There was nothing I could do. It was my turn to experience that mysterious frustration which strikes nearly all crappie fishermen. My host, who had motored me to his favorite honey hole, wavered between sympathy and bemusement. One crappie after another succumbed to his rod, while on mine, a few feet away, I couldn't buy a bite. Same rig, same bait, same 12 feet down. Yet his minnow was irresistible, while mine seemed inedible. He puzzled over the missing element. I could only mutter, "Must be charisma." He dismissed my conclusion, laughing, but I've struggled ever since to define that powerful charm some crappie baits-and crappie fishermen-have over others.