Being a competitive crappie fisherman takes lots of work and studying to stay on the cutting edge of this sport. You can’t discount any technique that catches fish, whether you like it or not. To outsmart the fish, you must employ different methods.
Power Trolling is a technique that many of us need to learn and utilize. It’s not new to the crappie fishing game, it’s been around for quite some time. One of the most feared crappie fishing teams in the area Mr. A.E. Smith & fishing partner Flo Smith, from Brookhaven, MS introduced it back in the early 70’s using cane-poles and a 5 oz. weight. And by the way, it was a known fact their competition hated to see them coming because they knew they were bringing the “big guns”.
“We would rig our poles with two hooks and a heavyweight in between and push them with our trolling motors. Boy, would we catch fish. This was back when the limit on most lakes was 50 per person. We’ve caught our share of limits during the day.” According to Mr. Smith, “We weighed 20 fish per team. Flo and I could hang with the best of em and have been fortunate enough to have won our share of tournaments over the years. It was not unusual to catch doubles on several poles at one time. I know this technique works because Flo and I helped bring it to town.”
Fast-forward to today, Mr. A.E.’s son, Les Smith of Como, MS has taken what he learned from his dad, mom and perfected it even more. He’s one of the designers of the new B’n’M Pow-R-Troller. This is a heavy-action trolling pole designed to hold weights up to 3 oz. or heavier with plenty of backbone and a sensitive tip to see the lightest strike. His favorite is the 16ft pole.
”Jack Wells entrusted Kent Driscoll, John Harrison and I to come up with the ultimate power trolling rod. We spent an entire fishing season working with prototypes, over and over, back and forth until we got a pole that’s light enough to handle, yet strong enough to hold the weight and “air mail” a 3-pound crappie on the other end. To protect the handle we put an aluminum collar or V-Grove on the end and also to allow an easy fit into the rod holder for the same rod placement every time. Thanks to Jack for listening and allowing our input to design such a great pole.”
Les is adamant about his setup. He feels it very important to fishermen trying to learn the Power Trolling technique. According to Les, “Power trolling is my favorite technique once the spring spawn is over. I fish the rest of the year with the same setup, the only thing I do in the colder months is slow down to around .7 and tip my fin spins with a minnow versus a curly tail.”
“I have used several different line setups but this summer I tried a new setup and fell in love with the results, a similar line setup to long-lining. I put my weight (1oz, 2oz, 3oz) up front (top of my leader), move down (2 ft) and put my first overhand knot or 3-way swivel, then a (3 ft) leader and lure at the bottom. With the heavier weight in the middle, we seem to get what we call “drive buy” strikes, a quick hit and turn it loose.”
Smith says, “I began to wonder if they were feeling the resistance of the heavyweight and simply turning it loose before we could get a hook set. Which led to trying this new setup with moving the weight to the top to experiment with the resistance factor. I was pleasantly surprised with the results and for several trips fishing this setup alongside my original setup. It has quickly become my favorite setup for power trolling. Depending on several factors: the time of year, depth of water and speed I start out in the spring with 2oz weights while the water temp is still favorable and the fish are still in the fairly shallow water. Once the fish go deeper in there summer pattern I transition to 3oz weights to get down to where the fish are staging and to keep my lines more vertical while running up to 1.4 mph.”
Smith continues, “Fall fishing I transition back to either 2oz or 1oz weights when the fish move shallower and slow down to around .7. Smith says, “My lure of choice is the Crappie Magnet Fin Spin Jig Heads. The fin spin bade will spin as slow as .3 miles and hr whether you are power trolling or long lining. The concave head shape makes it dart and creates a unique look and movement. It doesn’t matter what body I add, it has unbelievable realistic action. They have double cross barbs that hold any jig body, be it solid body or tube jigs. My favorite combination is the Fin Spin curly tails with a Slab Curly trailer (no minnows) this is a deadly combination.” If you haven’t tried this combination you are missing out on some good crappie fishing!”
I’ve used this lures on several occasions long-lining. Here’s what I’ve found to stand out with the Fin Spin Jig Heads.
The distinct shape of the shad Dart shape creates a different movement and the cup on the front forces water to the blade causing it to spin at slower speeds.
The willow shape blade creates a smaller flash and less vibration that crappie can’t resist.
Double Cross barbs hold any soft plastic bait on better as you cast or troll this lure.
Larger gap hooks make this perfect for catching the huge Grenada Slabs.
Huge color selection to choose with glow colors coming.
The Fin Spin, Crappie Magnet, and the Fin Commander are designed and sold by Leland Lures. Owner Jeff Smith sells them thru Wal-Mart and other stores, as well as his website troutmagnet.com. I hear he’s got a new model Wrapped Fin Spin that’s deadly on crappie. Don’t tell Les I told you, keep it quiet.
The Pow-R-Troll is sold at all your B’n’M outlets. Online stores like Grizzly Jig (www.grizzlyjig.com/p-515-pow-r-troller.aspx) has excellent prices on single pole purchases and they offer a 4-pole discount. The Pow-R-Troller is offered in 14’, 16’ and 18’ lengths.
Like all crappie fishing techniques, it’s up to you to choose what works best for you. If you want to cover lots of water, be able to turn around quickly on open water schools, then Power Trolling is a technique you need to add to your repertoire. I did, and I’ve never regretted it. I can push soft plastics and live bait. I can fish open water and stump fields with few hang-ups.
Go ahead and sneak out there one day and try this combination. Don’t tell any of your buddies until you feel confident enough to use it daily. Mr. A.E, Les and I all say it puts fish in the boat and you’ll enjoy the action.