If you’re looking to take your crappie fishing skills to the next level from a kayak, look no further than the expertise of Capt. Tim Moore. Prepare to dive into his profound understanding of pursuing and capturing these sought-after panfish. Get ready to revolutionize your angling game with Moore’s unique approach.
The Advantages of Kayaks
Moore’s choice of watercraft provides him with several key advantages that significantly enhance his fishing experience. Let’s explore these invaluable benefits:
1. Limitless Access
Narrow passages and confined spaces don’t faze Moore. Fishing kayaks effortlessly navigate areas where motorboat traffic would struggle. No boat ramp? No problem. With the latest angling kayaks, limitations are almost non-existent. While kayakers may lack the power of a motor, their ability to launch almost anywhere compensates for this setback.
Moore explains, “Most of New Hampshire’s waters are home to crappie, but not all of them have a boat launch. Today’s angling kayaks offer fewer limitations than ever before. What kayak anglers lose by not having a motor, they make up for with the freedom to launch almost anywhere.”
2. Solitude for Success
Fishing in waters seldom frequented by motorboats presents prime angling opportunities with unpressured fish. The absence of outboard motors enhances the tranquility of these secluded fishing spots.
3. Mastering Stealth
By sitting rather than standing, Moore minimizes his vertical profile, allowing for seamless movement and reduced disturbance. Additionally, the streamlined design of kayaks causes minimal water displacement, granting access to shallow waters that even skiffs cannot reach.
“In early summer, a larger profile can spook fish, so the smaller profile of a kayak provides a significant advantage,” states Moore. “Furthermore, the smaller profile also minimizes wind resistance in the fall, allowing me to stay on top of a school of fish for longer periods.”
The Perfect Vessel
Moore employs either the Predator XL Minn Kota or the Predator 13, depending on the day’s fishing plans. The Predator XL Minn Kota, measuring 13 feet in length with a 36-inch beam and a 45-pound thrust Minn Kota trolling motor, serves as his primary kayak. On the other hand, the Predator 13, spanning 13 feet and 2 inches long with a width of 33 1/2 inches, satisfies his paddling cravings.
Moore emphasizes the importance of efficiency when it comes to the layout and accessories of his kayak. He advises, “I despise wasting time tying on new jigs when I could be fishing, so I bring multiple rods rigged with different lures. To accommodate this, I require plenty of rod holders.”
He continues, “I rely on the Scotty rocket launcher rod holders for quick access to my rods. Additionally, I have a crate with a mounted 3-rod holder. I keep plastic tackle storage boxes filled with my favorite lures in the crate.”
To keep his focus razor-sharp, Moore utilizes a Sonarphone from Vexilar Inc. This state-of-the-art mobile sonar unit transmits sonar signals directly to an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet via WiFi. With the Vexilar SP200 T-Box and an iPad, Moore has an unparalleled fishing companion.
“The Sonarphone T-Pod is a dream fishfinder for kayak anglers since it requires no mounting and is incredibly affordable,” Moore elaborates. “You simply toss it in the water and let it float on a tether.”
He adds, “The best part is that I can take it with me regardless of which kayak I am using, so I only need one. Moreover, anyone with the app on their smartphone or tablet can view the same information from one T-Pod.”
Essential tools in Moore’s arsenal include pliers, a camera, a measuring tape, and a stringer or cooler for those fortunate enough to be fishing for dinner.
Strategies for Success
Moore expertly employs two main strategies for crappie fishing in different seasons. Let’s dive into his remarkable approach:
“During and just after the spring spawn, crappie inhabit shallow waters and gravitate towards structures such as pond lilies and deadwood,” explains Moore.
He continues, “In the fall, when lakes undergo turnover, crappie form large schools and suspend over basins. They exhibit aggressive feeding behavior throughout the day.”
Moore’s go-to bait during the fall season is the Live Baby Shad from Lake Fork Trophy Lures. His preferred color, “electric chicken,” is a magnet for crappie. Rigging the bait on a 1/8-ounce round jighead, he expertly works the drift.
“The crappie simply can’t resist it,” Moore declares with confidence. “I drift over basins until I locate a school of fish using my electronics. Subsequently, I repeat the same drift, often until I tire of reeling in crappie.”
He adds, “Fishing in the fall is an exhilarating experience that seemingly never stops.”
As spring emerges, Moore reaches for a pearl Daddy Mac Lures Whisperer rigged on a 3/0 Trokar offset hook, essentially creating a weightless Texas rig. This setup allows him to cast into structures and gently manipulate the bait with subtle twitches. Moore emphasizes that the pause between twitches is when he witnesses the majority of bites.
“Since not all structures in spring host crappie, I cast along the shoreline extensively until I land a fish. Crappie rarely swim alone, so once I find one, I concentrate my casts in the same area. This strategy invariably leads me to discover additional crappie nearby,” Moore elaborates.
“Crappie typically spawn in the same area each year, so once I locate a spot, I return there every season.”
As we part ways, Moore leaves us with a final piece of advice. Rather than focusing on bait rigging, paddling techniques, or even lunch decisions, he emphasizes the importance of safety when fishing in remote areas, often far beyond the reach of concerned onlookers.
“In all seriousness, prioritize your safety,” he insists. “Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and inform someone of your fishing location.”
For more invaluable insights into kayak fishing for crappie, visit UpStreamPaddle.