How to double up on crappie

As summer beckons, give slabs more options to get more hookups

With the exception of largemouth bass and catfish, guide Maynard Edwards of Lexington, N.C., has given up on using just one bait or lure at a time.

“I double-rig everything now,” Maynard said.

Edwards especially likes giving late-spring and early summer crappie two chances to make the mistake that’s going to send them headed to the frying pan and hot grease.

That can mean double rigs featuring one artificial bait and a live bait, two artificial baits, or two live baits. Once Edwards gets his rigs in the water, he lets the fish decide which ones he uses the most.

“I’ll fish for crappie in June in two ways,” Edwards said. “If they are suspended, I’ll troll along all my stuff behind the boat, pulling everything at about .7 to .8 mph.

“I like to fish a double rig with a 1/16-ounce Road Runner and a 1/16-ounce jig with a curlytail. I usually tie a loop knot for the jig, then come down and tie the Road Runner to the end of the line, maybe a foot or so apart.

“If crappie are deep — and most people won’t fish for crappie on the bottom — I’ll fish a double drop-shot rig. What I do then is tie on about a 1-ounce sinker to the end of the line, then I come up about 6 inches and tie in a loop knot with a jig and curlytail, and come up another 6 inches and tie in a No. 2 hook for a live minnow.

“I’ll drop it down to the bottom and reel it up maybe one turn, and I’ll pull it very slowly, .3 to .4 mph. I’m really tight-lining, just with a double rig.”

Edwards will fish at least a handful of rods at the same time, and he’ll vary colors of jigs, grubs and Road Runners, plus using single minnows or doubling up with two minnows on the same hook.

“If I get, say, three bites on the same thing, then I’m going to change my other baits over. If I’m tight-lining and I get two or three bites in a row on the top hook, instead of moving the loop knots around, I’m going to wind the sinker up off the bottom more — maybe let it hit bottom and wind it up two or three rounds instead of one.”

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