Tyler and Sara Trampe of the Sportsman's Journal TV put our BRAND NEW bait - the 2" Apache - to the ultimate test last spring in northern Wisconsin. When crappies move up into shallow water, you need a slow falling bait. The strike zones are smaller and in clear water especially, fish can be finicky. The larger 2'' profile of the Apache is the real deal for skinny water spring slabs! Check out the full SJTV episode below or click here to watch it on YouTube. Looking for more recommended Freedom Baitz from the SJTV duo? Shop the SJTV Essential Panfish Kit - a variety kit of 12 packs of their favorite baitz.
See the 2" Apache In Action ↓
How to Rig the 2" Apache for Spring Crappies
Especially right after ice out, early spring crappies are often finicky and sluggish. The key to targeting them at this time is opting for a presentation that has a slow fall and stays in the strike zone longer to give the fish more time to come inspect and commit to the bite. When you're looking for a slower fall, sometimes sizing down your gear and switching out the typical crappie jigs for a bare hook can make all the difference.
In this episode, the Trampes paired our 2" Apache with a simple blood red size 2 octopus hook (shown below). Without a heavy jighead and no additional weights, this setup allowed the 2" profile to flutter and hover for longer periods of time in the water. Your casting distance won't be quite as far without additional weight on the end of your line, but the density of the dual balls of the body of this plastic is just enough to get it out into the shallows exactly where you need it. All in all, our new 2" Apache is the perfect tool for targeting early spring slabs in the skinniest waters of the shallows.
The 2" Apache
Named after the US Army Helicopter, the Apache has a strong two-part body with six legs extending out that create a quivering action that simply attracts fish. In the water, this bait resembles a bug or small grub that bluegill and crappie love. For a more finesse, presentation, simply remove one of the balls of the body, clip the trailing legs, or remove the side tentacles. Dial in the best panfish plastic for your situation without ever removing the bait from your hook.
For more SJTV open water crappie fishing episodes featuring Freedom Baitz, make sure to check out the following:
Featuring the 2" Hornet
Crappies spend a significant amount of time roaming mud flats gorging themselves on insect larvae. Knowing when to head to the mud and giving them something they haven't seen before is just the ticket for limits of slabs!
Featuring the Hellcat
Like the new 2" Apache, our Hellcat is another presentation that can stay in the strike zone for a prolonged period to help your odds of putting more fish in the box!
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