Spider Rigging For Crappie
Spider Rigging for Crappie – The first time someone sees a fishing boat that has been rigged up and is gliding along a lake with 6-8 poles sticking out of the bow, it will make them squirm. This boat is a little like a water spider. This is how “spiderrigging” was named.
Spider rigging is a practice that has existed for many decades. It is not clear who or where it originated, but I saw it at the Santee Cooper Reservoir around 30 years ago. I was used to fishing for stripers and bass and thought it odd that pan fishermen would put so much effort into rigging crappies.
The results of the Santee spider-riggers were amazing. They opened a cooler stuffed with thick-body slab crappies weighing between 1 and 2 pounds at the end of the day.
Spider rigging has evolved over the years to be a very sophisticated and precise technique. Many crappie anglers, particularly those who participate in tournaments, embrace it enthusiastically. Spider rigging is very effective in locating and catching heavyweight papers mouths. It also produces banner catches almost anywhere crappies live.
Spider rigging is basically slow trolling with an electric motor, and poles or rods are placed in holders at the bow. Slowly, the boat is “pushed” forward with lures and baits being presented to the fish. Modern spider rigging boats use sophisticated equipment that anglers can use in other types of sport fishing.
Al Green of Jacksonville, Florida is one of America’s most passionate crappie anglers. Green has fished for crappies all his life. He was born near the St. Johns River and has been fishing since childhood. There are many lakes and other waterways that are full of them. Green is a crappie-tournament angler, and a tournament director at the Crappie Masters Florida Crappie Trail.
He is also a strong supporter of spider rigging and spends a day boat fishing with him to learn the nuances of this proven method. He is a consistent catcher of crappies, even when other anglers are almost fishless.
Spider rigging is an active and skilled method of fishing. Two anglers are the best for this. Green fishes with his son Alan during tournaments. While they are constantly paying attention to innumerable details like boat speed, boat location, rods and reels, baits, leaders and lines, lure depth and other factors, they also monitor their electronics. There are many sizes and shapes of spider-rigging boats. Many of them can be rigged in the same way Green did. This is how he does this.
Crappie may move to deeper waters as spring spawn fades into the summer heat, making it more difficult for papermouth anglers and fisherman to catch them.
Spider rigging can be legal in areas where it is legal. If you’re not familiar with the technique, we’ll give you a guideline and reviews of our favorite gear that will help you spider-rig efficiently.
Do you want to spider rigg Keep reading to find out more!
Spider Rigging Basics: What You Need to Know
Spider rigging can be described as a rod multiplier. You can increase your chances of getting a bite by rigging more rods. This will also increase the area you fish and the choices you have when luring a crappie.
The name of this technique comes from the spider-like appearance of a boat equipped in this way.
Spider Rigging Technique Tips
Spider rigging doesn’t have to be a summer skill. Trolling is possible in spring, winter, or fall.
Combination “multipliers” make spider rigging more efficient. Multipliers are a combination of multiple rods that make spider rigging more effective.
Crappie are predators that prey on their prey but don’t chase them. This should provide some insight on trolling with a Spider-rig.
Charles Bunting and Travis Bunting recommend.8mph.point eightThis is a great starting speed. They’ll then steer through “s”, curves that force both the inside and outside rigs into slowdown. The location they get bit will determine the throttle position for their next run.
Make your bead!
When there are many rods in the water, it can be hard to identify a bite. If a crappie takes your lure, you can place a small bead in between the first guide and your tip.
Vary your depths
Experienced crappie anglers know that crappie can be found at different locations in the water column.
We don’t know what the difference is between “shallow”, or “deep”, but we love the flexibility of spider rigging.
You need special gear to perform spider rigging.
Let’s start at the end.
Trolling crappie rigs aren’t difficult to make.
The barrel swivel allows rigs and rigs spin freely without any problems.
When we tie our own knots, we love Mustad and Eagle Claw.
Trolling is a fishing method that I find very boring.
My first trolling experience was on a lake-erie trip with walleyes. I was able to feel the movement of my nightcrawler as it bounced around the bottom.
Through a lot of experience fishing the rocky White River and plastic worm fishing, you can usually tell the tick or stump of a rock from the thump a fish. Although we caught only a few walleyes it was enough to make for a good day.
Danny, a Perry County buddy, shared with me his crappie-catching technique he had used once on Kentucky Lake. It is also known as spider rigging. You place the rods in the holders on the boat’s front and drift along.
A hook that has a minnow, or jig attached to it is located one foot above the hook. A hook with a minnow, jig or both may be used above the hook.
Jasper-based mechanic Dan Recklehoff owned the shop for many decades. I drove my boat to Schnellville Road and checked my outboard.
I was able to see his boat and spider rigging while he was at his garage.
Dan had two seats in his boat.
He attached a minnow to each of the six hooks on all six rigs, and then let them sink in the water. We then began spidering. He told me that the lake was full of small crappie, so he attached a minnow to each hook on all six rigs and let them sink into the water.
These would have been a great catch if they were bluegill. Crappie are easier to keep clean than bluegills and can still provide some meat.
After that quick start, we were sure to reach our limit of 25 people per day quickly. I was certain that we would reach our limit of 25 per person quickly, but then the bite stopped.
You need to take some time to learn how to set the hook. This was the most difficult part for me.
Sometimes you need to let the fish do the work for you.
We were very close to the double limit when one of our rods was bent. Next, I felt muscle at the other end. I was able then to steer the fish away.
1. The Best Boat to Spider Rigging
Green’s boat, a 20-foot Big O, is big and wide. It’s powered by a Suzuki 200 horsepower outboard. It’s spacious and ideal for large water.
It is a bass boat with special storage compartments. Green uses the 40-gallon aerated circular forewell well of the boat to keep crappies healthy and frisky for tournament fishing. Anglers can easily reach it from the bow, where they can deposit fish in. Green uses Mr. Crappie Crappie Care to ensure that caught crappies are kept alive, especially in tournaments. Other crappie experts prefer G-Juice Live Well Therapy.
2. Install a Bow-Mounted Electric Motor
Green had his boat rigged using a bow-mounted, 80-pound thrust self-deploying MinnKota iPilot Uterra. It is powered by a 24-volt system. Green believes his iPilot makes spider rigging easier because he can use it hands-free via the MinnKota remote controller.
Green can adjust the boat’s position to structure and map configurations quickly and accurately using this GPS-enabled electric engine.
Green claims that the Spot-Lock feature of his iPilot is essential for spider rigging. The “lock” feature locks his boat in an anchor position without the use of a rope or heavy anchor. It makes it easy to fish in wind and current, and allows you to present precise lures and baits to crappies.
3. Invest in LiveScope sonar
Green uses the Garmen LiveScope as one of two sonar units to reach fish-holding structures. Bob McNally
Green has a lot of boat sonar and it all is very useful for his advanced form of spider-rigging. The Garmin LiveScope is located at the boat’s bow. This innovative sonar device is directional and allows Green detect structure in detail. It can also identify individual fish up to 20 feet away. It can differentiate small baitfish from large crappies and large slabs from small. It can distinguish between short fish like crappies and long fish like gar.
It clearly displays individual baits and jigs Green uses to spider rig his boat and shows crappies rising in real time. This allows anglers to be ready to reel in fish.
Green’s LiveScope transducer, called a PoleDucer and mounted to a bow-mounted device. It is located beside his electric motor. It can be manually operated, and Green can move the LiveScope transducer to any direction with his MinnKota, which allows him to control his boat’s speed and turn it. Some spider riggers attach their LiveScope transducers at the feet of their electric motors. Green prefers that they are independent by using a PoleDucer.
Green claims that a new version LiveScope scans the bow of a boat in a nearly 180 degree wide arc. Spider riggers can see a larger area below the surface, Green said.
4. Hunt for Crappies using Bow and Console Sonar Units
A Humminbird Chirp mega sonar unit with side-and-down imaging and GPS plot tracking is mounted at the bow of his LiveScope monitor. Green states that this unit is essential to spider rigging because it shows structures and fish well port and starboard of his boat. Plus, it also tracks depth.
The Humminbird transducer was fitted to the MinnKota’s electric motor lower unit. Green can track his GPS route and use it to trace his spider rigging routes in order to replicate successful crappie catching runs. The Humminbird also uses Navionics Premium chips, which can be loaded into it to show exact structure details for virtually any crappie water.
The bow-mounted sonar units can be used to precise boat maneuvering and the presentation of baits and jigs while spiderrigging. However, a pair console sonar units allows Green to quickly locate hot crappie spots and run his boat to fish spots.
Green also relies on the Humminbird Chirp mega sonar unit, which has side-and-down imaging and a GPS plotter on a split screen. A basic Lowrance down imaging depth finder is also on his console, which he can use as a backup if necessary.
5. The Best Rod Holders For Spider Rigging
For spider rigging to be effective, rod holders must be of high quality and easy use. Green has two Millenium Marine bracket rod holders attached to his boat deck, one to port and one to starboard. They are located just aft from his bow sonar. They are located comfortably in front of his bow-deck fishing chairs.
Each bracket holder holds four rods, which allows for eight rods for spider rigging. He prefers the Millennium Marine R100 Spyderlok Rod holder. The large knobs allow individual rods and lines to be positioned at any angle to enable spider rigging. It also features comfortable knob disconnects that allow you to trailer boats to the water.
6. Install bow chairs on your crappie boat
Green’s boat bow is large and stable. It can accommodate two anglers in comfortable chairs. Green requires the additional seat to ensure that he can monitor the intricate details of spider rigging.
Green recommends chairs that are lightweight, portable, weatherproof, durable, weatherproof, and with no armrests. The Millenium Chair is his favorite, as it is comfortable and wide. It has mesh seats that allow for air circulation, so they can breathe during hot days.
Aluminum pedestal posts are used to secure the chairs and they quickly fit into brackets on bow deck. Green can move the chairs to another bracket astern of the boat to allow for easier access to fishing spots. Green and his partner can quickly pay attention to lures and baits by placing the chairs in easy reach of the fishing rods.
7. How to power your crappie boat
Green’s Big O is powered by four 12-volt batteries. One deep-cycle battery, which is located in a bow hatch, is used exclusively for the two bow sonar unit.
Two deep-cycle batteries are connected to the MinnKota iPilot 24 volt power system. Green’s Suzuki outboard, console sonars and dual Power Poles at the stern require a fourth 12-volt cranking battery.
8. Use Power-Poles for Strong Currents or Winds
Green’s boat’s stern is adorned with a pair of Power-Pole Pro II units, one on each side of his Suzuki 200hp motor. Each unit is equipped with a Power-Pole Drift Paddle that Green uses to control the angle of his boat and speed during trolling presentations. He says they are great in strong wind and river current.
Power Poles are skilled at slowing down a Big-O’s speed to achieve the best spider-rigging speeds. Although they look a lot like giant sea anchors and are much more efficient, powerful, and effective than those, Power Poles work just as well.
9. How to keep live bait for crappie fishing
Successful spider rigging is made possible by the use of frisky live minnows. Green totes 100-150 fresh baits every day that he’s fishing.
He keeps them alive and makes them eat crappies by storing their baits in a small, well-insulated, self-contained cooler that is solely for the purpose of keeping them alive.
The battery-operated, small and effective air stone system is used to aerate the baits vigorously. To keep lively minnows happy, cool bait water is essential. Green keeps small freezer bottles in his cooler in hot weather to lower the temperature of the water.
Green keeps about 12 minnows on hand in a small tray near the boat bow. It is easily accessible from his fishing chairs and rods. He retrieves more minnows from the cooler by using a bait net.
Continue reading:These are the 8 best live bait rigs for crappie fishing
10. The Best Net for Spider Rigging
A long-handled, telescoping net helps land crappies
With panfish netting seems like a tedious task, but it is not with spider rigging. Fishing buddies should be able to help you with this task.
Standard length nets that have handles that are only a few feet long are not suitable. It is not a good idea to lift crappies using rod and line, as lines are usually light and panfish can be heavy.
Green uses the Eco Net, which is 8.5 feet (extended), with a telescoping handle. Green prefers the rubberized mesh, which minimizes tangles and includes hooks, sinkers and line in the net bag.
11. Use On-Deck Rod Holders During Runs
Extra-long spider-rigging crappie rods can prove difficult to accommodate on fishing boats of average size, even if they have rod storage areas that are suitable for 6- to 8-foot lengths. When trailering or running open water, it is important to have sturdy rod holders that can hold rods up 16 feet in length.
Green uses a pair Driftmaster Tip Saver rod holders, which can easily hold four 16-foot crappie rods. They come in pairs and are positioned in the designated positions. Large knobs allow the rod holders to quickly disengage when they are not being used. This allows for a clear, clutter-free, and safe fishing deck.
12. The Best Rods & Reels for Spider Rigging
Green prefers the specially-made Wally Marshall Sweet16 spider rigging rods. These are medium-light Lews IM6 graphite sticks that measure 16 feet in length and can be used for testing lines up to 12 pounds.
Green attaches his rods to a piece of brightly-colored waterproof taping at intervals of 2 feet from the rod tip to reel handle. He can quickly measure the length from the rod tip to the reel handle by raising the rod and looking at the tape segments. Green can quickly determine the length of baits to be used at 8 feet by holding the rod high and looking for tape segments.
Each rod comes with a Lew’s Wally Marshall lightweight spinning reel, spooled in 6-pound-test monofilament spool line.
Continue reading:Today’s Top Lures, Rigs and Flies
13. The Essential Terminal Tackle to Spider Rigging
Green uses 18 inches of fluorocarbon test leader, weighing 4 pounds. He attaches it to a bright brass barrel with a swivel at one side and a lure on the other. For maximum action, he ties all lures with a Rapala loop tie.
Green keeps hundreds of pre-rigged leader-lures ready for use in a binder-like tackle kit. Individual lure rigs and leaders are stored in plastic bags that can be cut into small sandwiches. He insists that if a lure gets lost or the line is frayed, it is quicker to simply remove the barrel swivel and attach a new rig using a Palomar tie. Green prefers shiny brass type swivels as they are believed to attract crappies.
To keep his jigs straight and deep during trolling, he also places a colored sliding eggsinker above the swivel. He’ll sometimes use 1/2 ounce for shallower water.
14. The Best Spider-Rigging Crappies Lures
Green uses a variety of 1/16-ounce jigs and smaller jigs to spider rigging. All are tipped by lively, nose-hooked minnows. The majority of the models are standard crappie models with line-ties that are set 90 degrees to a hook shank. This is Green’s preference for slow trolling spider rigs.
There are exceptions to this rule, however, with ice-fishing style, like Moon Eye Jigs that have line-ties at the tips for wobbling while slow trolling. Green hand paints his egg sinkers, matching their colors to the pre-rigged jigs. Use pink sinkers with mylar, blue, or pink jigs. He combines orange leads with orange-colored jigs. Chartreuse egg weights are compatible with almost any color jig. However, they’re usually used with dark yellow, red, or peal-jigs. Never use orange or pink lures. He prefers dark yellow sinkers that match the color of his jigs, or mylar ones. He also never uses white sinkers.
Spider rigging does not have to take place in the summer. It can still be a great way of catching more crappie when it’s hot.
It’s simple: slow down, troll. You need the right gear to make fishing “multiplier “. . We hope this guide and gear list is helpful.
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