How many times did your father tell you to sit down, don’t move and be quiet? Probably too many, but don’t be surprised if you go in Kent Driscoll’s boat and you hear him say, “Sit down, don’t move and be quiet.” However, Driscoll pointed out the method to his madness only starts with sitting down, not moving around and being quiet.
Driscoll is so serious about keeping quiet, he employs a Silent Stalker. For crappie anglers that haven’t seen one it’s a durable, custom fit textile fabric that can be installed on the front of the boat. This keeps waves or just moving forward from making a slapping noise.
One of the biggest mistakes crappie anglers make is selecting the wrong fishing rod when going fishing. “There isn’t a one rod fits all when it comes to crappie fishing. A rod with a stiff tip will often rip the lips off a crappie on a short line and stiff rod tip. It’s important that the crappie angler match the lure and presentation,” said B’n’M’ Poles (www.bnmpoles.com) pro staff manager Kent Driscoll.
“B’n’M Poles have several options when it comes to getting the right fishing rod for a specific technique,” said Driscoll. Driscoll noted that having a stiff a fishing pole can cause anglers to lose crappie when they set the hook or not being able to see a strike. On the other hand, a crappie angler needs a stiff enough fishing pole when trolling with 2- or 3-ounce weights.
For trolling with extra heavy weights from 2- or 3-ounces, Driscoll recommended the B’n’M’ Poles POW-R-Troller. It comes in sizes from 12- to 20-feet in length. Another option is B’n’M’ Pro Staff trolling rods. It’s extremely popular with crappie anglers available in 8- to 20-feet and able to handle 1/2- to 1-ounce sinkers.
Crappie anglers can use the medium action Capps & Coleman for a fishing rod with more flex. Driscoll uses the lighter action of B’n’M’ Poles Buck Graphite Jig Pole along with the B’n’M’ Poles Pro 100 reel rigged up with 6-pound test Gama Hi Vis line when fishing shallow in the springtime. He likes the lighter, softer action which is the result of the rod blank having less material and fewer guides.
Although, Buck Graphite Jig Pole comes in sizes from 10- to 16-feet, Driscoll only uses the 16 footer. He likes the longer fishing rod to keep the lure or minnow away from the boat. Normally, Driscoll is fishing a single jig in heavy cover around lily pads, pad stems or other aquatic vegetation where it’s impossible to use a double rig.
“In the springtime, I’m going to fish back where the crappie have moved up shallow in thick cover. I just normally try to drift with the wind and not use the trolling motor. Sometimes, I will even drag a chain to keep from moving too fast,” said Driscoll.
Fishing in 2- or 3-feet of water, Driscoll slow trolls 1/4-ounce jig head with a chartreuse/Black Muddy Water Stick Bait plastic lure. When a crappie bites, Driscoll will set the hook raising the rod tip up while stripping out line to allow the crappie to be netted. Utilizing a long 14 foot landing net is essential for landing crappie when fishing with the long rods.
When the crappie aren’t biting in the thick cover, Driscoll will move out to open water in 3- to 8-feet deep fishing around the edge of stumps or aquatic vegetation. “I will put out 8 fishing rods if legal across the boat. I’m covering a 40 foot sweep with the all the rods out at 3 feet apart. Covering that much water is just a deadly presentation. I rig a single 1/4-ounce jig head with a Bobby Garland Stroll-R (www.bobbygarlandcrappie.com) tipped with a minnow or double rig two 1/8-ounce jig heads with loop knots while moving slowly over the open water,” said Driscoll.
One key to fishing so many fishing poles Driscoll noted was his Driftmaster (www.driftmaster.com) Crappie Stalker System rod holders. “I like using a single pole rod holder. It makes it easier to adjust and see a bite. When you have a bunch of rods on one holder a strike can shake the holders making them all move,” said Driscoll.