Kalin’s Crappie Tips: Monk Wilson’s Fab Four Grubs for Crappie Trolling

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Sunday, April 21, 2013
by Mike Pehanich

North Carolina crappie expert Monk Wilson has fine-tuned the art of crappie trolling! Here he singles out his four favorite Kalin’s grubs and tells why they excel in long-line and tightline trolling.

The old "flannel shirt and rowboat" cult may stick by its claim that nothing catches crappie like a live minnow.

But put a crappie trolling expert like Monk Wilson on the water with his deadly tackle arsenal, and – sorry, Mother Nature – soft plastic grubs like Wilson’s top four picks are hands-down winners!

The advantages with soft plastic grubs are several:

  • In multi-rod or multi-rig set-ups, you can employ a variety of grub styles and colors to dial in the fish’s preference for the day.
  • Plastics last for multiple fish, eliminating the need to replace bait on almost every hit or landed fish.
  • Quality plastic grubs maintain their “living” action as long as they are positioned properly on the jig. No dead-baits need apply!

Here’s Monk’s All-Star line-up and the preferred jigs he teams with each.

Kalin’s 2-Inch Triple Threat Grub – Monk calls this curlytail plastic his “old standby!” He mates the grub with the 1/16-ounce Kalin Triple Threat Crappie Jig.

 “The Two-inch Triple Threat Grub is my first choice, my ‘Go-to’ bait,” says Wilson. “It has been around a long time.”

Monk’s Tip: “I like the #4 hook on the Kalin’s Triple Threat Crappie Jig. When you thread the two-inch grub, the hook point comes out about the third ring (body segment) from the tail. It gives the grub better action than a jig with a #2 hook.

Kalin’s 3-Inch Slim Triple Threat Grub – Monk Wilson’s dad sang a familiar refrain: “Big fish like big baits!” Well, that may explain part of the appeal of the three-inch Triple Threat named “Slim,” but it doesn’t explain it all.

The Slim Triple Threat has a broad tail, which creates more turbulence and projects a larger profile than the two-inch TTG. Slim’s extremely supple tail also gives it lifelike action even at very slow trolling speeds.

“If I know I am on a lake with big two- and three-pound crappie, I really like the 3-Inch Slim Triple Threat Grub,” sums Wilson. “If tournament fishermen would use more bigger baits like this, they would do much better!”

Monk’s Tip: “A jig with a #2 hook is ideal for the 3-Inch Slim. It comes out about the third ring from the tail and still leaves plenty of tail action.”

Kalin’s Monk Minnow – Guess who they named this bait after?!!! Actually, Monk Wilson takes credit only for resurrecting an abandoned concept, though he did have a hand in the design of the new and improved Kalin’s “Monk.”

This three-inch bait has a thin, supple tail that keeps working even at slow retrieve or trolling speeds. Simulated dorsal and anal fins enhance its baitfish profile.

 “It’s a long slim lure that is more like a shiner minnow,” explains Wilson, who also selected the bait’s 14 Triple Threat color combinations.

Kalin’s 1-3/4 inch Triple Threat Crappie Scrub – Crappie are cousins of largemouth bass, and that should be enough to explain the speck’s love for the TT Crappie Scrub! It’s a miniaturized version of Kalin’s popular 3-Inch Scrub, which is a favorite jig trailer among bass anglers.

The Scrub’s twin paddle tails deliver tantalizing kicking action.

The Scrub comes in 17 Triple Threat color combinations. Monk’s favorite colors include Acid Rain, John Deere Green, Black & Blue Chartreuse, June Bug (with a red head), Tennessee Shad, Albino Shad and Red Neon.

Monk’s Tip: For a perfect jig/plastic fit, thread the Kalin’s 1/32- and 1/16-ounce Triple Threat Crappie Jigs through the third ring from the Scrub’s tail.