I crappie fish sort of like I duck hunt. I go when someone invites me but as far as keeping up with the latest methods and techniques to make me a better perch jerker or duck hunter, admittedly I fall short.
On the other hand, the dyed in the wool crappie angler stays tuned in to just about everything related to his favorite sport. Where the fish are hanging out this time of year, what are they doing and what lures/bait works better at any given time and under all conditions are just a few of the questions the serious crappie fisherman not only wants answers to but needs them if he's to consistently put slabs in the cooler.
There are hundreds of good crappie books and outdoor magazines regularly featuring stories and articles regarding what works, written by or about some of the country's most successful crappie anglers.
Many of the publications and articles are too basic for the seasoned perch jerker while others are too technical for the beginner. What is needed is something that will get the beginner started off on the right foot as well as give the old-timer some new twists and techniques he probably never thought about.
With this in mind, Arkansas writer and crappie fishing expert Keith Sutton put it all together in a book hot off the presses that should answer questions of any crappie angler who loves to watch a bobber shudder and slide under or thrills to the "tic" on the terminal end of his jig pole.
"The Crappie Fishing Handbook", penned by Sutton, leaves no stone unturned when it comes to understanding and catching one of America's favorite sport fish. Bobby Phillips, one of north Louisiana's premier crappie anglers, said after reviewing the book, "For someone just starting out, they need this book, plus it contains lots of information that some of us 'old timers' need to know. I highly recommend it".
I received my copy last week and am blown away by the plethora of information Sutton was able to stuff into this 200 page book. Beautifully illustrated with more than 200 color photographs, The Crappie Fishing Handbook contains information from, as my grandpa used to say, "A to Izzard". Here is a sampling of the section titles....
Understanding Crappie covers crappie basics and includes information about the twelve places you'll always find crappie.
Tackle Tips reveals the equipment you'll need to be successful along with tips on how to stuff your crappie tackle box.
Lure Selection lets the reader in on how to pick the perfect jig and when small spinners, crank baits, spoons and blade baits work best.
Bait Considerations gives you the skinny on why minnows sometimes are the go-to bait and how to fish them for maximum effectiveness.
Seasonal Savvy covers each season of the year from Spring to Summer to Fall to Winter, revealing where the fish are located during each season, why they're there and how to best entice them to bite.
Tactical Tips reveals secrets of the experts on how to spider rig, how to fish oxbows and how to catch them when heavy run-off stains the water.
Trophy Tactics is for the angler who wants to step up his game from catching hand-sized fish to the nuances necessary to hook and land genuine slab crappie.
Finally, there's my favorite section; Cleaning and Cooking Crappie. Sutton is widely recognized as one of the country's expert chefs when it comes to converting wild game and fish to gourmet table fare. If you think the only way to cook a crappie is to batter it and send it swimming in a bubbling caldron of Crisco, Sutton offers at least 10 other ways to convert your catch into mouthwatering entrees.
The Crappie Fishing Handbook should be in every perch jerker's library and is a bargain at $14.95. Order the book directly from Sutton by going on-line to catfishsutton.com. Twist his arm a bit and he may even autograph it for you.
Glynn Harris Outdoors is proudly sponsored by DSK, Ltd. of Minden.