panfish underspins

How To Fish A Little Underspin For Panfish

When panfish such as crappie and white bass suspend in mid-depth ranges, the versatility of underspins or horsehead jigs make these lures ideal for coaxing bites from these suspending fish.

During the spring fishing season you can target bigger suspended crappie offshore—but still close to spawning banks—by pushing double Roadrunner rigs with bobbers off the front end of your boat to run the lures at two depth zones.  

Use a slip bobber to serve as a strike indicator when using underspins for panfish. Then, tie the first underspin (either a 1/32- or 1/16-ounce model) about 6 inches to 1 foot below the bobber and the next underspin (1/4 ounce)  18 inches to 2 1/2 feet below the top blade bait. You can use either curly-tail bodies or marabou tails for this trolling tactic and move your boat along at a GPS speed of .1 to .5 miles per hour.

Underspins For Suspended Panfish

A float-and-underspin also works well for crappie suspended above shallow brush piles in the spring and fall.  Set a 1/32-ounce horsehead jig with a marabou tail about 1 to 4 feet below a bobber and work the combo over submerged brush piles. Either twitch the bobber to move the underspin or let waves impart action to the lure as you let it sit still over the brush.

After the spawn, crappie move from the spawning banks but stay for a while in pockets between secondary points and suspend over depths of 7 to 10 feet.  You can catch these fish by throwing a 1/2-ounce underspin with either a curly-tail grub or a plastic tube attached. These postspawn crappie are near the bottom and are reluctant to chase lures so the most effective retrieve is to slow roll the blade bait.  Fan cast the underspin around the mouth of a spawning pocket to catch these fish migrating out to deeper water.

Trolling Underspins For Panfish

White bass tend to roam in open water chasing schools of baitfish most of the year, so trolling underspins is one of the best ways to cover water and locate these roaming predators. You should troll at a fast clip so a heavier underpin such as 1/8- or 3/16-ounce model will track best then, whereas smaller models tend to roll over too much when trolling at a faster pace. A 3-inch curly-tail plastic grub attached to the underspin will produce the best flash and tail action to trigger jarring strikes from white bass.