Boy, there’s sure lots of tackle to choose form out there.  Lord knows we sell a wide variety of shapes, styles and colors here at Pico.  So how in the world are you supposed to figure that part out? 

You know now the fish are pre-spawn.  Sun is out, weather is right.  What the heck are they biting?  Well, on any given day, and any given time during that day, the answer is different. Pretty vague huh!  It has to be.  So let’s start in.  

On any given day, on any given body of water, at any given location, tie on something in black/chartreuse.  Boom.   Done.  Or, if you want to have an even better chance at outstanding catch rates, follow along.

Fish have moods.  They also get really hung up on what they eat.  Several times in recent memory, I have brought in way above average catches using pure white, or white with glitter baits, in exceptionally muddy water.  Why?  Mood of the fish.

I’m talking water here with less than 6 inches visibility. You would think some kind of battery powered glow in the dark stuff was in order?  Nope.  There were lots of fish in the area and they were aggressively feeding on small minnows.  What tipped me off?  All kinds of things over the years, this happens often.  One time, I caught one on a chart. Jig and it spit up a small white minnow, still wiggling.  Humm.  Tied on a white jig, and loaded the boat.  Fish were feeding, and the shad were white, that’s what they were looking for.  On that day anyway!

Other times, the fish’s mood dictates that you make them aggressive enough to hit out of anger.  Or curiosity.  Can’t tell how many clear water fish I’ve taken on pink / white.  Nothing in water with 6 foot of clarity is pink/white that I know of!  Point here is that the color could have angered the fish, or maybe just made them curious?  Here’s a Really important fact / tip:


So, in order for them to check out a bait, they kinda have to use those lips to inspected it!  After that, the rest is up to you.

So, the point here is, don’t sit down on one “secret” bait type or color.  Sometimes it’s a “match the Hatch” thing, other times is agitation, and sometimes, maybe just curiosity. 

I think most of the time, that bait size matters, followed by bait shape and action.  With just these little tricks over the years, I’ve managed to pick up lots of bonus fish by changing these little things.  On our lakes here in the Ozark's, crappie especially, will school up on a brush top.  It gets real easy sometimes to catch 6 or 8 real quick with whatever you have tied on.  Then it quits cold.  Those are the times I’ll change colors, first.   Go from black/chart to purple/pearl.   Something totally different.  Then, I may change from a tube to a curl tail.  Different action.  Different fish, with different moods.  Turns 8 fish into 12 or 15 sometimes. 

Another consideration is the depth your fishing.  You should always fish at different depths, at various times during the day.  More things than we can list here will cause the fish to move shallower or deeper during the day. Always remember if your crappie fishing that they have eyes on top of their head.   They will readily move up for a bait, seldom will they move down for it. 

Lesson here is to be versatile.  Ignore the dock talk.  Doesn’t matter what that guy tells you he caught them on yesterday, it will be different today.  He’s probably not telling you the whole story anyway.   

You know now where the fish should be, and how to choose a variety of locations where they could/should be, based on the season.  Be versatile in your bait selection and presentation. Evaluate the Season, Lake and Weather Conditions, available structure, etc.   Make a plan A, Plan B and Plan C, then be willing to adjust and adapt!

Thanks for reading.   Stay tuned for more on bait selections, and lure tips and tricks.

As always, feel free to ask questions about anything we can help with to make you a better angler.


Bill Holman

Date 10/2/2022

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