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Ken SturdivantKen is a native Georgian, a retired banker and a professional angler who has fished lakes, rivers and streams all over the Southeast for more than 40 years. Ken Sturdivant's full bio and more articles

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Tiny Tubes for Crappie

Current Rating: 2.90 / 1,620 rates      

Tiny Tubes for Crappie Tiny Tubes for Crappie
By Ken Sturdivant

Lots of schools of crappie gather under docks in the cold weather and these fish can be caught by the patient angler. But you'll have to fish deep and have several places to fish on the lake. In the fall and winter, fishing is really great for these schooling fish.

Most of the lake will be deserted because many people winterize their boats and fishermen have the lake to themselves. But best of all is the fact the the crappie school up very tightly and it's a lot easier to find and catch lots of fish under cold water conditions.

As the water cools down, the crappie will be moving to the deeper waters and will be feeding as the the water temperate starts dropping off. But the colder months does not mean they cannot be caught.

In late fall to early winter, anglers can catch schools of crappie under the docks as well as some of the larger spotted bass. The spots and the crappie in Lanier bunch up in schools under deep docks and you'll see them on a quality Lowrance depth finder. The trick is to use tiny lures and a slow presentation. The Creme Lure Company and Bass Pro Shops both make small mini tube jigs and anglers use these small jigs on light 4 pound test line. An ultra light rod and reel and the vertical jigging technique is the best winter time method for these fish. Adding some scent can also help when the bite really slows down. Add some Jack's Juice to a zip lock bag and then put the baits in the bag overnight.

The baits will absorb the scent into the plastic and will not wash off like other scents. By slowly doodling these lures in a variety of colors in deep water, these tiny baits look like candy to the fish. The strikes are always very light and you have to pay close attention to the line and the feel of the rod. But once you learn to fish these lures deep and very slowly the fish will bite even in the coldest months. Once the water gets too cold for the usual fishing techniques, try this trick with the mini tube jigs. The fish are almost always under the deeper docks, so when you find them all you have to do is make them bite.

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