No doubt lipless cranks are all the rage when it comes to catching mondo walleyes through the ice, but you might wanna consider playing with ‘em for BIG crappies too…. Few tips below on how HSM Outdoors’ Chad Peterson sniffs out the chubbiest specks from the batch:
> “During the ice season, you will have opportunities when the crappies are riding high in the water column (especially on overcast days!) when you see that, you better break out the #3 Salmo Chubby Darter. The crappies are normally feeding and are very aggressive, as the slow wobble of the Darter approaches the target zone.
> “Sometimes you won’t make it to the targeted zone, because they will have raced up to the lure — those are the best bites and normally the bigger, more aggressive fish of the school. So, where do we look?
> “…deep breaklines or over the deeper basins are the high-percent areas to find schools of crappies. Just scouting these areas will provide good opportunities to see high-riding crappies that are easy to graph…typically it’s bluegills that are near the bottom. If you’re not marking fish — keep moving and drilling!
> “Other overlooked areas include shallow flats with weed patches where crappies and bluegills like to hold, and feed. …I’m typically looking for 7-13′ depending on the water clarity.
> “Your approach should be a little different when using the Chubby Darter in the shallows…try fishing it just 2-3′ below the ice for those aggressive up-feeders. One of my favorite parts about this shallow-water bite is you can often sight fish them and see how they react to the action of the Darter.”
The Salmo Chubby Darter is no secret…. Was invented back in 2002 and has been harassing fish for 18 years now. But if you haven’t heard, they just dropped 6 new fish-sexy colors this ice season: