My home lake
is over 56,000 acres of some of the best looking crappie fishing water you can find. With all of this water, it can
definitely be intimidating. Location is the key, more so than any other time of the year for locating the fall
feeding crappie. By understanding what crappie are doing this fall, you can eliminate unproductive water quickly.
My tournament partner (and Father, Charlie Rogers), and I, have been to three different states in the last month chasing fall
There are two patterns that are filling live wells across the Midwest this fall. The first pattern is for
the reservoirs where the timber is still visible (almost all of our lakes in MO, KS & OK still have standing timber in
them). We are catching fish next to the standing timber in 5’ to 9’ of water. Again the key, for finding
the fall feed, is location. Not all timber is holds slab crappie this time of year. The timber we are fishing
is located on flats; flats that are directly off of the main creek channel. The crappie are holding on the tress located
on the flats that quickly come up to 9’ of water, not a gradual slope. This allows the crappie to move out over
the creek channel and then move a short distance, up on the flat to feed on baitfish that are holding right next to the trees.
Our bait of choice for this technique is the brand new, Bobby Garland Baby Shad Swim’ R. The Swim’ R is
a segmented swimming version of the famous Baby Shad in a longer, 2.25” body that features a tight action swim tail,
and a special scent channel in the belly for optional scent application. We team the Swim’ R with a 1/8 once Mo’Glo
Head. This pattern will hold true until the middle of December, here in the Midwest (Missouri).
The second fall pattern
we are fishing now is brush piles in 10’ to 17’ of water. Brush piles, either manmade, natural, or something more
sophisticated like a MossBack FishRack, placed in the right location can absolutely provide the mother load for you this fall.
Last weekend, we fished the First Annual Ned Rutledge/Bobby Garland Crappie Tournament on Truman Lake, MO. Our game
plan was to execute this one, two fall crappie pattern. We started our day on a favorite MossBack FishRack, our plan
was to not leave our starting spot until we had our tournament limit of seven crappie. By 9:00 am, we had seven crappie
over 1 ¼ pound, off of our first spot. This demonstrates just how awesome the fall bite can be! We switch
over to a larger bait when fishing this pattern and we do this to help eliminate the smaller fish. This is due to the number
of fish that load up in the piles in fall. Our specific bait that has been #1 for us the last four weeks is the 3”
Bobby Garland Slab Slay’R in the brand new color, “Lights out”. We are using the large 3/16 once Mo
Glo heads with the Slab Slay’R. This pattern will be our “go to pattern” until the lakes freeze over,
or the crappie start to move shallow again in spring.
So, if you can keep your bow and shotgun at home, grab your favorite jigging
rod and go load the boat during the fall feed.