It’s one of those why didn’t I think of that moments. Trolling crankbaits for slab crappie sure makes a lot of sense. Crappie like to school in open water or on offshore ledges at times and the only way to catch them is trolling. Sure during the spawn they migrate towards the bank, but often a cold front will push them back to deeper water quickly. Big Slab crappies have a ravishing appetite often eating big forage or following schools of shad to feast on. One lure that imitates this forage is crankbaits. A crankbaits like the new Rebel Crappie Crank-R was designed with input from renowned crappie tournament pro and crappie fishing guide Todd Huckabee specifically for catching those slab crappie.
Trolling isn’t a new technique, tournament crappie pros have been experimenting with trolling crankbaits for a while now; however, they were restricted to using crankbaits designed by bass fishermen for bass fishing not crappie fishing. Crappie anglers needed a crappie crankbait that would dive deep, track straight, and come in crappie catching color patterns. That was the whole idea behind the Rebel Crappie Crank-R. Make a crankbait that would catch crappie. So, Rebel Lures (www.lurenet.com) with the input of Todd Huckabee came up with the Crappie Crank-R Crankbait. The Rebel Crappie Crank-R Crankbait has oversized blushed eyes, a wide array of color patterns, shad shaped body, big oversized lip, oval spilt ring, and extra sharp XCalibur TX3 hooks.
The Rebel Crappie Crank-R Crankbait was designed to be trolled with the electric trolling motor; although it can be trolled using the outboard if an angler wants to. When trolling it with the electric trolling motor the Crappie Crank-R will run 10 to 12 feet deep on 10-pound test monofilament. There are a number of different ways a crappie angler can present crappie crankbaits to crappie. One is the spider rig where anglers place up to 6 rods in holders at the front of the boat spreading them out and trolling forward making the crankbaits dive down. The other way is trolling them off rod holders on the back of the boat dragging them slowly. Another option crappie anglers have been exploring is using planer boards. Planer boards allow the crappie angler to cover more water in less time. Crappie anglers can use either the electric trolling motor or their outboard engine with planer boards.
After the spawn crappie move off the banks to offshore structure including aquatic vegetation, humps, brush piles or ledges. Of course crankbaits can be fished around rocks, but anglers will be amazed how well they come through brush or standing timber. The key is to move slowly through it without pausing. Interestingly, anglers often find they get more bites while making turns.
Crappies have been known to be quite selective at times usually only wanting that certain color lure. The Crappie Crank-R comes in both dark and light color patterns. The darker colors are better for catching crappie in low light situations while lighter colors are more productive during high sun or during the day. Huckabee especially likes the Crappie Crank-R Crankbaits with an abrupt color change towards the back section. The Rebel Crank-R Crankbait color patterns include firefly, high noon, lightning, midnight, pinkie, seasick showdown, sourgrape sunrise, and tail light.
Crappie anglers should no longer fear the open water, offshore structure or even shallow water with the new Rebel Crank-R Crankbait. Crankbaits are great for covering a lot of water quickly, but effectively. They are definitely easier to keep alive and come in a wide array of color patterns.
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