How to Rig a Trolling Line for Crappie

How to Rig a Trolling Line for Crappie
Pound for pound, a hooked crappie puts up one of the best fights a fisherman can have. Found in ponds, lakes and slow rivers, crappie, considered part of the "pan fish" family, are often times about the size of an adults hand. However, large crappie, or slabs, are often caught in deeper lake waters where there is an abundance of food. Lake crappie are often times caught with trolling rigs that are designed to get down deep to where the big slab crappie live.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Mono filament fishing line
  • Snips
  • Crappie jigs
  • Crappie grubs
Step 1
Attach a crappie trolling rig to your mono filament fishing line. Connect your line to the swivel at the top of the rig with an Improved Clinch knot. Begin forming the knot by passing 5 to 6 inches of line through the eye of the swivel at the top of the rig. Wrap the free, or tag, end of the line around the main line for six to seven turns. Begin making turns near the eye and work your way up the line.
Step 2
Turn the tag end of the line down and pass through the small loop formed in the line just above the eye of the swivel. Pull the line through the loop and pass the end through the larger loop formed along the side of the knot. Tighten the knot and use snips to trim excess line.
Step 3
Attach crappie jig head hooks to the dropper lines of the rig. The droppers will be lengths of line that offset from the main line. Most rigs will have a clasp to attach a hook or jig to. Open the clasp by pressing inward, attach the jig hook, and close the clasp.
Step 4
Insert the point of the jig hook through the nose of a grub for about 1 inch. Turn the point of the hook down and out the belly of the grub. Orient the grub on the jig hook so its nose is against the jig head and the body is straight on the hook.
Step 5
Attach an egg weight or split shot weight to the bottom of the crappie trolling rig. Depending on the design of the rig, you may use an egg weight with a line eye attached or a crimp on split shot weight. Use enough weight to get the rig down to the level of the fish but not so much as to interfere with trolling.
Step 6
Cast the rig and allow it to settle to the level where the crappie should be holding. Begin moving the boat very slowly at no more than 1 mph. Allow the rig to move undisturbed through the water and watch the end of the rod for signs of a strike.

Tips & Warnings

Use a fish finder or refer to reports from other fishermen to figure out where crappie may be holding. This information is necessary as it will dictate where on the lake you will position your boat and at what depth you will present the rig.
Stop the boat when you catch a fish. Crappie usually have a lot of friends, so where there is one, there are typically several. Take the time to fish the area thoroughly with the rig.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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