The cove at Rend Lake Resort near Whittington, IL is alive with shad breaking the surface and then vanishing. Dan Dannenmueller and I are trying to catch a few crappies and do an interview about the tactics and bait he uses as he competes as a professional angler. The cove is alive with the shiny silver torpedoes skimming the still water.
Dan explains that gizzard shad, the dominant forage in this lake, produce sounds that attract crappies. They make a clicking noise. When they jump out of the water as these are doing, they make a different noise. Predator fish to hone in on the shad's location use the second noise. It is different from the sound of something tossed into the water.Share
Day 1: Factors Determining Where Crappie Hold and How They’ll Bite in the Fall and Winter with Dan Dannenmueller
Editor’s Note: Dan Dannenmueller from Wetumpka, Ala., is a successful crappie tournament pro on the Crappie Masters Tournament Circuit (http://www.crappiemasters.net/).
During the fall of the year, I usually find crappie on underwater flats. I catch them by pulling or pushing crankbaits when I’m spider-rigging (slow-trolling). I also fish underwater tree tops, using minnows and jigs, while spider-rigging. When I’m pulling and pushing crankbaits, I generally will be fishing with Series 200 or Series 300 Bandit crankbaits (https://www.banditlures.com/main.asp), because the crappie will be feeding on schools of shad that are scattered out on the flats. The crankbaits will run right through those schools of shad. Since the crankbaits are different colors and have different actions than the shad, the crappie will attack the crankbaits. I use crankbaits when the water is 58 to 65 degrees. I’ll pull my crankbaits on 10-pound-test line that has low visibility. Yet, it’s strong enough to land the big crappie that take the crankbaits. I fish the crankbaits on 14 foot B‘n’M poles (http://www.bnmpoles.com/).Share
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