The only question about catching crappie at Jordan Lake these days might be, “Push or pull?”
The fall crappie bite on Jordan, one of North Carolina’s most-renowned lakes for big slabs, is on — in spades. Tournament pro Kenny Allen of Brown Summit has sampled the bite twice in the last week, and he’s limited out both times: 20 fish at least 10 inches long.
Last Sunday, he knocked them out by long-line trolling, a technique often referred to as “pulling” because lures and minnows are pulled behind the boat from its stern; on Thursday, he filled his cooler by “pushing” — tight-lining his lures vertically from both sides of his boat’s bow.
“When you’re pulling, you can cover more water, but when you’re pushing, you can fish deeper and control the depth of your bait better,” Allen said. “You put your baits at different depths until you find them, and you can change up as the fish change over the course of a day — if the sun comes out or it warms up or it gets windier.”
Allen pushed Thursday with a spread of eight 12-foot BPS Wally Marshall signature series rods with matching spinning reels spooled with 8-pound Spiderwire. He used two basic rigs: one using a three-way swivel and a crimp-on egg sinker to split two bare, wire hooks on which live minnows were fished, and one with a 3/8-ounce jig and a 1/4-ounce jig split by several feet of leader. He tipped both jigs with live minnows.
“You can change up as you need to, and you might have to change several times during the course of a day,” he said. “You just get ‘em all out and start.”
Both rigs worked equally well throughout a full day of fishing. Using his electronics, Allen was able to identify specific areas near the Farrington Point portion of the lake and stay on concentrations of fish.
“You just get all of your stuff out and start playing with it,” said Allen, who pushes at about .5 mph and pulls at about 1.1 mph. When he’s pulling, he’ll have about 75 feet of line out between the rod tip and jigs. “If I go to a new lake and don’t know what colors to use, I’ll use a Color-C-Lector.
“You have to have all the weights of your jigs the same so they’ll run the same or you’ll have a mess on your hands when you make a turn,” he said.
The area around Farrington Point is a fall hotspot, Allen said, because baitfish congregate in the upper end of Jordan in the fall as the water temperature drops. During the spring, bait and crappie will be scattered all over the lake and he might be fishing from one end to the other.
Read more about Allen's crappie fishing prowess on Jordan Lake here.