Shane Walser knows how to catch crappie. He grew up fishing on High Rock Lake and operates “Yadkin Lake’s Crappie Guides.” He says catching them during the various seasons of the year requires specific tactics.
Crappie Fishing Seasons
Shane Walser knows each season of crappie fishing requires unique techniques, strategies and tackle.
He says during the summer months on High Rock Lake, the fish tend to migrate to deeper water and cover, like brush piles or any kind of structure on the lake bottom.
Shane keeps track of his favorite spots using GPS and uses the latest technology to zero in on the fish. In the video below, he takes us along as he heads out to catch what most people refer to as High Rock Lake Slabs.
Hot Weather Crappie Fishing
When air temperatures reach the mid to upper 90s and the water temperature isn't far behind, catching crappie on High Rock Lake requires some special tactics. Finding the right bait, the proper rigs and even finding the fish are critical for success. In the video below you'll learn some tips to help you catch more fish even in the hottest months of the summer.
Late Summer/Early Fall
By the time we hit the dog days of summer the crappie on High Rock Lake have had several months to grow. As the water finally starts to cool, the large "slabs" are found both in groups around brush piles and roaming the shallower water up creeks, feeding on the abundant bait. Jigs are an effective bait all year long but Shane Walser always carries minnows for times when the bite becomes finicky.
In the video below, Shane takes us along has he starts by using his "Live Scope" targeting larger fish with a jig and jig pole. Later as the bite cooled off he switched to a minnow rig and hit some favorite brush piles.
Winter Crappie Fishing
Wintertime is "Crappie time," according to fishing guide Shane Walser. He says the cold water causes the fish to gather in large groups making them easier to catch once you find them. He also says during the winter, there is almost no boat traffic, making a day on the lake very pleasant to fish and haul in a bunch of slabs.
Fishing for crappie in the winter months does require some special tactics. Shane Walser prefers using a "Spider Rig" set up with lines dropping strait down to the depth where the crappie are schooled up. This method is known as "tight line trolling." In the video below, find out more about the gear and techniques he uses to fill up his live well and catch some of High Rock Lake's giant crappie.
Fall Crappie Fishing
There are not many spots more beautiful in the fall than High Rock Lake. Surrounded by colorful foliage, in the shadow of the picturesque Uwharrie Mountains and add amazing weather, anglers couldn't ask for a better place to fish.
An added bonus is that fall is one of the best times to catch crappie.
Professional fishing guide Shane Walser says that in the fall, crappie start moving out of the creeks and back into deeper water. According to Shane, before you can catch them you have to find them. Just like our kids, the fall means going back to school. In the case of crappie, large schools of them will be wherever there are large schools of baitfish.
He says using electronics and trolling are the best ways to figure out where the fish are hanging out. While trolling he prefers a curly tail jig. The one below he helped design and he says it is his "Go to" bait. They are part of the "Custom Magic Jig" brand of bait.
In the video below he goes over some of his tried and true tactics for catching a cooler full of "Slabs" in the fall.
Post Spawn Crappie
Catching crappie post spawn can be one of the most challenging times of the year to put big numbers in the boat and on the table. Shane Walser says they may be harder but not impossible. He shares some of his secrets to catching them in the video below.
Spring Crappie Fishing
Spring is when most species of fish spawn. As the water begins to warm, crappie move out of the deeper parts of the lake and into creeks. During this time, they feed on baitfish that follow similar a similar pattern.
Shane Walser loves the spring because the crappie are hungry and ready to fatten up. In the video below, Shane shares his secrets for tracking them down and putting them in the boat.
Summertime Crappie Fishing
In the summertime thins are quite different, brush piles, in deep water are the favorite places crappie like to hang out in hot summer weather. He looks for downed trees in spots where the water can be ten to twenty feet deep. He prefers using plastic jigs on 1/8th ounce jig heads. Bright green is his “go to” color. If the fish are stubborn he’ll switch to live minnows and says that rigging the live bait properly is the key.