The Slabs of Fall!

The Lure: Punisher Craft Hair Jig Power Tactic: Many fall crappie feed in the same shallows where they spawned in spring. Catching these fish often is as simple as casting and retrieving a jig near stickups, stumps and other isolated cover. Don't worry how fast, how slow, how deep or how shallow. Just cast and reel. It'll work more often than you think.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Cotton Cordell CC Spoon Power Tactic: The CC Spoon is ideal for fishing standing timber in 15 to 25 feet of water, a tactic called "dipping." Use a long, sensitive jigging pole with an attached spinning or underspin reel to lower the spoon beside a tree. Let the lure slide down, maintaining contact with the wood. Crappie often are close enough to touch the tree, which gives them a sense of security. Snap the spoon sideways at every two feet of depth, then let it fall a foot on slack line. Quick bites often result.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Charlie Brewer Weedless Crappie Slider Power Tactic: To catch fall crappie around stumps or logs, replace each hook on a double-armed spreader rig with a Crappie Slider, then snap a 1-ounce bass-casting sinker to the bottom of the rig. The sinker allows you to feel the bottom and find stumps, while the weedless jigs lessen snagging.Outdoor Life Online Editor
Work the rig vertically beside your boat using a "lift-and-drop" action. When you feel the rig bump a stump or log, raise it up and over. Strikes usually come just as the rig is lowered behind woody cover.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Johnson Beetle Spin Power Tactic: To fish a Beetle Spin for suspended fall crappie, rig a sliding bobber above the spinner. Place a bobber stop on your line at the depth you want to fish. Then add a bead below the stop, followed by the bobber and spinner.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Beetle Spin's weight pulls line through the float until the bobber abuts the bobber stop. Your bait is now at the depth you selected, and you can easily adjust the depth by moving the bobber stop up or down. Use a variety of retrieves- small twitches, a slow steady retrieve or long pulls with a few seconds of motionlessness between- until you determine the best pattern.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Blakemore Road Runner Power Tactic: Road Runners and other horsehead spinners work best when you use a creeping retrieve- just enough forward motion to make the blade spin. In fall, fish them from shallow water to deep on points and humps. Dynamite!Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Reef Runner Cicada Power Tactic: You can vertically jig a Cicada to create a subtle swimming/fluttering motion to interest active crappie, or retrieve it with rips and runs to produce dynamic action that will stimulate slabs in need of wake-up calls. For extra zing, add a small curlytail grub to the lure's back hook.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Yum Dinger Power Tactic: A 3-inch, wacky-rigged Dinger, with a single hook run through the lure's mid-section, works great on big fall crappie in flooded willows and manmade fish attractors. Cast to the cover and allow the wiggly lure to fall slowly with no weight. Crappie can scarcely resist.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Cotton Cordell Spot Minnow Power Tactic: Lower the crankbait to structure where your fishfinder indicates crappie may be holding. Reel up slack, then begin a delicate upward sweep of your rod tip to activate the lure. Move the rod tip as little as 12 inches or as much as 36 inches, experimenting to see if crappie have a preference. Then slowly drop the rod tip, letting the lure free-fall back down. If a slab is nearby, it might surprise you. The Spot draws smashing strikes.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Cotton Cordell Gay Blade Power Tactic: As water cools and crappie move deep, the Gay Blade is an effective lure for targeting crappie on bottom drop-offs and humps. When fishing dropoffs, keep your boat directly over the drop and cast to the top of the breakline, hopping the lure back to the boat. When fishing humps, position the boat off the hump and cast to the rise, working the bait on top first, then down the sides into open water.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Southern Pro Umbrella Crappie Tube Power Tactic: Fall crappie often lurk under docks where they are hard to reach. Savvy anglers overcome this problem by "slingshotting," or "dock shooting," which incorporates a short rod to catapult a jig beneath such structures. Use a 4-1/2- to 5-1/2-foot, medium-action rod with a spincasting or spinning reel Pinch the jig carefully between thumb and index finger, pull the rod back like a bow, then aim and release the lure, letting it fly beneath the structure. With practice, you can slingshot a jig 15 to 20 feet back under a dock.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Luhr Jensen Shyster Power Tactic: The Shyster in-line spinner is one of few crappie lures that seems to work best with a fast retrieve. Buzz it past stumps. Rip it over brushpiles. Troll it behind your boat. Be ready for the hard, uncrappielike strikes it produces.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Yum Wooly Beavertail Power Tactic: The soft-plastic Beavertail contains a fish attractant with natural shad enzymes that works wonders on 2-pound-plus fall crappie. Rig the lure on a 1/8-ounce leadhead and use a long jigging pole to work it with a slight lift-drop action around stickups and other cover. Two Beavertails tied on loop knots one above the other on a single line often will produce double hookups.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Little George Power Tactic: When crappie on deep-water ledges and points quit biting other lures, use a Mann's Little George tailspinner as a follow-up lure to check for suspended or inactive fish. Allow the lure to helicopter from surface to bottom on a single cast. When it hits bottom, rip it hard and let it flutter back down. This imitates dying shad, which are tempting crappie enticements.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Rapala Jointed Shad Rap Power Tactic: Tie a three-way swivel on your main line. To one of the swivel's two remaining eyes add 4-ounce bank sinker on a 6-inch leader. The Shad Rap, on a 36-inch leader, is then tied to the remaining eye. When several poles are rigged in this fashion, place them in rod holders at the front of your boat and troll the rigs across bottom at a speed of 1.5 to 2 miles per hour. The crankbaits produce reaction strikes, and this speed is ideal so the crappie hook themselves when they hit.Outdoor Life Online Editor
The Lure: Smithwick Rogue Power Tactic: A Carolina-rigged Rogue also makes a good enticement when crappie are near bottom on deep structure. Use the 4-1/2-inch, suspending model in a shad-like color. Place a 1/8- to 1/4-ounce tungsten weight above a barrel swivel on your line, then tie a 3- to 4-foot leader from swivel to lure. Crawl the Rogue across the bottom. Barn doors unwilling to dart out after smaller prey find it hard to resist this sizeable entree.Outdoor Life Online Editor

Want to catch some huge crappie this autumn? Try these lures and specialized "power tactics."