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Trolling Take Over by Kevin Rogers

Posted by admin on January 10, 2015

Here we are, right in the middle of the crappie spawn!  Here in my home state of Missouri the Red Bud trees have bloomed and the water temperatures are from 55 – 63 degrees, that means it is almost one pole jigging time. However, for the last three months, one pattern has dominated crappie fishing, and the crappie tournament trails.  Slow trolling or spider rigging (depends on where you live in the country). The method of using multiple rods and rod holders while moving along slowly with the trolling motor.  This method is absolutely the deadliest method for catching pre-spawn crappie anywhere in the country.  This is due to the pre-spawn crappie pattern that takes place throughout the country until the spawn hits.  Crappie move out of the winter homes, and start to migrate up shallower; simply they seem to wander around until right before they spawn.  Some will head to cover, but the majority of them are in transition, and that is where slow trolling is so deadly. No other method can even compete when it comes to catching huge pre-spawn crappie.  In my crappie career, I have had the pleasure of catching three, 3# crappie.  They were all caught in pre-spawn stage, and all were caught slow trolling.  Being a crappie fisherman who loves one pole jig fishing, I know I would have not caught these 3# monsters if I had not been slow trolling.  That’s just how awesome this technique is on pre-spawn crappie.

I have seen tournament teams become trolling expects in as short as 5 years; this is a lot different from 15 years ago when trolling wasn’t as common.  Now days there are folks that start crappie fishing with the trolling method; this just didn’t happen 20 years ago, Why is that?  Simple, success and results. If you go through all of the tournament results over the last couple of months, 90% of them were won by some type of trolling.  The most dominate tournament crappie fishing team in the country; Capps & Coleman have made a career out of slow trolling.  Heck, they are the reason I started spider rigging (a man can only get his butt kicked so many times before he learns to slow troll).  Another reason why trolling has become so popular is that companies are starting to dedicate products just to spider rigging. 

Great companies like Tite-Lok (www.titelok.com) have worked with Pro’s to developed high tech rod holders for slow trolling, that crappie fishing has even seen. The Capps and Coleman Widow Maker Rod Holders is an example of how companies are working with crappie pros to help provide, the latest and greatest products for everyday fisherman, and touring pros.  The Window Maker rod holders allow you to adjust the rod holder in any direction you want with ease (you don’thave to have the entire toolbox for adjustment).  Another cool thing about the Tite-Lok Widow Makers is that they are single rod holders; this allows you to identify which rod was smacked by a crappie.  Anyone who has trolled with a multiple rod holder, has grabbed the wrong rod due to the entire rod rack moving when I crappie hit; the Widow Maker eliminates that issue. Professional crappie fisherman working with awesome crappie fishing companies is how the majority of new products come out each year, and you the avid crappie fisherman get the benefit of that.

I myself, I’m not a trolling expect; out of our 33 crappie fishing wins, only two have been using the slow trolling technique.  When you get to a certain age, you know what your good at, and what you’re not. I know I have a lot to learn about trolling still, but without question I had better learn quickly because trolling is taking over the tournament trail in a huge way! For me, nothing will ever replace the thump of a big crappie while holding the pole in my hand, that is why I crappie fish.  Nevertheless, if your goanna compete in crappie tournaments, you must learn how to troll.  One pole and one bait will never compete against, sixteen baits going through the water.

If you haven’t tried the multiple pole trolling, try it. Love it or hate it, there is no doubt slow trolling is starting to take over crappie fishing!