Of all the techniques used to catch crappie pushing is by far the most powerful. Heavy action rods, super strong braid fishing line with substantial leaders, weighty weights and big baitcasting reels to crank up the crappie once they bite. Amazingly even with all the bulky tackle crappie just can’t resist biting a crankbait being pushed.
“Pushing is when an angler uses a heavy weight to keep a crankbait in the strike zone normally dropped straight down from a tip of a fishing rod secured in a rod holder; the angler sits in the bow of the boat with their rods at a 45 degree angle outward keeping the trolling motor from running over the fishing line dropped in front or off to the side of the bow of the boat,” said pushing expert Scott Vance.
Vance uses a right triangle theory to figure out how much fishing line to let out to keep a crankbait running at a certain depth. “You can figure a crankbait being pushed is going to run 2/3rd the depth (45 degree angle) of the line from the surface of the lake to the lure. For example a crankbait that has 15 feet of line out with a 3-ounce weight will be running about 10 feet deep around at 1.4- to 1.8-mph,” said Vance. Other factors like line size, size of weight being used and crankbait style can make in what depth the crankbait is running at when pushing.
His typical rig setup is 20 pound braid as a main line tied to a snap swivel then a 3-ounce pushing weight with a 20 pound test monofilament leader that has a Duo Lock snap on the end where he clips on his crankbait. Since it’s a hefty rig, Vance fishes with Southern Crappie Rods pushing rod design for this technique. Vance noted that it’s hard to see a bite sometimes when pushing a crankbait with a heavy weight, however, it’s not uncommon for him to reel in every once in a while to check for a small crappie that is hooked up.
Normally, Vance will use PICO Lures (www.picolures.com) INT deeper diving crankbait. “Each day is different so I will change lure color and crankbait style accordingly. Typically, I start out with solid white color patterns to solid black and when I catch two crappie on that color pattern I will switch the other color out for them. I will say that in stained water, I like a darker color pattern and in clear water a white or brighter color patterns. Every day is different according to the clarity of the water and sun rays through the water,” said Vance.
Another “pusher” is crappie pro Kent Driscoll. Driscoll like a number of other crappie pros is using Garmin LiveScope to actually see crappie and watch them live bite his crankbait when pushing his lure in front of the boat. “When I’m pushing a crankbait at 1.3- to 1.6-mph, I will only use one pole, but set it up just like everyone else when pushing. What I’m doing is watching for crappie and schools of shad in front of the boat with my Garmin set at a range of 50 feet and letting out just the right amount of line to put the crankbait right in the crappie face where they will bite it,” said B’n’M’ Poles Pro Staff Manager Driscoll.
Unlike other pushers, Driscoll likes to use a lighter 2-ounce weight instead of a 3-ounce weight which allows him to use a lighter action rod like the B’n’M’ Poles (www.bnmpoles.com) Pro Staff Trolling Rods. Driscoll noted that there are crappie anglers out pushing using 3-ounce weights which requires a stiffer rod like the B’n’M’ Poles Pow-R-Troller that’s a stiffer rod.
– Article by Brad Wiegmann (nice shirt)