Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kids and the Irish Crappie Jig

On a beautiful St. Patrick’s Day after a morning of fishing with fellow DA Pro-Staffer Darkstar; my mom, sister, and my nephew stop by and I decided to take the kids to a local pond. The fish for the most part are small but if you hit them right there is plenty of crappies and bluegills for everyone to fight something. I first wanted to get my little guy a couple quick fish so I put some waxies and an ant ice jig under a float on his kiddy pole. The bluegill were in right next to shore so he got to watch in amazement as gills fought and stole a few waxies before he landed a couple. Darkstar and I on our recent crappie hunts have had some steady bites from using ice fishing plastics. In this case it is the Micro Nuggie. They are a fantastic bait, easy to use, durable, and come in different sizes. Even the smallest crappie has no issue sucking them in. I decide instead of changing baits every 5 seconds I would try to teach the kids how to use these fantastic bait replacements. I brought three ultra lights as well each loaded with 4lb line. Since we would not be fishing more than 3 feet down I used larger Thill ice floats with the rubber band stoppers, there was no need for slip floats. These floats in low wind conditions cast pretty easy and are ultra sensitive and telegraph a bite so good a second grader can use them and see the bites. My daughter is in second grade and last year just got use to using a big pole and spinning gear. My nephew Max is a great kid and has fished in Wisconsin for pike and walleye but still anxious to learn mid-west fishing techniques. We used two kinds of jigs with the nuggies, Fat Boys and Tungsten jigs. I only had to show my nephew once what to do and it took a couple hand over hand practice casts with my daughter to get it down. The process is really easy. First cast of course, second I had them point their rod tips to the ground(this makes the next step easier), third I had them repeat after me, Twitch Twitch Pause-Twitch Twitch Pause. After each pause they reel one half or full turn of the reel, just enough to get the slack out for the next- Twitch Twitch Pause. When there is a little chop on the water the nuggies tale wiggles on it’s own a bit and you can get some fish without the TTP. My daughter caught several fish and my nephew ended up with a few crappie and about twenty gills. Later in the evening I went back and caught 10-15 in about 45 minutes! It was the perfect day for the Irish Crappie Jig.

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