The crappie are biting on Lake Murray, and two popular techniques are keeping anglers busy: spider-rigging and single-pole fishing.
Derek Frick of Columbia has been fishing the Little Saluda area of the lake quite a bit, and he has been catching most of his fish around bridge pilings, docks and brush piles on a single rod with small minnows fished under a cork, but he said fishermen who are spider-rigging are catching fish as well.
While fishing bridge pilings and brush piles, Frick uses ultralight reels paired with 11-ft crappie rods and 6- to 10-pound line. He prefers braid, which he ties directly to his fluorocarbon or monofilament leader.
"With braided line, you can feel the fish bite even before the cork moves," said Frick, who uses simple corks to keep his Nos. 1 or 2 light-wire hooks off the bottom.
"The fish seem to be in a transition period, and the water level has dropped recently for the winter drawdown. So the fish are biting, but a lot of fishing spots are giving up just one or two fish," Frick said. "You can catch plenty of fish, but you have to stay on the move."
Frick uses his depth finder to find brush piles and marks them with a buoy. He circles the buoy slowly, casting to the structure and making sure to probe all sides of it.
When fishing docks, Frick uses a shorter spinning outfit and ether a minnow or small jig, which he casts under the dock; there are days when he catches all of his fish with this technique. Getting his lure in just the right spot is a challenge, so Frick employs a sling-shot method of casting, opening the bail on his reel, letting out about two feet of line, pointing the rod tip where he wants to cast, pinching the line against the rod close to the handle with his right hand, pulling the lure back with his left hand, then releasing the lure when he’s ready to cast. That will send it well up under the dock.