For the last 20 years, the team of Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman has been the team to beat on national crappie tournament circuits. The duo has developed tournament crappie tactics so successful that manufacturers began creating rods, rigs, and lures just for that style of fishing.
Coleman of Tiptonville, Tenn., explained how and why power trolling with crankbaits produces better results for him than pulling them in the summer.
“It’s a lot easier to control where we fish if we’re pushing crankbaits out the front,” he said. “Most people who troll crankbaits troll them way out the back and when you go into a turn, there’s no way to know exactly where the baits are.
“We’ve made a living fishing break lines over the years. We’ll get on a specific break line and just follow it all over the lake. I’ll give you a good example of why we learned to do that. Ever since we started fishing with GPS units, we started marking every big fish we caught. At the end of the day, we’d go back and map out where we caught our best fish and just about everyone will be on a break line at a specific depth for that day.”
Coleman prefers to lighten up his power trolling weight in order to make the rig more adjustable and versatile. Coleman uses two lures to each rod. This allows him to target multiple depths.
“We make up a two-way rig using two three-way swivels. We may place the swivels as much as 5 feet apart, depending on how deep we’ll be fishing,” he said. “Off the top swivel we’ll run either a Rapala broke-back minnow or a 300 series Bandit crankbait on an 18-inch leader. The lower swivel has a Bandit on a 24-inch leader. Down below the bottom swivel we tie a dropper that holds the weight. It will be anywhere from a 2- to 5-ounce sinker. Again the amount of weight depends on how deep and how fast we’re fishing.”