These black crappie spots are incredible, but no one fishes them

Image Via: Gord Pyzer

Crappie connection

How to pull slab crappies out of the gnarliest wood piles

Everyone knows that pencil reeds are an early-season crappie angler’s best friend. As a result, choice reed beds typically get hammered by every angler on the lake. When that happens, look instead for fallen, submerged trees—the gnarlier and more complex the better. But don’t make the same mistake as many crappie anglers and rush your first casts into the heart of the cover, which might spook all the plate-sized slabs suspended on the periphery.

Credit: Gord Pyzer Cast the perimeter of sunken wood first
Credit: Gord Pyzer
Cast the perimeter of sunken wood first

Instead, pitch a two-inch tube or marabou jig to the outside edges of the tree and slowly swim it back to the boat. A tiny minnow suspended under a slip bobber and allowed to drift in with the waves is equally deadly. Only after I’ve caught all the fish guarding the edges do I move in closer and target the middle.

Gord Pyzer

Gord Pyzer

Fishing Editor Gord Pyzer is widely regarded as Canada's most scientific angler. Known in fishing circles as Doctor Pyzer, he worked for 30 years as a senior manager with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources before devoting all his energies to fishing. A member of the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, the award-winning writer is also an internationally sought out speaker, tournament angler and field editor with In-Fisherman Magazine and Television. As well, he co-hosts the Real Fishing Radio Show with Bob Izumi. Catch Gord on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show live every Saturday morning 8:05AM EST. If you're in southern Ontario, tune your radio to Sportsnet 590 The FAN AM or visit and listen live online.

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