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Crappie Masters: 5 Tips For
Winning The Tournaments

The Crappie Masters (www.crappiemasters.net) is an organization that was formed by a group of crappie fishing enthusiasts for the purpose of creating a "tournament trail" for crappie fishermen.

That means anyone can join, and sign up for various tournaments held around the country. The organization is affiliated with Bass Pro Shops. If you go to the "tournaments" link on the website, you can see the entire schedule of tournaments - some for charity, and some are national qualifier tournaments.

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Question #1:

Are you a man or a woman?

So...if you love crappie fishing and want to test your mettle against other crappie fishermen, and possibly be a national champion, head over to crappiemasters.net and join up.

Now...once you enter a tournament, here are 5 tips to keep in mind to give you a shot at winning. These are a little general because there's no specific lake in mind...you could be fishing anywhere. But these tips will serve you well in most bodies of water where crappie exist.

TIP #1: When you first start fishing, mix up your techniques to find what works best. Do some jigging and casting...some still fishing...some trolling and drifting. I'd recommend trolling/drifting first to find the hot spots.

TIP #2: When you re NOT using live bait, use jigs, spinnerbaits, poppers, and streamers that mimic a crappie's natural food sources in your particular body of water. Using live bait? Natural live bait is best by far...wehther it is minnows, threadfin shad, worms, or anything else. Just make sure whatever you use is something crappie feed on naturally.

TIP #3: Location, location, location! The initial spots you fish should be around brushes, docks, fallen timber, trees, weeds, and grasses. These are prime feeding locations for crappie.

TIP #4: Find a school of crappie? Don't drop your bait right down into the middle of 'em. They will scatter. Instead, cast out to the outer edge of the school, and slowly work it in word. You might start slammin' one crappie after another if you work this right. (i.e. SLOWLY!)

TIP #5: Fish at night! Granted, most tournaments are during the day...but for your own fishing, do not ignore the evening, night, and early morning hours. There is some aggressive feeding going on during these hours, and you may end up with a night time monster you can talk about for years to come. :)

For night fishing, make sure to use a light to attract all the little baitfish. Once this happens, crappie will storm the gates for feeding.

And always, always, always do your research before fishing a new body. If it's a tournament you are in, get there a day or two earlier and talk to the locals...figure out the best spots and baits.

And...a final word...keep your presentations natural looking at all costs! :)

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Question #1:

Are you a man or a woman?