. They explore each location both on the sides and top. Once fish of the desired size take the offerings they adjust the other rods to the same depth as the one producing results.

Once a fish is on a hook it is important to maintain pressure and not drop the tip of the rod. It will produce slack in the line. Slack line allows fish to escape. Net larger fish in a dip net once they surface to avoid loss due to broken line.



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  1. Pingback: SPIDER RIGGING FOR CRAPPIE | Don Gasaway's Blog

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