Skarlis’ secret to finicky deep fish: Tadpole

The Tadpole Diving Weight acts as a mini diving planer to get tiny crappie baits deeper in trolling situations.

When you dial in crappie holding in deeper areas but find fish in a picky mood, trolling tiny jigs, flies or stickbaits in front of them can present a challenge. Generally, letting out more line gets a lure deeper, but the longer your spread, the less control and depth accuracy you have.

Crappie and walleye pro Tommy Skarlis addresses the depth-control issue with the Offshore Tackle Tadpole Diving Weight, an oblong, powder-coated metal form that includes a narrow neck and a triangular arm that holds a sliding leader clip. A second clip affixed to the weight’s upper end connects to your main line.

Skarlis suggests main line that’s 2 to 4 pounds heavier than the 4- to 6-foot leader. This way, if you snag anything, you’ll lose only the bait and not the Tadpole.

Noting his preference for a 1 mph trolling speed, Skarlis said he uses a No. 1 Tadpole for his crappie work. On deployment, a Tadpole runs with the leader clip positioned at the top of the arm, but on the strike, the weight pivots forward, allowing the leader clip to slide back so you fight the fish and not the diving weight.

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About David A. Brown 142 Articles
A full-time freelance writer specializing in sport fishing, David A. Brown splits his time between journalism and marketing communications.

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