Tiny one-inch crankbaits put big crappies in the boat

As we move into the mid-summer fishing patterns, I like to spend a good deal of time chasing big crappies.  I’ve learned to appreciate these scrappy fighters, but I am especially fond of the big ones.

Here are some tips for catching the larger crappies in any given waterway.

Bobbers have a time and place

The traditional style of using bobbers for crappies is fine and dandy if you are looking for numbers of fish. If you are targeting larger crappies, there are better ways to improve your odds.

I save the bobbers for the time I have located a school and want to sit on them for a period of time. Bobbers are for when you find them, not before.


Crankbaits are my No. 1 technique for catching big crappies. Crankbaits in the 1-inch size have been my go-to baits for two years now and I find they are awesome at catching the bigger crappies while the small crappies leave them alone.

The beauty of the smaller crankbaits is that you will catch a lot of “excuse me” walleyes, northern pike and bass as well. Bigger crappies love to smack those smallish cranks and I can catch bigger crappies even in lakes with low big crappie potential.

Cast or troll

Trolling about 1.2 miles per hour with your electric motor moves those little crankbaits at the correct speed. Always use your electric instead of your gas outboard because chances are you will be fishing 6 to 11 feet of water.

Casting is also very viable once you have caught that first crappie trolling. You can’t constantly troll over nice crappies with a boat so you resort to casting after you have caught the first one trolling.

Utilizing small crankbaits can eliminate those pesky, smaller crappies and trigger the bigger fish into striking. It’s proven; I do it almost daily with success!


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