How To Set Up A Crappie Trolling Rig


Trolling for crappie is one of the best ways to catch fish throughout the year. It is a tried and tested method, which means that there is a lesser likelihood that you will end up in frustration. Once you have located the crappie, which is easier with using a handheld GPS for fishing, you will be greeted with a bountiful catch if your rig has the right setup. 

Want to know more about crappie trolling rigs and how to set them up the right way? Read this post and learn from the tips we’ll share. 

What is Trolling? 

Before we discuss the specific steps involved in trolling for crappie, let us first have a look at what exactly trolling is. Once you are familiar with the concept, it will be easier to understand how to do it right. 

It is important to note that trolling is not an ideal fishing technique for beginners. Take the time to master the basic techniques before you learn more about trolling. 

Basically, trolling is all about setting up different fishing lines at the back of your boat. The boat can remain in a steady position or it can move as you try to catch crappie. Your boat needs to be equipped with the right trolling motor to succeed in this undertaking. 

It should also be emphasized that trolling is a gear-specific activity. You cannot just use any fishing rod and reel. As you will learn in the rest of this article, you must be well-equipped before you go. Otherwise, you might just end up wasting your time. 

Invest in the Right Gear

If you plan to go trolling for crappie, go over your fishing trip checklist and make sure you have the important tools that you will need. As mentioned earlier, it is gear specific, so you have to be armed with the right tools. 

Among others, one that should be on the top of your list is a rod holder, which will be installed in the back of your boat. This will hold all the rods in position, making it easy to reel in a catch.

You also need to bring deep rigs, which will function as weights to bring down the fishing line all the way to the depth where the crappie is present.  

A sonar or a fish finder is also non-negotiable. It makes things a lot easier by bringing you exactly where the crappies are. 

Locate the Crappie 

When setting up crappie trolling rigs, it is crucial to first determine their location. This is where the best portable fish finders can come in handy. You can also use the same equipment for determining the depth of the crappie, which will help in your set-up. 

To increase the likelihood of catching crappie, it is best to go in shallow lakes and large ponds. Specifically, they love bodies of water where the bottom is mud or sand. They are also common in places with abundant aquatic vegetation. 

Set-up the Rigs 

You need to come up with multiple fishing lines that form a web, which will increase the likelihood that your fishing cooler will have a fresh catch at the end of the day and that you will not go home empty-handed. 

Pay attention to the way the fishing rods are spaced from each other. Maintain an even distance in between each rod. It is good to have at least three or four rods on each side. The longest rods should be positioned on the tip of the boat. 

In setting your crappie trolling rigs, you have to be familiar with the different types of crappie fishing lines. Ideally, choose two to six-pound fishing lines. Light lines are better because this means that it will easily sink. 

Choose your Bait, Lures, and Jigs 

As a part of the set-up of the rig when trolling for crappie, you should pay attention to the bait that you will use. The best crappie baits will make your life easier. The lures and jigs are equally important.  

For most anglers, they prefer the use of jigs and grubs over live baits. They are affordable and rigging them is almost effortless. Their movements under the water are also attractive. 

You might also want to use jigs with different colors and experiment with which one the crappie prefers. After making your first catch see the color of the jig and you can change all others to such color.

Move the Boat 

Once you are done with the setup, it is now time to keep the boat moving until you reach the desired position. Again, you can use fishing GPS or fish finder to find the exact spot where you should be waiting. Do not run the boat too fast. Ideally, the speed should be anywhere from .8 to 1 mile per hour. 

Wait for Crappie 

Now that you found the perfect spot, the waiting game begins. It may take quite a while before you have your first catch, which will depend on a couple of environmental factors, such as your location and the season. 

When you cast the jig, see to it that the average depth is around 35 feet. Keep an eye on the fishing rod. See to it that the rod is in a secure position. Otherwise, it can be easily taken off the boat. 

If the tip of the rod starts to move, this is an indication that the crappie has been hooked. Start reeling until you finally get hold of the fish. 

Trolling for Crappie Tips and Tricks


Before we end this post, allow us to give you more crappie fishing tips, specifically for those who would like to try a trolling rig set-up.

  • Having multiple fishing lines can make some people concerned that they will end up tangling. Surprisingly, this is not the case. You just have to be observant to prevent such a situation. As you reel the fish, see to it that the boat keeps on moving.
  • Trying multiple presentations is another thing that can help when it comes to trolling for crappie. Experiment with the best walleye lures and jigs, which are equally effective for crappie. Check their colors or sizes and see which one your catch bites first. 
  • Keep your boat moving forward. Do not halt, especially once you already have a catch. Otherwise, the lines will tangle and will snag if you suddenly stop. 

Globo Surf Overview

In sum, trolling for crappie is not a straightforward task. The set-up of multiple fishing lines can be quite tasking for novices. Plus, it is gear-specific. Nonetheless, with the things we have shared above, we hope that you are now ready to try trolling! 

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!