Suffering from Arachno-fishing-phobia? Overcoming this phobia is as simple as learning the basic technique of spider rigging. At first this technique may seem extremely complicated, but it’s basically using multiple rods with lures or minnows at various depths while controlling the speed to keep in the area where the crappie are located.
Mitch Glenn, owner of PICO Lures, “One of the great things about spider rigging is once you have your rods set out and you have the depth where the lures need to be to catch crappie; you can just ease along and there isn’t a whole lot of work to it. You can just sit and visit till you get a bite then reel in the crappie and put it back in the rod holder and keep fishing.”
How deep an angler has to set the lures or minnows are vital when spider rigging. Glenn uses his electronics to see where the baitfish and crappie are located. Once he knows how deep, Glenn will let out enough line to put at the same depth where the crappie are located.
Measuring the depth can be done by picking up the rod and letting the lures come down towards the handle. By using the length of the rod, an angler can easily measure 10-, 12- or whatever depth the crappie are located.
Normally, Glenn is matching his lures to the baitfish crappie are eating. Recently there was a shad kill on the lake he was fishing so he used shad imitating lures to catch crappie. Since he uses two jigs on each rod that allows him the freedom to fish multiple rods until Glenn finds the color crappie want to bite.
Typically he sets up his spider rigging rod with two jigs spaced out 12- to 14-inches apart. On the top jig he uses a hair jig like PICO Lures (www.picolures.com) Bunny Butt and a curly tail soft plastic lure rigged on a lead head jig. “This gives the crappie an option to having a more active lure on the bottom and less action with the hair jig. Not all crappie are aggressive and that gives them an option of a more active lure or subtle one,” said Glenn.
Besides using just the weight of the jig heads to keep the lures in the strike zone and keeping them from tangling, Glenn will add an egg weight or sinker tied between the two jigs. Normally, Glenn uses a 1/16-ounce Bunny Butt on the top and a 1/8-ounce lead jig with soft plastic lure on the bottom then a 1/2-ounce egg weight. How heavy the jigs and egg weight weighs all depends on how slow he wants to go and if it’s windy. He also will use the rods with the heavier weights and jigs in the front of the rods with less weight more towards the back of the boat.
Hair jigs have always been popular with crappie anglers. “Our Bunny Butts are real tough and durable. They are similar to marabou, but won’t come apart in the water and have a lot more flair to them with a shorter hair. For marabou to flair it has to be long, but with rabbit hair you get a lot of flair with even a short piece,” said Glenn.
When using soft plastics, Glenn likes to use PICO Lures Tri-Tip Curl Grubs or Pointer Shad. He likes varying the color patterns until one starts getting more bites. Favorite color patterns include lemon, pink/pearl/chartreuse in the 2-inch Tri-Tip Curl Grub and limeade, Cajun crick, popsickle and peppered pearl in 2-inch Pointer Shad.
In the spring when spider fishing look for prespawn crappie an angler should be fishing near spawning areas and trying to fish where the crappie are going to spawn and waiting to spawn. Crappie will be feeding up before the spawn during this time. “It’s the perfect time for anglers to go spider rigging for crappie and big crappie too,” said Glenn.