This shot actually exhibits the large shoulders the crappie carried. That is one thick black crappie.

Because the latest unique In-Fisherman story of Eric Allee’s record-caliber black crappie from Colorado—an obvious new statewide benchmark for the catch-and-release class maintained by Colorado Parks & Wildlife and a possible CP&W weight document as nicely. All of it appears to show that Thanksgiving and into the New Yr is not all about vacation purchasing, deer or duck seasons and even watching faculty soccer bowl video games.

If you happen to’re prepared to go away the hearth heat behind and courageous the weather, there is a good probability to be rewarded with mind-boggling slab crappies.

Particularly when you’ve obtained the suitable gear in your boat, or in Allee’s case, a kayak. Consider somewhat know-how, fish the suitable waters and the job will likely be achieved complimented with some tasty fillets, or perhaps a trophy-caliber fish that’ll high the yr’s recollections.

All of it begins with the suitable hook in accordance Allee, the Content material and Advertising and marketing Coordinator for the Denver, Colo. based mostly Eagle Claw Fishing Deal with Co.


“For me, all of it begins with a Trokar TK570VP, which is a light-wire jig hook with a 90-degree leg that includes the Professional-V Bend.”

Eagle Claw TK 570VP hook for hover rigs
The Eagle Claw TK 570VP is the best hook to construct hover rigs on.

Why? He believes the hook is just a “higher mousetrap” than different choices are.

“On the danger of sounding just like the Shamwow man, the Professional-V Bend is like placing a supercharger in your hook-up ratio,” he stated. “If you happen to can penetrate previous the barb in your hookset, the design instantly funnels the fish to the bottom level of the bend, successfully locking them in all through the battle.”

He got here to this conclusion by way of an in depth training on the college of exhausting knocks—and somewhat trial and error.

“I performed with a couple of completely different hooks however opted for the lighter wire Jig Hook (throughout his latest record-catching crappie journey) figuring out I used to be utilizing gentle line and spinning gear,” he stated. “I may get misplaced within the weeds actual fast diving into hook choice, however I’ll say this: to fish the rig successfully it has to hover barely above fish irrespective of the place they’re positioned within the water column.

“The burden must get the bait all the way down to the specified depth, however it could possibly’t hinder its capability to hover. The rig’s weight comes each with the diameter of the hook you utilize and the load you add to the rig.”

Along with the suitable hook, he believes that there’s a proper keeper too.

“I put together all my hover rigs earlier than I get to the lake,” he stated. “The method begins with getting out my fly-tying equipment and tying on a keeper that extends previous the bend of the hook. I’ve had a couple of completely different variations however ended up going with a thicker wire—minimize from a steal chief—that enables the pinnacle of the MaxScent baits to remain streamlined.

Tying hover rigs to Eagle claw hook
Allee ties hover rigs earlier than ever leaving the home, that is the start of the following rig earlier than it will get dressed with a Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm or Flatnose Minnow.

“Conventional plastisol baits do a a lot better job preserving type with out including a keeper that extends from the bend of the jig hook, however they don’t have the drawing energy that MaxScent does, similar to with the Berkley Flat Worm,” he added.

“It’s a easy course of: I tie on the preliminary thread, lay down the wire, wrap round it overlaying up the wire related to the shank, a couple of whip end knots and I’m finished.”

On this specific record-setting, fish-catching journey from a kayak, Allee discovered that the suitable bait was certainly a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Flat Worm.

“I’ve talked about MaxScent a couple of instances already, however for the sake of redundancy, let’s do it once more,” he quipped. “I like the colours out there within the Flat Worm and the Flat Nostril Minnow MaxScent Flatnose Minnow.”

Completed hover rig
Right here is the finished hover rig tied to an Eagle Claw TK 570VP hook dresed with a Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm.

However there’s additionally one other key consideration to notice right here.

“I’ll fish the hover rig in any water readability state of affairs,” he stated, together with the reminder that he was fishing in surprising water readability that had the identical colour as a cup of weak espresso on the day he caught his potential state document crappie.

“I do know the hover rig is usually talked about in finesse-type conditions with clear water, however with the colours out there and figuring out if I get MaxScent baits close to fish, they’ll commit, I take advantage of the hover rig in any water readability state of affairs,” he stated. “The water readability dictates my colour decisions, however there are a couple of common colours like black that appear to work in most conditions.”

Additional colors and shapes from Berkley Maxscent
Listed below are a couple of additonal Berkley MaxScent profiles that work nicely for the hover rig.

He has a really perfect weight for his hover rig set-up, as nicely.

“I take advantage of Lazer Sharp Tungsten Pagoda Nail Weights in my hover rigs,” he stated. “MaxScent creates an additional step to including nail weights, however the additional bites make it value it.

“I’ve discovered that when you don’t glue within the nail weight, you would possibly get a couple of casts, however ultimately they fall out,” he added. “By including somewhat dab of tremendous glue gel, it retains the nail weight in for the lengthy haul.”

He’s additionally a believer in utilizing Spike-It for this hover rig set-up.

“I like including little particulars to my shows to separate them from what fish have already seen,” he stated. “My mainstay is a chartreuse garlic Spike-It, I at all times hold a wide range of colours and smells with me.”

As for the rod-and-reel combo used to seize the record-setting crappie, he’s fairly particular right here too.

“Exterior of a drop shot rod, I’ve not often used medium gentle rods,” he indicated. “After fishing with In-Fisherman’s Thomas Allen—a finesse guru in his personal proper—this previous summer time and having a couple of discussions about rods, I began leaning closely on medium gentle rods for extra purposes than I did beforehand.

7-foot Eagle Claw EC3.5 Medium Light/fast
The appropriate rod is necessary to maintain the finesse element constructed into the presentation. For this Allee prefers the 7-foot Eagle Claw EC3.5 Medium Gentle/quick rod.

“As quickly as I began fishing my hover rigs on the 7-foot Eagle Claw EC3.5 Medium Gentle/quick, I fell in love. I notice at this level I’m getting actually model deep and including extra depth to my Shamwowness, nevertheless it’s the reality. I very not often lose fish and attribute a big a part of that to that rod.”

Allee then pairs the rod with an Eagle Claw Inshore Spinning Reel to finish the rig.

Eagle Claw Inshore Spinning Reel
He prefers to make use of an Eagle Claw Inshore Spinning Reel for his hover rig purposes.

“It has a clean retrieve and the kind of drag system that doesn’t take days off,” he stated. “I can’t use reels which might be buttery clean in heat climate however find yourself having a hitch of their giddy-up when it will get chilly. I’m in a kayak too, so reels that may’t survive taking a pair journeys into the drink sometimes gained’t minimize the mustard.”

As with different angling gear in his record-setting piscatorial arsenal, he admits that “I’m choosy in regards to the strains I take advantage of, too.”

“I’ve so many rigs that it’s unimaginable to go too costly on the subject of braid or fluoro,” he stated. “I for strains that mix efficiency and worth. Fortunately, as anglers, we are able to get some nice strains as we speak with out breaking the financial institution.

“I run 15-pound Seaguar TactX tied to an 8-pound Seaguar BasiX chief hooked up by way of a FG knot. I sometimes run leaders wherever from 10 to 12 ft lengthy.”

The underside line right here for Allee is whether or not he’s of Shamwow guru standing or not, he is obtained a monster slab-size crappie document utility pending within the CP&W system, and he is clearly fairly expert on the subject of how you can get all of this finished.

Contemplate including a few of his gear options to your arsenal and implement a couple of of his hover-rig tips and you might stumble upon some large crappies and bass briefly order.

Do not hit the snooze button too actually because the fishing isn’t too dangerous proper now, particularly when you’ve obtained the suitable gear and dedication, it is solely going to get higher as we flip the calendar from 2023 to 2024.

In spite of everything, there’s by no means actually a foul time to go fishing, proper?

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