Catching crappie during the spawn was simple. Find the cover and you would find the crappie. Really no sonar unit needed, however, more and more anglers are using Garmin LiveScope to assist with locating and catching crappie.
Now the majority of crappie have moved to offshore habitat like brush piles, standing timber, man made structure or boat docks. “One of the things we do after the crappie have spawned and moving to deeper summertime habitat during the post spawn on Beaver Lake is fish boat docks. This is that period of time before it’s prime time to trolling Pico Crankbaits,” said Mitch Glenn owner of PICO Lures.
“Crappie like to come out and stage under boat docks in the shade. The water depth under this dock vary, but in Ozark highland reservoirs like Beaver Lake, Table Rock Lake or Bull Shoals it can be anywhere from 15- to 30-feet deep. Crappie will position themselves 2-, 6- or 8-feet of water suspending under the dock resting up after spawning waiting for their meals to come to them under the docks. Normally crappie will be skinny caught under docks since they just spawned, but getting fatter with all the bait fish to eat,” said Glenn.
Glenn prefers to pitch his lure into the stalls. The key area to pitch a lure is in the deepest, darkest spot in the boat dock. He will fish each stall slowly and methodically as multiple crappie can be caught in a single boat slip. Glenn will also fish a dock then leave and come back to fish it again later in the day since crappie under boat docks have a tendency to replenish.
Glenn likes to pitch into the boat stalls controlling the cast with his left hand while pitching with his right hand. He typically uses a 7 foot medium action spinning rod and spinning reel lined up with 6-pound Stren High Vis Yellow fishing line. His fishing rod has a fast tip, but lots of backbone to get crappie over any obstacles.
Another option to fishing under docks during the post spawn period is to shoot them. Shooting docks is a completely different casting technique compared to pitching. It also requires a differently constructed fishing rod like B’n’M Poles (www.bnmpoles.com) Sharp Shooter. Pitching when the lure is released in a pendulum motion into a boat slip whereas shooting docks is done by pulling back the rod tip loading the rod blank then release like an arrow from a bow forcing the crappie lure in to a boat slip.
“I use two kinds of lures when fishing for post spawn crappie under boat docks. Crappie either want the lure to have action or no action. I like to start out with a lure having lots of action like Pico’s Curl Tail rigged on a 1/16-ounce Pico Wedge Head. When the crappie stop biting on the Curl Tail I will switch over to a Pico Pointer Shad rigged on a Pico Wedge Head,” said Glenn.
For lure colors Glenn likes chartreuse shad, acid rain or chartreuse white for clear water conditions or black/chartreuse or white in stained water for his Pico (www.picolures.com) Curl Tail. When fishing with a Pico Pointer Shad or Pico Scent Ring Pointer Shad a chartreuse/white, black/chartreuse or pink shad. Glenn will spray SlabSauce (www.slabsauce.com) on his lure consistently during the day; however, he becomes more vigilant with spraying more often on the less active, subtle Pico Pointer Shad and Pico Scent Ring Pointer Shad.
One key to fishing under boat docks noted Glenn was to keep a distance away from the boat dock. By keeping a casting distance away it allows an angler more room to pitch the lure in to the right spot into the boat slip and be able to work the lure longer in the strike zone.