Doodlesocking for Spring Crappie

Doodlesocking is a funny name for a very effective way of catching Spring Crappie.  Doodlesocking involves using a long pole and dropping a jig down to where the Crappie are holding.  The long poles can be anywhere from 10′ up to 16′. These poles may come in sections or may be a telescopic fishing pole. A telescopic pole with a lightweight reel such as the Zebco Slab Seeker Dippin’ Triggerspin Combo is a very inexpensive yet effective set up.

Use 4-10 lb fluorocarbon line. When fishing in heavier cover, you can use the heavier line weight as your primary line, and tie a lighter line weight on as a leader. The lighter line weight is more effective for Crappie, but the heavier line weight can often come in handy when fishing around sunken trees and other types of structure.

The Spring spawn season can be a very difficult time to locate Crappie. This is because one day the weather is nice and warming, and then the next a cold front blows through. In addition, Crappies are nomadic by nature.

Look for structure that you can drop your jig in and around. A submerged tree with multiple underwater branches can be a prime location. Especially if it happens to be located near a deeper channel. Other types of structure can be underwater ledges, Lilly pads, brush piles, boat docks, and cattails.

Start with a light jig. I prefer to start with a 1/32 oz jig and move to heavier jigs from there. I know many people like to start with a bit heavier jig like a 1/16 oz. Just experiment and see what works for you. The lighter jig will fall more slowly, which I like in shallow water.

Another effective trick is to put some type of fish attractant on your jig. You can also put a live lip-hooked minnow on the jig for an enhanced offering.

In order to be successful at doodlesocking, you have to be willing to try different locations and depths of water. In the early Spring, if the weather has been improving for a few days, try starting in the shallow water (2′ – 3′). If you are unsuccessful, move to 6-8′ of water that is close to a ledge of 2-3′ of water. If that doesn’t work, try even deeper water in the range of 8-15′. The Crappie will not be in the really deep water until the spawn is over.

A great thing about doodlestocking is that the long poles can help the onshore angler reach prime spots just as effectively as the angler who fishes from a boat.

For a complete A-Z guide to Crappie fishing and doodlestocking, click the link.