If there’s anything better than catching a mess of crappie headed for the deep fryer, I don’t know what that would be. And neither would Strike King pro-staffer Wally Marshall, a Westminster, Texas resident known to millions as “Mr. Crappie.”
Given Marshall’s affinity for catching limits of big old slabs in the Lone Star State and all across the country, then it isn’t surprising that his fingerprints are all over two new Strike King crappie baits being introduced this week at the 2014 ICAST show in Orlando.
The first of those offerings is the Mr. Crappie ShadPole CT (Curly Tail), a soft plastic grub that features the swimming action of a threadfin shad and plenty of tail-induced vibration in the water.With the curly tail design to be turned up – at Marshall’s insistence – the bait can be fished at very slow speeds and yet still produce some tantalizing crappie catching action.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve had great success with our ShadPole series,” said Mark Copley, media and public relations man for Strike King. “This is a good casting bait and is good for trolling too.”
“It’s a great bait for docks, fishing around grass, etc.,” he said. “The body has a small profile that helps give it that darting action like a small shad and the thin, turned up tail helps it have a ton of vibration, even when trolled at slower speeds.”
The second new crappie bait from Strike King is the Mr. Crappie Slabalicious crappie swimbait. Designed for casting, trolling, pulling, flipping or pitching, this paddle tailed bait has an action and vibration that is tough to beat.
“Really, this is the first crappie swimbait to hit the market,” said Marshall. “I wanted Strike King to come out with a good swimbait design and they did with this one.
“It’s a spinoff of the bass catching Shadalicious but is much smaller with a 1 ¼-inch paddle tail,” he added. “It’s a thin tail design so it’s got a lot of awesome action in the water.”
Marshall says that the crappie swimbait also features a ribbed body and a tapered tail that extends down to the paddle-tail section, all of which gives the bait plenty of shaking motion in the water.
“You can use it with long-line trolling or tight-line trolling, but you don’t always have to run it as a crappie swimbait,” said Marshall. “You can also put it on a jig head and pitch it down into a brush pile. All of that vibration can really help pull them out.”
Speaking of jig heads, Strike King has introduced two new colors in its popular Mr. Crappie jig head line-up that features 1/8-, 1/16- and 1/32-ounce offerings.
“We’ve made these jig heads in two new colors that the crappie really seem to like,” said Marshall. “They’re lightweight and on #2 hooks in the new Limetreuse and Flo Orange color patterns.”
If a mess of crappie slabs is in your future, then be sure to look for these new Mr. Crappie products from Strike King. They should be hitting retailer shelves over the next few weeks.
And all of that will be followed up, of course, by a mess of sac au lait filets battered and ready to hit a sizzling fish cooker filled up to the brim with hot peanut oil.
Click here for videos, stories and photos from ICAST 2014.