Scent, bait manufacturer sets down four keys to catching more sac-a-lait in Louisiana and elsewhere.
In fishing, four factors largely determine an angler’s success; weather, bait, knowledge from scouting and patience. According to Clyde Folse, aka “The Crappie Psychic,” these factors hold even more weight when targeting crappie.
Folse said that scouting and patience are the most-important keys to becoming an effective crappie fisherman. Weather is the most-important outside factor in crappie fishing, due to the panfish’s sensitivity to barometric pressure, he said.
“Barometric pressure is the most-important factor, period,” he said. “Weather plays the biggest part in whether you are going to have success crappie fishing.”
A good rule is to go fishing when the barometer reads less than 30 Hg and is dropping. This, however, doesn’t mean that anglers can’t go fishing on ‘bad days,’ Folse said.
“If I’m scouting on a bad day and I catch one or two in a spot, I’m going to remember that spot, because if I caught one or two on a bad day, then that means there are thousands of fish there,” Folse said. “So I’m going to go out there on days that I wouldn’t normally go because it’s high pressure, clear blue sky — not a good day to go — but I’ll go anyway to do a little bit of scouting.”
Even though the bait an angler uses is important, Folse drove home his point about spending time on the water scouting for fish.
“It’s all about putting in the time on the water,” he said. “A lot of people don’t want to put in the time, but scouting is key. There’s been many, many times that I’ve gone fishing and came home with five fish, but those are the days that you have to put in.”
Folse said finding a spot holding fish is a huge first step to success.
“I’ll give you an example,” he said. “You could be in a dead-end canal a mile long, and it has all the things you’re looking for: grass piles, it’s got … trees in the water, ledges and drop-offs, but the crappie will only be in a 50-yard stretch of that 1-mile canal.”
Folse said if you find a spot that they’re using, they’ll probably be there for a while.
“Crappie fishing is the toughest fishing there is,” Folse proclaimed. “I want to help people catch more crappie. People are floored by just employing just the little things that I talk about to improve their game.
Folse, who does seminars on crappie fishing, first drew attention when his company entered the market selling scented trailers and add-ons for crappie baits. His company recently added on crappie baits — a minnow imitation and a grass shrimp imitation — to its production line.
“We invented Crappie Trailers that are like an enhancement to your bait. We make your bait better; it’s just something to add to what you use,” Folse said. “Crappie fishermen all have their favorite go-to bait, so they don’t have to change what they use, they just have to add our scented trailers to their bait.”
Less is more
Folse has a simple philosophy when it comes to crappie lures: less is more.
“You don’t need a tackle box that, when you open it up, looks like a unicorn exploded … meaning there’s a thousand different colors in there.” Folse stated. “There are three or four go-to colors for each crappie fishermen out there, I’m a firm believer that you don’t need 75 different colors.”
When it comes to crappie fishing in south Louisiana, Folse’s mind is singular. Fish religiously with a black/white soft-plastic bait, with a scented Crappie Trailer or Crappie Ammo add-on, under a cork.
“Scent is extremely important; I teach a lot about that. A lot of scents are better than no scent,” Folse said. “Every time you touch your bait, you are scenting your bait with your own human pheromones. That’s very important because a lot of people are gifted with certain human pheromones that actually attract the fish.
“The Psychic Sauce that I have developed over the past 15 years not only attracts fish, but it will mask any scent you already have on,” Folse said. “When you open up a package of my baits, make sure you get it on your fingers…. Scent is extremely important, even moreso for (crappie).”
Despite some of Folse’s pro-staffers using the scented trailers with live bait, doubling the action of the bait, Folse’s opinion is that it is not as effective as used with artificial baits.
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