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I know fishing here in NE Ohio, you have to be ready for anything when targeting crappie. This past weekend alone, only fishing two lakes, I hit both ends of the spectrum as far as water clarity. Saturday, it was a muddy West Branch. Sunday, a crystal clear Portage lakes.

At West Branch in the mud, chartruse hair jigs produced the most fish. Even better than plain minnows on a hook. With the low visibility, it gave the fish something to look at. Tubes worked, but not as well, Both jigs had to be tipped with a minnow. Bring a lot of jigs though. The fish are holding TIGHT to cover. But the fish were hammering the baits.

At Portage Lakes, the fish hit the plain minnow better. I caught a couple on the tubes, but they'd just tap it and spit it out. They wouldn't go near a tipped tube though. Only the small ones were hitting, and they were fairly finicky.

Just goes to show that every lake is different, and may have differing conditions even though they're in the same geographic area.

Next week, I have a crappie tournament at Mosquito, which presents a different set of conditions. I'll let you know how I do.

Carl
 

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Excellent post/advice! I think too many anglers simply hit the water, go to the same spots each time, use the same techniques time after time, and too frequently come away with poor results. Versatility, and having some knowledge of the seasonal habits of your target species (crappie or other) is the key to more consistant, positive, results.
 

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Its hard to change sometimes. I catch a lot of crappie out of Deer Creek and have always used white twistertails on small jigs. Last spring I was not catching too many so I started throwing a small crankbait at the same tree I was fishing and caught a crappie almost every cast. Now when I hit the creek I always take a wide variety of baits, but my first choice is still the white twistertail.
 
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