When most people think of crappie fishing, images of noodle rods and cane poles stretching over the water to jig a lure in a deep pool come to mind. Fishing’s come a long way over the years, however, and with the popularity of spider rigs, crappie fishing is no exception.
What’s a Spider Rig?
The term “spider-rigging” originates from the appearance it gives an angler’s boat when it’s rigged—six to ten long poles sticking out from all sides of the boat—which resembles a spider. The rig allows anglers to cover a broader area of water at various depths, sniff out potential crappie hangouts, and locate schools. Then, once fish are located, the rig allows you to efficiently present your bait around cover, such as drop offs and brush piles.
What You’ll Need
In spider-rigging’s early days, simple rod holders and C-clamps were used to keep an angler’s rigged rods in place. However, advancements have seen the introduction of high-quality T-bar holders that won’t slip off, or twist to the side, like the old C-clamps. T-bars consist of two to eight rod holders attached to a crossbar that secures to your boat, and allow you to fish with several poles spread out at regular intervals across the front, back, and sides of your boat. With this rig, you can drift with the wind, or troll a broad area with a variety of baits.
How to Rig It
One of the setups you can use with a spider rig is a 1-oz bank sinker attached to the end of your main line, with two to four 12 to 18-in drop lines above it, spaced about 18 inches apart. Use a loop knot or swivel to attach your drop lines to your main line. Tie jigs or 1/0 to 2/0 Aberdeen hooks to the drop lines, baited with live minnows.
Landing a Fish with a Spider Rig
When setting the hook, do not drop the rod tip. Do this, and nine times out of ten you’ll lose the fish. Set the hook and keep pressure on the rod until you can get your hand on the reel. Also, avoid reeling up too much line when you’re trying to land the fish. If you reel all the line in, you’ll have no way of grabbing the fish at the end of the long rod you’ll be using. Leave enough line in the water to allow you to swing the fish into your boat. You can also use a dip net to prevent your line from breaking.