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"As I fished yesterday working the fish up and down, I thought of how I was doing & what I was doing.  This is not as simple as some may think.  Knowing what those fish are going to do by seeing what the indicators are is not something you just get.  It takes time.  Maybe this article will help shorten that learning curve with you and your flasher."

   I'll normally work the high fish in the water column.  They are the most aggresive normally.  You'll see them race up to meet your bait.  Stop short of them and let them come to you.  They may stop short as well as you may have stopped too high in the water column.  In this situation, continue to drop down very slowly.  It may engulf you on the way down.  After you push it down a few inches to a foot, stop for a few seconds.  Then re-lift.  Be careful, it may be on your bait already.  So be ready to set the hook.
If it's not on ,you'll notice that with a 6" lift, it will give chase and drill your bait.

   Sometimes those higher fish will not hit.  Try dropping down to the lowest fish, then pause and give your reel a half crank and pause.  It's hard to see your bait in a pack of fish as the sonar signals get all blended together.  So be ready whenever you feel the slightest weight or your spring bobber starts to curl down as you lift.  Getting separation above the pack once again, watch for fish riffling through the pack.  You've heard me refer to the ceiling.  Fish can be caught below this point, but I'll always try to run them up to this point.

   Dead sticking can be a deadly tactic too.  Just yesterday I had some slow movers.  Well I just let them look at my jig for a few minutes, then lift 6" and whammo. They came up to hit.  Be sure your bait is not spinning. This is a killer. I'll bite off 20 feet of line after each trip to remove any twist I had created from the day before.  Fresh mono with stretch is so forgiving too on larger fish, so like I've heard so often.  Change line as often as you can afford too.
I like to leave a half spool of old line for backing.  Then only spool up a half spool every few weeks as I get to the backing.  That way I'm not respooling a full spool all of the time and I can keep a full spool which helps avoid some of that line curl which acts as a shock absorber, preventing those super light hits.

   Lifting and pushing fish down is what it's all about. Remember if that fish will push down, then it's interested in your bait.  I do not like to drop my bait fast as I want to give that fish a chance to stay below my bait. This tells me it's got some interest in feeding if it trys to stay below my bait.  Then as I change direction it will give chase. They do not always hit, but this is called working a fish.  So work the water column and target 1 fish.  Try not to fish the whole pack.  Like duck hunting....don't flock shoot.

   Sometimes that pod may not be interested no matter how stacked up they are.  Move to some fresh holes and find those fish that do want to feed.  I worked 5 holes yesterday.  I'd catch 2-6 fish and then nothing, even with many fish being marked.  Then I''d move to a fresh hole and start all over again.  We call this runnin and gunnin.

   Have fun out there and fish safe guys.

Author:  Crappie Keith, from

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