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    Reeling in Arkansas crappie

    11:08 PM, Feb 26, 2013   |    comments
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    Photo Gallery: Fishin' with Liz: Crappie

    Video: "Fishin' with Liz" at 10: Catchin' Crappie

    WHITE COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) -- Spring is right around the corner and many anglers are reeling to hit the lakes, hoping to lure in one of the most popular game fish in Arkansas.

    "It's really becoming more common," said Jeff Smith, owner of Leland's Lures, who taught THV 11's Liz Massey about a different fishing technique.

    "It's called spider rigging, your boat looks like a spider because you've got legs on each corner," explained Smith.

    Spider rigging isn't a new technique, but Smith said he's seeing more and more people "catching" onto it. Eight 12-foot poles are cast out from the boat, increasing your chances of having a good fishing trip.

    "You can catch 6 or 8 at a time, you're so tangled up, you're laughing so hard, you can't get any of them in the boat," he said.

    And that's exactly what Liz was hoping for but she quickly learned like many fish, "Crappie will turn on and off, no rhyme or reason to it," says Smith.

    With 8 poles, the team caught a couple of bass, a bream and finally crappie. Smith said crappie is usually the first fish you can catch in Spring. March is normally the best month, and 60 degree water is ideal.

    "You see how the lines are laying down. You want to get them down in front of them, the whole key to crappie is if they see it, a lot of times, they'll eat it," explained Smith.

    On this trip, the jig used was a crappie magnet-a jig Smith invented 5 years ago.

    "You're vertically fishing. You want a jig that looks straight, and the crappie magnet looks straight, doesn't have a tail that moves... just has a straight split tail," he said.

    As for some of the secrets to catching crappie? Smith said that finding them is the hardest part, but once you find them, they can be caught.

    Smith said people love crappie fishing because they're good to eat.

    "That's one of the biggest reasons," he declared. "Crappie is some of the best eatin' you can have."

    With spider rigging Smith can fish up to 16 poles at one time, and depending on where you're fishing, you can catch 20 to 30 crappie a day.

    To find out more about Smith's Crappie Magnet, visit troutmagnet.com.

    Smith also developed the Trout Magnet back in the 90's. He said in last year's April edition of Field and Stream, the magazine listed the top classic lures of all time, and the Trout Magnet came in at #10.

    If you'd like more crappie catching advice you can also visit crappie.com.

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