Some years it just seems like it rains everyday making your favorite fishing hole a muddy mess. Fishing in muddy water can be intimidating to some crappie anglers. Nevertheless,crappie can be caught in muddy water.
“This has been one of those years when it has rained a lot and places with normally clear water conditions are stained or muddy. Normally, I would just fish lay downs or brush piles where crappie would bunch up in a group along with fishing 15-to 30-feet deep on rock ledges or drop-offs, but not this year. Instead,the muddy conditions have the crappie scattered out more and moving into more shallow areas around the lake,” said Oklahoma fishing guide Dominic Pellegrino (www.lancesguideservice.com or (918) 914-2633.
Pellegrino noted that these scattered crappie are often the larger, isolated crappie that moves in to the creek arms during muddy water conditions. “I go strolling for crappie when I’m faced with muddy water. Strolling allows an angler to cover lots of water while presenting multiple lures at the same time increasing your opportunity to locate and catch fish especially when they are scattered in muddy water,” said Pellegrino.
Depending on the day and other factors like water temperature, Pellegrino will start near obvious structure like a channel swing or ledge knowing crappie are in the vicinity.However, he knows that these crappie are probably not really relating to anything just scattered around. That’s why he will rig up two rods with multiple lures to give crappie plenty of opportunity to strike his lure.
When strolling Pellegrino will rig up two 10 foot rods with spinning reels lined with 20 pound braid. He doesn’t use any leaders instead tying directly to each lure with the braid using a knot that has a small loop allowing the jig to move freely. The key he noted is finding where and how deep the crappie were to catch them.
He staggers the lures to cover more area keying in on depths less than 15 feet. One he lets down to the bottom and turns his reel handle up keeping just off the bottom. The other rod Pellegrino will keep up higher in the water column catching any suspended crappie. Normally, he will troll between .2- to .5-mph and varying it until the crappie start biting.
“My top jig when strolling is a Fle-Fly(www.flefly.com) Lead Free Jig.It’s a hair tied chenille crappie jig. The smaller more compact jig in Brown/Black is my favorite color,” said Pellegrino.
For a bottom jig, Pellegrino will use a Fle-Fly Crappie Kicker. It’s a soft plastic body lure with a straight tail with his favorite color pattern being Buster Brown. The tail actually floats up behind the body and moves with every shake, twitch or reel crank.
“I rig the Fle-Fly Crappie Kicker on a Fle-Fly Big Eye Jig Head that have holographic eyes, UV Glow coating and most importantly a large bait keeper to keep the soft plastic lure in place. Because this is my bottom jig, I will use a heavier one than the jig tied above. Normally that’s a 1/8- to 1/4-ounce jig head that contrast the color of Crappie Kicker,” said Pellegrino.
Pellegrino noted crappie will still be around the areas you normally catch them, but scattered if it’s muddy. The key is to cover a lot of water and find the active crappie that will bite to be successful.