Drifting for crappie is a popular and effective way to fish for these delicious pan fish. However, learning to successfully drift fish can be difficult to master, so don’t get discouraged if it takes a bit of practice, before you start catching a mess of fish on your lines.
The idea of drifting for crappie is that you can fish large schools of these fish, and you won’t have the sound of a motor frightening the fish away before they spot the bait on your hook. Here are some tips that will make drifting for crappie more effective.
Drifting For Crappie
Choosing The Right Place
The most important part of any fishing is to choose the right place where the crappie can be found. For drift fishing, you need to find open water (water without any debris or brush piles within 20 feet of the surface). You will be looking for deep water that sits on the edge of shallower water. A Topographical map will show you where such places are on the body of water for which you want to fish.
The idea is to fish the deep area, near the shallow and deep water divide. Since crappie often stays in large schools, you are likely to be able to catch a whole mess of crappie using this technique once you have mastered it.
Where to Start Your Drift
Your boat is going to drift in the same direction as the wind or breeze blows so you are going to want to shut off your trolling motor about 70 to 75 feet from where you think the crappie school will be. (so that the sound of the motor won’t scare the school away.) and then drift with the wind right through the school of crappie with your crappie rigs.
Your line for drift fishing should be long enough to reach the bottom of the area you are fishing. Your sinker needs to be heavier enough to weight the line down on the bottom and drag along as your drift. Your artificial bait should drift 2 feet from the bottom of the ground.
When you catch your first crappie drop a buoy marker where you caught the fish, do the same until you are no longer catching fish. Then drift 50 to 75 feet before turning on your trolling motor. Make a wide arch back to the starting point to prevent frightening the fish. Travel about 75 feet up from the first buoy you dropped and then drift down again. Repeat this process until the crappie is no longer biting.
The key to drifting for crappie is to stay in the deep water, near the shallow water. Too far away or fishing in the shallows may result in a relaxing day of fishing, but not much catching. Instead of using your trolling motor to keep the boat from being drifted into shallow water, you may want to use oars since they are quieter and less likely to frighten away the big crappie you are seeking.
If you have not tried drifting for crappie before, remember getting the technique down takes a bit of time, but with patients, you can master this skill.