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From Duck Hunting to Crappie Fishing with Jeff McCoy - Part 4: About My Crappie Education

Oct 25, 2013 - Jeff McCoy, the assistant chief of police in Trenton, Tenn., has owned two War Eagle Boats and is preparing to purchase his third boat this year. This 5-part Q-and-A with McCoy will examine how McCoy’s boat needs change as his life does.

War Eagle: Jeff, what have you learned from fishing the national crappie circuits?

McCoy: I’m experimenting with long lining, which is pulling crankbaits for crappie from the stern of the boat. I’m not very good at it yet, but it’s a tactic I need to learn. I’ve learned that there’s an art to this form of fishing. The length of line you have out behind your boat and the size and the depths the crankbaits are designed to run can be the key to catching a lot of suspended crappie that many other crappie fishermen never will find or catch. When crappie are scattered and not holding on structure, being able to fish this technique can be the difference in finding and catching crappie and going home with an empty live well. But I still need a lot of help with this technique.

War Eagle: What crankbait are you running?

McCoy: I use Bandit 300s and 400s as well as Roadrunners.

War Eagle: What color seems to be best?

McCoy: I like the red crawdad colors, but I’ve bought a box full of crankbaits. I probably own half of all the colors of crankbaits made.

War Eagle: What time of year seems to be best for pulling crankbaits?

McCoy: Summertime is the best time to fish crankbaits deep or during the pre-spawn before the crappie move up into the shallow water.

War Eagle: What’s another technique you’ve learned fishing the national crappie circuit?

McCoy: I’m learning how to drift fish and locate crappie on a new lake. One of the things I like about Crappie USA is they have all the tournament results, so you can see where the top three teams have fished and how they’ve fished the year before. I’m also learning how to research a lake before I fish it. In about 3 weeks, I’ll be fishing Old Hickory Lake, and I’ve already started doing research on my computer on how to fish that lake. If I didn’t fish the national crappie circuits, I never would have thought to use the computer to learn how to fish a lake 3 weeks before I get there. I’ve also learned that these tournament pros talk to each other before they fish a lake and share information on tips and tactics for fishing that particular lake before the event starts. I would have thought that these pro-crappie fishermen wouldn’t tell anybody where and how they fish. But I’ve found that they share techniques and strategies and generally try to help each other. In every crappie tournament I’ve attended, the announcer will ask the contestants, “Where did you catch your fish, and what baits were you using?” The contestants will tell where they’ve fished and what baits they’ve been fishing. Using research before you go to a new lake drastically can increase your chances for locating and catching crappie on that lake. These are just a few of the concepts I’ve learned at national crappie tournaments.

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Next time in Part 5: My Trolling Motor Makes the Difference

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