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  • Writer's pictureBrenden Kanies

The Rookie’s Guide to Spider Rigging

I’d never want to take a crappie shoe shopping. Even if you could overcome the difficult task of sizing a fin correctly, the fish would never be able to make up their mind. One moment plain sneakers would do just fine, the next bright pink platforms are a must-hav

The point is, figuring out the depth and color to use when crappie fishing is often a huge guessing game.  These finicky panfish leave me wishing I could just throw my whole jig box in the water and let them decide. Spider rigging is the closest thing to doing just that.

Spider rigging is a tactic that allows crappie anglers to cover a lot of water while offering multiple presentations. A typical setup involves six to eight rods spread evenly across the bow of the boat. Each rod can be rigged with different jig and live bait combinations to match the crappies’ palate. The rig also allows you to probe multiple depths and determine where willing fish are holding that day.

Spin Your Web:

First off, be sure to check local regulations for pole number restrictions to determine how many “legs” your spider rig is allowed to have. I suggest using crappie rods that are 10 to 18 feet long. These will allow enough clearance to keep lines from getting tangled. Be sure to have a long-handled net nearby, it will be essential for landing papermouths on lengthy and flexible rods.

Rod holders that allow the handle to be tucked in for quick and easy removal are also a necessity. When willing slabs are found the action is fast and furious. These can be affixed to the gunwhale or a T-bar specialized for spider rigging. Many anglers mount these to the bow of the boat and use a foot-controlled trolling motor, which allows for easy tending of the lines. While not essential, a side-by-side seat configuration lets your fishing buddy lend a hand when the action picks up. Having a visible sonar unit nearby can also be a huge asset when looking for fish and avoiding snags.

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