Drift fishing crappie tactics with Travis BuntingAngler Tips
Power-Pole Drift Paddles are a valuable tool for taking control of boats in saltwater fishing situations, but they also have extremely practical applications when fishing freshwater systems — and nobody knows this better than Travis Bunting, a three-time national Crappie Masters champion, Power-Pole Pro Staff Member and owner of Muddy Water Baits.
“I use Drift Paddles exclusively for total boat control when targeting crappie,” Bunting says. “When drifting open water, we fish mudflats that are 4 to 6 feet deep, and the wind will push us fast at a 1-knot pace. I need to be in the zone, so I put the paddles down to adjust the speed and direction of the drift, slowing us down to .5 to .6 knots to allow proper placement of the jigs.”
“When flipping baits on banks, the wind may be pushing us onshore right into the spot we are fishing, spooking fish and ruining the bite,” he says. “I set the Drift Paddles at an angle and use them like a rudder, steering us along the bank line and keeping us out of the spot, using the wind to push us down on the perfect drift as the rudders shape the direction we go. We simply let the Drift Paddles steer us along the bank on an optimal line.”
Bunting also utilizes the Power-Pole shallow water anchors to maximize his crappie fishing opportunities.
“A lot of times, we’ll be trolling over stump fields, but don’t want to blow past the crappies that hang around the stump fields. So we troll up to the stumps, then put the Power-Pole shallow water anchors down and work the stumps, then pick up on the troll again,” he says. “We maximize our tournament time, not wasting an opportunity to hit the stumps, as the Power-Pole shallow water anchors are silent and secure. I don’t spook the fish for the minute or two we can put them down, cast to the structure, then pick them up without disturbing anything.”
“If we are getting good bites on the stumps, the poles stay down, then we use the trolling motor to allow us to pivot on the spot,” he says. “The poles stay anchored, but we can shift the angle. We can easily put down 16 hooks in structure and not lose any rigs. It allows for perfect placement and control of a spot. The Power-Pole shallow water anchors allow us to stay out of the brush piles and hangs so we aren’t drifting in and out of them, spooking up the fish.”
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