Contributed by Brad Wiegmann
What is it that motivates you to go fishing? Is it the thrill of baiting up, casting, setting the hook or landing your personal best crappie? For a growing population of crappie anglers it’s not just about the fishing, but the thrill of fishing for crappie from a kayak.
Traditionally, crappie anglers load up and head out to a local honey-hole. It’s a first come, first serve on the community hole. In reality that’s the reason so many crappie anglers are taking to chasing crappie from kayaks. They want to get away from the crowds and community holes; way back to super shallow areas or areas in lakes and ponds where boats can’t get to.
Not surprising many crappie anglers fishing out of kayaks are converted bass anglers. Jackson Kayak pro and Sales Manager for Strike King Lure Company Crispin Powley happens to be one of these anglers.
“I grew up on Kentucky Lake and went crappie fishing like everyone else fishing spider rigs, pulling crankbaits and of course using a single pole technique. In fact, casting a single pole is my favorite way to fish for crappie. I really love to feel the thump when they bite the lure,” said Powley.
In the past year, Powley’s passion for crappie fishing has taken him out of a traditional boat and into a kayak. “There are several reasons, I love fishing out of a kayak when crappie fishing. First, being close to the water brings a certain intimacy to fishing you don’t get fishing out of a boat. Secondly, it’s not a lot of hassle; you just slip it in, paddle out to the spot and go fishing,” said Powley.
Living in the mid-lake area of Kentucky Lake around New Johnsonville, Powley noted there was an abundance of manmade cover including stake beds and brush piles he fishes using a single pole technique. As for lures, Powley keeps it simple. One of his favorites when single pole fishing is the Strike King Mr. Crappie Sausage Head jigs especially around brush or cover. Powley will cast the jig with or without a bobber attached to his fishing line depending on the depth he wants to fish the lure.
“Sausage Head jigs have almost a football shape head and when you pull it through a stake bed where a round ball head jig will often roll when bumping a stake causing the round ball head’s hook to hang up on a stake; the Sausage Head’s football shape actually will kick the jig away from the stake keeping it from hanging up. I also believe that the unique shape of the Sausage Head jig with its bigger profile catches better quality of crappie,” said Powley.
Powley’s pimped out Big Rig Jackson kayak has a massive beam of 34-inches and measures more than twelve feet long making a super stable ride and stand up platform. When not fishing standing up, Powley can sit down in a super comfortable, adjustable seat that’s rigged with a line Cutterz attached to it. Other features and accessories in Powley’s kayak include removable center console, rod tip protectors, under seat tackle with Plano boxes, rod stagers, Yakattack Gear Tracks, JKrate by Jackson Kayak, flush mount rod holders, hull storage, removable skid plate and SealLine Seat Pouch attached to the seat back.
As for electronics on his kayak, Powley has his kayak rigged out with a Micro Anchor Power-Pole, RayMarine sonar unit and Hydrowave Mini. It has everything some of the most expensive boats have, but without the expense or initial cost of purchasing a boat.
“I think fishing out of a kayak is a nice change of pace for crappie fishermen and even for the crappie. Crappie get conditioned to anglers running up on them, around them, through them and pass them with the trolling motor in a boat. I have honestly had my catch rate increase exponentially since fishing out of a kayak,” said Powley.
Contributed by Brad Wiegmann