As with November’s “Lure of the Month,” the Crappie Jig, for December’s selection we continue with a style of lure as opposed to an individual lure. Since Lake Okeechobee and surrounding lakes are entering the schooling phase of our local Black Crappie population, we select the Beetle Spin for our lure of the month.

Beetle Spins are a hairpin style spinner bait and come in a variety of configurations and colors. Generally they have a small Colorado Blade on the topside and a light jig-head weighted hook on the working end of the lure. On the jig-head hook you can attach skirts, soft plastic grubs, and of course the ubiquitous live minnow.

What’s nice about the Beetle Spin is that it is virtually impossible to fish this lure improperly. The Beetle Spin can be cast out and retrieved just under the surface, it can be allowed to sink and bumped across the bottom, it can be jigged vertically, and it can be slow trolled behind your boat. This makes the lure a great tool to locate a school of Crappie or to wake up a stubborn school and get them to bite.

One of the tricks to catching Crappie with Beetle Spins is to change up the weight of the jig-head to match the conditions of the water you’re fishing. This includes selecting the proper weight as well as the proper colors. The weight you choose should be just enough to keep you in the strike zone and to counter the degree of lift when drifting across the water. The faster the drift the more weight you’ll need to keep the lure in the strike zone. As for colors, those who fish Lake Okeechobee frequently, you all know that colors that work in
the open water don’t always produce in the grasses or the river. The best way to determine the proper ‘localized’ color is to talk to the local bait and tackle shop dealer and see what’s hot that week. You’d be surprised how quickly it changes.

Another tip is if you’re trolling with a Beetle Spin, to minimize line twist, you can never eliminate it, tie a swivel onto our line and then another piece of mono filament between the swivel and the Beetle Spin. This allows the swivel to perform better than if you connected the Beetle Spin directly to the swivel.

Finally, though we talk about using Beetle Spins for Crappie and other panfish, don’t be surprised if one day Mr. Bass doesn’t decide to inhale your Beetle Spin and give you a run for your money.