Crappie Trolling 101

There are many techniques out there about trolling.  Here is how I do it.  I long line out the back of my boat using 10 and 12 foot crappie trolling rods (some folks use longer rods than this).  My trolling speeds can vary from 0.7 MPH to 1.5 MPH depending on water temperature and where the fish are located in the water column during the season.  Early in the season beginning around March 1st, I will go to the creeks and use my Helix 10 depth finder to search for crappie and baitfish.  Once I find some activity on my screen, I will put my rods out.  I make everything equally the same.  I use 6 pound test line on all reels and 1/16 weight hooks on all rods.  This way I know that all lines are running at same depth.  For example, I know that at speeds of 0.8 MP that my lines are running bout 8 foot deep behind the boat on a cast of about 60 feet.  You need to pay attention to your fish finder and always pull your jigs above the fish.  Crappie will not as a rule go down on a trolling jig.  Speed controls your depth in the water column.  Faster speeds will pull your jigs up higher in the water column.  Sometimes the fish are deep in the water column and sometimes they are near the top.  So pay attention to where the fish are located on your depthfinder.  I always tip my hooks with minnows.  Jig colors are a matter of preference.  Chartruise and something is always a good start on colors to troll.  This setup is very basic.  As you learn to troll you will get better each time out.  Pay attention to what the fish are telling you.  Always change speeds and colors until you get it right.  Good luck and good fishing.