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My Crappie Fishing Secret

The other day I was reading an article on OutdoorLife.com which caused me to pause in reflection. The article was about a secret passed to a young angler from his Uncle.  Seems upon catching the first Crappie of the day, the Uncle would take out a spoon and scale the Crappie over a coffee can then add enough water to the can to keep the scales nice and wet. Every now and again the Uncle would reach into the coffee can gather a pinch of scales and toss them into the brush or tree top they were fishing.  The young angler claims the Crappie become excited by the fluttering scales sinking through the water column. Personally, I am not able to tell you that this “secret” works or not, but it did cause me to think.

Do you have friends who constantly catch more Crappie than you do?  Ever wonder if they are keeping Crappie  catching secrets? Are you hanging  tightly on to some Crappie  fishing secret?

I have a little secret that I have used often to out fish someone in the same boat with me, and they have never caught on to what I am doing, that consistently allows me to catch more and usually bigger Crappie.  It is a simple little trick when using live Shiner that anyone can do, and I will guarantee you that you will catch you more Crappie.

Line Clippers

Like many  anglers I keep a pair of toenail clippers attached to my belt. Supposedly to clip the free end of  line after tying a new knot when what I really do is I use the line clippers much more often than I would if I only used them for clipping line.

Most fishermen know that it is only natural that anything higher up on the food chain will take advantage of the week or injured. We know that very often fish, who aren’t even actively searching for a meal, are unable to control itself when presented with an obviously injured easy meal.   There is just some sort of primeval instinct which overcomes the Crappie, or any other species, and causes what we call a reaction strike.  An injured Shiner presents itself in the close vicinity of a Crappie and just out of reflex the Crappie  will gobble it up.

It is my belief that not only will the injured Shiner become the victim a reaction strike, but also that the larger fish will jump quicker and more aggressively.

Golden Shiner

Clipped tail Golden Shiner

When sensing danger injured shiner emit a a chemical alarm pheromone called Schreckstoff.  Studies have shown that when the Schreckstoff pheromone is introduced to their environment, shiners will show signs of nervousness bordering on agitation, and some fish are attracted to Schreckstoff pheromone.  I haven’t found a study yet which states Crappie are one of the fish attracted to the pheromone, but it is my belief that it is definitely a factor in my success.

What I will often do, while Crappie fishing with live shiners, is use my line clippers to clip off part of the caudal (tail) fin. When the shiners tail fin have been clipped with the line clippers the Shiner swims erratic, unbalanced, and in unpredictable  swimming motion which a monster sized Crappie simply can not ignore.

Give it a try next time the Crappie  fishing slows down and goes into one of the lulls which they are so famous. You will wonder why you haven’t been clipping that fin all day!

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