Crappie in Thick Brush

How To Fish Thick Brush For Big Crappie

catch crappie in thick brush,tips to fishing thick brush
THICK BRUSH AND CRAPPIE

Crappie Fishing In Thick Brush

If you fish for crappie very often you know how they love to hang out in some nasty thick brush. Fortunately there are ways to get these crappie out of this thick brush with the right rigs. Thick brush crappie rigs are necessary for penetrating the brush crappie love. There are also a few crappie rigs that you can use to coax those slabs out of the brush to your rig and into your livewell. Here are a few thick brush crappie rigs and tips to consider when the slabs hunker down.

JIG AND BOBBER

This great crappie fishing rig has many uses and thick brush is one of them. You can use the bobber and jig to lure the crappie out of the brush or you can use it to penetrate deep into the brush. This will put your presentation right in their face. If you find yourself without weedless crappie jigs (I will discuss these later) you can use a regular jig and just set the bobber to where your jig is just above the cover where you know crappie are present. Slowly work this rig over the thick brush and if the crappie are in any kind of feeding mood they will gladly come out of the thick brush and devour your jig.

GOING WEEDLESS

If by chance you have a bag of weedless jigs like the Bass Pro Shops® Weedless Marabou Stump Jumper®, you can easily probe the thickest part of the brush. Oftentimes crappie will suspend deep inside thick brush made by a tree that has fallen into the water from shore. When this happens you can sometimes pick up a few crappie working the outside edge of the brush but if you catch a few there then you can bet that there are many more down in that brush and you have to go in and get them. With a weedless jig you can lower your presentation to those thick brush dwellers and load the boat.

Shop Crappie Gear

You might find a school just beneath the brush. When this happens you have to go through the brush to get to the crappie. This can be made much easier with a weedless jighead. The small wire protruding from the head deflects the wood keeping it from hanging. One note you have got to work the weedless crappie jig slowly. If you work it too fast without “feeling” the brush, then you will just pull the limbs through the wire and into the hook and when it does this it’s tough to work loose. You will have to break it off.

It takes some practice but just move the weedless crappie jig throughout the thick brush. Carefully lift it out and ease it back into the brush. When using a bobber with the weedless jig just lower it gently into every available hole and watch closely. When crappie are deep in the thick brush and refuse to come out to eat then the bite, more than likely, will be light. If your bobber goes down any at all lift up because it could be a crappie that just ate your jig. If you’re quiet and play the slab out of the cover, you can catch a lot of crappie before you run them off. Be patient and you can catch several.

hand tied crappie jigs

THE SLIDEOFF WEEDGUARD

There is a new little gadget out that makes crappie fishing with any jig weedless. The slideoff weedguard is a great little guard that slips onto the jig. It snaps into place between the hook point and the eye. Crappie fishing in thick brush can be frustrating. The slideoff weedguard allows you to be more aggressive with your presentation than with the wire weedguard. When the crappie bites the slideoff weedguard snaps off exposing the hook point to the crappies mouth.

These weedguards really come in handy when the crappie are scattered and in thick brush. You have to cover water to catch a few. The slideoff weedguard allows you to work the cover quickly. You can pull your jig through the cover instead of working it straight down. You can fish a little faster with this little guard on your jig. The slideoff weedguard come in several sizes and can help keep you from hanging up when crappie fishing thick cover.

SET THE HOOK HARD AND FAST WHEN FISHING THICK BRUSH

I was fishing for crappie one cold early spring morning with a great crappie angler that fishes tournaments. He knew right where some crappie were hanging out and it was not where I was expecting them to be. The water temp was around 50 degrees. We went straight into a shallow cove to jig feather jigs in stumps and thick brush. The first thing I noticed was my guide, Brett Cunningham, was using a small feather jig with a very small hook. My first question was how does that hook do for hook-ups? Brett laughed and told me that he thought the same thing the first time he used these jigs and assured me that I would see just how well they did on hooking big crappie. He was right. It wasn’t long before we were catching some pretty nice crappie out of that thick brush and stump fields.

The small hooks did great. They would hook the crappie in the roof of the mouth nearly every time. The small crappie jig hook penetrated fully into the mouth and the head of the jig would be hard against the crappie’s mouth. The crappie jig was even hard to get unhooked and I was convinced that the small hooks did great in hooking crappie.

Another thing I noticed that Brett was doing was setting the hook hard anytime he felt the thump or saw his line twitch. I was amazed at how hard and fast he set the hook on those crappie. Brett told me that it was important to set the hook hard when fishing for crappie in thick brush. “You need to turn the crappie as quick as possible in thick brush to keep it from getting tangled in it”. Brett said. I told him it must also stun the crappie for a second as hard as he was setting the hook. We laughed and it took me a while to get it down. I don’t think I ever set the hook as hard as Brett, but I got it down enough to start catching a few.

RELATED CONTENT: When Crappie Don’t Bite

About Ken McBroom 218 Articles
Ken McBroom is an accomplished outdoor writer and photographer. Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed him many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live and work and experience the last frontier. Married now with two beautiful children, Ken now calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American outdoor traditions and the lifestyle it offers.