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Identifying the Difference Between Black and White Crappie


If you love to fish and enjoy eating your catches, then you know crappies are bountiful and delicious. You can find them throughout North America all year round in lakes, rivers and ponds. You might have noticed that not all crappies look the same, but do you know the differences between white and black crappies? Here are a few easy ways to identify which is which.

Physical Differences

Though they are generally similar in size and appearance, black and white crappies do have some physical differences. Black crappies are covered in dark, seemingly random patterns, whereas white crappies have stripes and are lighter in color. The white crappie is much lighter overall, especially on its back. The white crappie’s dorsal fin is also set further back on its body, and it only has five or six visible spines, whereas the black crappie has seven or eight. White crappies also have slightly longer bodies.


Both black and white crappies can both be found in most bodies of fresh water, but they have slightly different habitat preferences. Black crappies prefer water that is clear and cool, while white crappies prefer murkier waters. Black crappies also live among more aquatic vegetation than white crappies, though white crappies do like having the cover of a tree branch or root.

If you’re preparing to fish for crappies, Slater’s Jigs has everything you need! We provide world champion crappie fishing jigs, as well as a variety of high-quality crappie fishing gear and accessories. Browse our online store today!

Try These Handy Smartphone Apps on Your Next Fishing Trip


Lake FishingSmartphones are the digital Swiss army knives of the modern era. These days, you can find useful smartphone apps to help you accomplish just about anything, and fishing is no exception. Today we’ll look at a few of our favorite fishing apps to try on your next expedition.

Marine & Lakes

You use GPS navigation when you’re driving around on land, so why not use it when you’re out on the water, too? This app will provide you with all the nautical maps you need when you’re on a boat. It can help you keep an eye on the tides, watch for changes in weather patterns and find nearby fishing holes. It’s a must-have for anyone fishing in unfamiliar locations.

Ultimate Angler

Let’s say you’re looking for a particular species of fish, but you don’t necessarily know where to find it or even how to reliably identify it. This app can tell you just about everything you ever wanted to know about a variety of different fish species. It breaks their identifying characteristics, what type of bait you should use, where they like to hang out underwater and much more. You will educate yourself about fish as you fish.

Animated Fishing Knots

Experienced anglers know that there’s a specialized knot for just about any occasion. Chances are, you only know how to tie a few of them. This app will change all that by showing you how to tie more than 50 of the most popular fishing knots. Improving your knowledge of knots can help you catch a greater variety of fish and increase your chances of success on the water.

All of these apps can help you fish, but when it comes right down to it, you’re going to need the right gear to start reeling in fish today. Browse our extensive selection of jigs, reels, rods and more online, or give us a call today at our toll-free number to learn more.

How to Catch and Release Responsibly


Anglers who fish for sport rather than survival often prefer to put fish back into the water because it helps to improve future generations of fish, and makes for better overall fishing conditions in America’s waterways. But in order to catch and release responsibly, there are some steps you should to give fish the best possible chance of survival once you return them to the water.

Minimize the amount of handling that you have to do with fish.

When fishing catch and release, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time with the fish out of water and in your hands. This can damage a fish’s gills and ultimately put it in a precarious situation when it is eventually released. If possible, you should keep the fish in the water when you catch it and remove the hook from its mouth with a pair of pliers or other tool to minimize your contact with its gills.

Release fish as quickly as you can.

We live in a world where many people want to catch fish and then snap photos of them for social media. This might seem like a good idea, but the longer a fish is out of water, the less chance it has to survive once you release it. You should be especially mindful of this during the warmer months, as many cool-water fish will die faster than usual when you remove them from water for even a short period of time.

Keep fish out of the live well on your boat if you plan on releasing them.

There are some anglers who will catch a fish, put it into the live well on their boat, and then release it back into the water later. Unfortunately, this practice can reduce the fish’s chances of surviving pretty dramatically. If you aren’t planning on keeping a fish, you shouldn’t even bother placing it in your live well. Release it right away to give it a better chance of survival.

Need some new gear for your next fishing expedition? You’ve come to the right place! Browse our jig shop online, or give us a call today to learn more.

Essential Tools to Keep In Your Tackle Box


Essential Tools to Keep In Your Tackle BoxAre you in the process of putting together a tackle box for your next fishing trip? If so, there are a handful of items that you’re going to want to make sure are tucked away inside. You will obviously need to bring along things like fishing line, lures, extra hooks and bobbers so that you’re ready to start fishing as soon as you reach your destination. But there are a few other tools you should have on hand, too.

Needle Nose Pliers

Getting a hook out of a fish’s mouth can be tricky if you don’t have a pair of needle nose pliers at your disposal. Hooks can often get stuck, and it will be nearly impossible to get them out without the right tools. There are also times when you might get a hook stuck in your clothing. With a good pair of needle nose pliers, you can take hooks out of just about anything in just a few seconds.

Line Cutter

If your hook gets caught at the bottom of a lake or tangled in a tree, you might be forced to cut your line. But fishing line is designed to be tough and difficult to cut without the proper tools. There are line cutters specifically designed to cut fishing line, but you can also usually get away with using a pair of nail clippers or a pocket knife. Just make sure you have something to cut your line in your tackle box at all times in case you need it.

First Aid Kit

Any time you’re out fishing in remote areas, you should have a simple first aid kit on hand for minor emergencies. This kit should include everything from Band-Aids and waterproof medical tape to Neosporin and a pain reliever. The last thing you want to do is cut your fishing trip short because of an injury, so always keep your trusty first aid kit by your side.

Fast Facts About Crappie Fishing


Fast Facts About Crappie FishingDo you enjoy fishing in the spring and early summer? If so, crappie fishing can be an incredibly rewarding endeavor! This is spawning season for crappies, so they will be active and easier to catch during this period. And as an added bonus, crappie season usually offers some of the best fishing weather of the year throughout many parts of the country. Here are a few other fun facts about crappie fishing that might help you on your next expedition.

Crappies aren’t very active during the day.

If you’re going crappie fishing, you shouldn’t plan to go at high noon. Crappies feed at dawn and at dusk for the most part, so you aren’t going to get many bites from them during the day. Instead, you should plan to be out on the water when the sun is rising or setting. This will increase your chances of landing a good catch.

Crappies look for places to hide in the water.

Crappies are found in large bodies of freshwater, and they prefer to spend most of their time living underneath rocks, weeds, and other underwater brush. This means it might take a little bit of effort on your part to find crappies and entice them to come out of hiding so that you can catch them.

Crappies are one of the best-tasting types of freshwater fish.

Crappies are known for having white flesh that is both light and flaky, and similar to the taste of bass. Many anglers find that the flavor is even better than bass, though. If you’re able to catch them, crappie will make for a great meal when you get home.

Looking for the right tools for your next crappy fishing expedition? You’ve come to the right place. Browse our extensive selection of poles, reels and jigs online, or give us a call today to learn more.

Unique Advantages of Artificial Lures


Fishing LuresWhile both live bait and artificial lures have unique advantages that make them worthwhile options for anglers, there are some big benefits that come along with using lures. For starters, you won’t have to worry about refrigerating them or keeping them in a live well with circulating water like you’ll have to do with live bait. But the benefits don’t end there. Here are several other advantages of using artificial lures over live bait.

Lures can help you catch larger fish.

In general, you will typically catch larger fish when you use artificial lures. Live bait tends to attract all fish, regardless of size, which can be problematic if you’re fishing in a place that has a lot of fish. You’re more likely to catch undersized fish with bait. Fish are usually a bit more selective when it comes to lures, though, so you may find that you bring in larger fish that commit themselves to trying to eat your lure.

Lures can help you catch fish safely.

When a fish clamps down on a lure, it will just about always end up with a hook through its mouth, jaw or lips. If you are catching and releasing fish, this will make it significantly easier for you to hook a fish and then get it back into the water. It will be safer for both you and the fish when you opt to use artificial lures, and the best part of all is that you won’t have to worry about putting more live bait on your line every time you catch a fish.

Lures can deliver a more satisfying fishing experience.

Fishing with a lure can be a little bit more challenging at times than fishing with live bait, but that means you’ll get a certain sense of satisfaction when you use a lure to bring in a fish. You will be proud of the fact that you used the right lure to bring the fish in, and you may even find that you enjoy yourself more when using a lure than you do when using live bait.

Trying to find the right lure for your next fishing excursion? Browse our extensive selection of jigs online, or give us a call today at our toll-free number to learn more!

Improve Your Casting Technique With these Essential Tips


Improve Your Casting Technique With these Essential TipsIf you want to get better at basketball, you need to spend a lot of time working on your dribbling and your jump shot. If you want to get better at baseball, you need to spend a lot of time catching and throwing the ball. And if you want to get better at fishing, perfecting your casting technique is the best way to do it. It’s not all that hard to make improvements, either, if you’re willing to work at it. Here are a few tips for getting your casting technique where it needs to be.

Be mindful of your grip

The way that you hold your rod and reel when you cast is very important. If your grip is off, your cast will be too. When you grip your pole, hold it with your casting hand placed where the rod and reel meet. Then, place your index finger on the front of your reel and wrap the rest of your fingers behind it. This will help keep everything steady when you cast.

Make sure your line is set up properly

Once you've got your grip down, it’s time to take a look at your line to get it ready for your cast. When casting, you should leave about a foot of line between your lure and the tip of your rod. You also want to put the roller located on your reel bail right below where your index finger is located. When you grab the line with your index finger, it should be pulled tight before you open up your reel and release it. This will get you all ready to cast your line out.

Look around before you cast

You’re almost ready to cast your line. But before you do, look behind you and see if there’s anything that could snag your bait or lure. Bushes, trees and other people are the most common culprits. If there’s nothing behind you that might impede your cast, point your rod in the direction that you want to cast. swing the rod behind you and bring it right back forward, all in one smooth motion. Stop holding the line with your index finger at that point to release your lure, and your cast is complete.

If you aren’t happy with the results of your cast, you can reel in your line and try again. You can also try tweaking the equipment you use in order to make your cast feel more comfortable. Slater’s Jigs offers a wide range of handmade fishing jigs and lures that are perfect for practicing your casting technique. Check out what we have in stock or call us at 800-748-8711 today to place an order.

How to Find the Best Fishing Holes in Your Area


How to Find the Best Fishing Holes in Your AreaFinding a good fishing hole is one of the most important parts of going fishing. You can be the best fisherman in the world and have all the best gear at your disposal, but if you’re fishing in the wrong spot, there’s a good chance that you’re not going to be able to catch anything. Therefore, you should spend some time learning about the best fishing destinations in your area, regardless of whether you’re a first-time fisherman or a seasoned veteran. Check out a few of our tips for finding the best fishing holes near you.

Scour the internet for clues.

Once upon a time, fishermen had to put in long days trying out different fishing spots to find the best ones. These days, you can usually pull up a list of them simply by spending five minutes online. If that doesn’t work, you can also check with your local Chamber of Commerce or get in touch with your local fishing guide association to see if you can score information on great fishing holes.

Ask other local fishermen about where they like to go.

When you start preparing for a fishing trip, you’re probably going to end up in a bait and tackle shop. This will give you a great opportunity to chat up other fishermen and find out where they like to fish. You should steer clear of coming right out and asking them for the best places to fish, since some fishermen might not be comfortable giving you that info. But if you are friendly and show interest in their knowledge and experience, they will typically open up to you and tell you more about where you should be fishing.

Always be respectful when you receive a helpful tip from a fellow fisherman.

In the event that you do find out about a great fishing hole from a fellow fisherman, you should show them the proper courtesy and avoid spreading the word to everyone you know. Nothing ruins a fishing hole quite like a crowd, so if you’re fortunate enough to find out about a great spot to fish, do your best to keep it a secret. It will help you to find out about other great fishing holes in the future.

Have you found the perfect fishing hole in your area? Make the most of it by ordering the right equipment for your next fishing trip. Slater’s Jigs offers jigs, jig heads, trolling jigs, poles, reels and more. Order online or call us at 800-748-8711 today to learn more.

Tips for Getting Kids Interested in Fishing


There’s nothing quite like the feeling of fishing with your family. It’s the ultimate bonding opportunity. You get to search for the freshest local catches, and who doesn’t love the chance to spend a beautiful day outdoors?

Then again, fishing first-timers can sometimes be harder to convince, especially if they are young kids unfamiliar with how fun and enjoyable the activity can be. That’s why we’ve put together a few easy suggestions to help you introduce your kids to the sport of fishing. Once they understand what fishing is all about, they’ll be begging for more.

Location Is Key

When thinking of where to fish with your kids for the first time, it’s wise to ask yourself the following questions: a) how far is the walk, b) how rough is the terrain, and c) how scenic is the area. All three are factors that will help preserve your child’s energy and excitement leading up to the outing. Fishing from shore, for example, tends to be easier for families with young children due to the fact there are more diversions available, such as tossing pebbles into the water and playing in the dirt. Another important strategy is to pick a shallow area where your children will be able to see fish. This way, they can get excited at the prospect of snagging a fish on their line.

Hook, Line and Sinker

There are plenty of easy-to-use tackles and poles designed specifically for children. Before embarking on any fishing excursion, consider investing in kid-friendly tools that will appeal to your child and make fishing fun. Fishing shouldn’t be a struggle, and taking the time to find the right supplies is essential.

Insider tip: A number of short rods come adorned with animated characters and bright colors. Both will help get kids excited about their new fishing gear!

Check the Weather

Nobody likes fishing in bad weather, so this tip appeals to your common sense. Check your local weather reports regularly to ensure you and your family don’t go fishing on especially hot, cold or rainy days. After all, it can be hard to shake a bad first impression!

Consider Tenkara Rods

They’re nothing fancy, but the simple design of tenkara rods can be ideal for young anglers to fly fish. Another good option might be spinning rods, which have a closed reel design that is similarly easy to operate.

Have Fun!

Let’s not forget the most essential rule of all. Your kids ultimately just want to have fun while spending the day with you. Get them excited to fish by watching fishing-related animated flicks or reading a popular book. Even better, bring fish-themed snacks (e.g. Goldfish!) and don’t be afraid to get creative and encourage their imagination to run wild. 

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