Skip to main content

Bobby Garland's 1.5-inch Crappie Shooter

Bobby Garland's 1.5-inch Crappie Shooter

Bobby Garland Crappie Baits has created a new bait that has caught the attention of several Midwest finesse anglers. It is the 1.5-inch Crappie Shooter.

It is part of the dock-shooting system, which we wrote about in a Midwest Finesse column entitled "Three days with Gene Larew Lures and Bill Lewis Outdoors," and it was published on Nov. 20, 2015.  This tactic allows anglers to present a jig affixed to a soft-plastic lure around hard to reach spots around docks and overhanging objects by using a spinning rod and reel to shoot it, and the shooting is somewhat similar to the way an archer shoots an arrow.

A Monkey Milk hue 1.5-inch Crappie Shooter affixed to a Head Dockt'R Shooter Jighead.

The soft-plastic torso of the Crappie Shooter is similar to a shad, and a spear-shaped tail is attached to the torso. In the eyes of some Midwest finesse anglers, it reminds them of the vintage stingray-style grub that they used to wield back in the early 1970s.  But the Crappie Shooter is shorter, wider, and flatter than the old-fashioned stingray.


The folks at Garland recommend affixing the 1.5-inch Crappie Shooter to either Crappie Pro's Head Dockt'R Shooter Jighead or an Overbite Sickle Head. The Head Dockt'R Shooter Jighead is manufactured in two sizes: 1/24-ounce and 1/32-ounce, and they sport a No. 4 hook.  The Overbite Sickle Head is manufactured in three sizes: 1/16-ounce 1/32-ounce and 1/48-ounce, and they sport a No. 6 Sickle hook.


An integral part of the system is Garland's innovative Dock Shoot'R Pull Tabs, which is seven-eighths of an inch long. After the Crappie Shooter is affixed to the jig, the Pull Tab is attached to the hook by inserting the point of the hook through the hole at the end of the tab.

Once the jig, Crappie Shooter, and Pull Tab are correctly assembled, it is ready to be shot. To shoot it under a dock, an angler needs to keep his rod low and parallel to the water's surface.  The angler has to be standing in the correct position and aiming the rod and Crappie Shooter so that when it is released it can negotiate the space or gap between the water and the dock or overhanging object. If an angler is using a six-foot, seven-inch spinning rod, the Crappie Shooter will hang about 46 inches from the tip of the rod or even with the first guide above the reel. When it is 46 inches from the tip, the angler grasps the Pull Tab between his thumb and index finger, and he pulls it towards the reel, which causes the rod to bend like an archer draws a bow.  The distance of the shot determines how far the angler pulls the rig. For a short cast, he might pull it until it is a few inches in front of the reel or parallel to the spinning reel, and for a longer cast, he might pull it as much as 24 inches behind the reel. Once the rod is flexed and properly aimed at the spot the angler wants to hit under the dock, he releases the Pull Tab, and the Crappie Shooter is jettisoned to the target.

Besides helping an angler to accurately shoot the Crappie Shooter, the Pull Tab adds some stability to the Crappie Shooter during the retrieve.

The Crappie Shooter has a flat back and a"boat-hull belly," which allows it to move realistically during the retrieve.   What's more, its spear-shaped tail accentuates a subtle gliding motif during the retrieve.




The Crappie Shooter is designed to be rigged "flat" or horizontal; as this rigging direction affords the best overall action and most realistic baitfish appeal.  When it is rigged horizontally, it can be skipped like a flat rock, making it the recommended way for shooting it.

The lure's diminutive size also allows it to be rigged upright or vertically. The vertical motif allows it to exhibit a bigger profile when it is retrieved with a straight swimming presentation rather than the gliding and darting retrieve of the horizontal rig.

Although it was created for crappie anglers, Midwest finesse anglers think it has the potential to become a potent tool for them at times to inveigle largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.  It also will be an effective rig for alluring temperate bass.


The Crappie Shooter is manufactured in the following colors: Black/Hot Pink, Blue Ice, Cajun Cricket, Electric Chicken, Glacier, Lights Out, Live Minnow, Monkey Milk, Tadpole, and Threadfin Shad.

Anglers can purchase a package of 15 Crappie Shooters for around $3.49.  The folks at Garland say that the Crappie Shooters are now available at many tackle retailers across the country that specialize in crappie fishing, including Bass Pro Shops.

There are two styles of the Pull Tab: Natural Fin and Holographic. A box of 24 costs $5.79.

Crappie Pro's Head Dockt'R Jig is manufactured in four colors: pink, red, blue and chartreuse, and also unpainted. A package of 10 cost $5.59.

Crappie Pro's Overbite Sickle Jig is made in four hues: pink, white, orange, and chartreuse. A package of 10 costs around $5.49.

The Blue Ice-hue  Crappie Shooter affixed to an Overbite Sickle Jig.

As the months unfold, we hope to publish some updates about the 1.5-inch Crappie Shooter's effectiveness in the world of black bass fishing with Midwest finesse tactics, as well as its many attributes for inveigling crappie.

A crappie that Gary Dollahon of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, caught on an Electric Chicken Crappie Shooter.

Endnotes

(1) Unfortunately, scores of black bass anglers tend to pooh-pooh the effectiveness of little baits, but Guido Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, who is one of the pioneers of Midwest finesse fishing, says "many people don't believe that little baits will catch big fish, but they do. Gosh, we've proven it for years."  Of course, Midwest finesse anglers have also found that soft-plastic baits affixed to a jig -- like the 1.5-inch Crappie Shooter -- will catch vast numbers of black bass.

(2) Here is the link to the Nov. 20, 2015, column that we wrote about dock shooting:  https://www.in-fisherman.com/bass/three-days-with-gene-larew-lures-and-bill-lewis-outfitters/.

(3) Here are the links to Bobby Garland Crappie Baits and Crappie Pro: http://www.bobbygarlandcrappie.com/index.php and http://www.crappiepro.com/.

(4) In the near future, we publish a gear guide about Gene Larew Lures' Bass Shooter System. It is similar to the Crappie Shooter.

Gary Dollohan with a crappie that he recently caught on a 1.5-inch Crappie Shooter.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

Drop-Shotting For Smallies

Drop-Shotting For Smallies

The In-Fisherman crew head to Lake Erie to catch smallmouth bass.

Channel Cats on Ice

Channel Cats on Ice

The In-Fisherman staff reveals some of the hottest action of the winter season, as they show how to ice 20-pound channel catfish.

The True Story of the Bass Boat Hero Who Broke the Internet

The True Story of the Bass Boat Hero Who Broke the Internet

“If that engine starts without my kill switch on, I ain't the one driving it,” Blake Broussard says after ejection video goes viral.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural baits and commercial options.10 Best Carp Baits Available Today Carp

10 Best Carp Baits Available Today

Dan Johnson

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

Their fighting ability is far superior to the largemouth bass—more par with muskies.The Case for Super Bass (AKA Snakeheads) Other Fish

The Case for Super Bass (AKA Snakeheads)

Steve Ryan - July 06, 2020

Their fighting ability is far superior to the largemouth bass—more par with muskies.

The effectiveness of swimbaits and other soft plastics for muskies isn't new.Swimbaits for Muskies Pike & Muskie

Swimbaits for Muskies

Steve Ryan - October 14, 2020

The effectiveness of swimbaits and other soft plastics for muskies isn't new.

See More Trending Articles

More Midwest Finesse

Its chelipads feature six holes, creating a bubble trail underwater for fish to hone in on.Big Bite Baits 3-inch Kamikaze Craw Midwest Finesse

Big Bite Baits 3-inch Kamikaze Craw

Ned Kehde - October 15, 2020

Its chelipads feature six holes, creating a bubble trail underwater for fish to hone in on.

Its soft-plastic body and tail are phthalate-free.Storm Lures' 360GT Searchbait Midwest Finesse

Storm Lures' 360GT Searchbait

Ned Kehde - August 31, 2020

Its soft-plastic body and tail are phthalate-free.

The head is ball-shaped and 98 percent of it consists of tungsten.Clam Drop Tg Jig Midwest Finesse

Clam Drop Tg Jig

Ned Kehde - October 29, 2020

The head is ball-shaped and 98 percent of it consists of tungsten.

This August guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 22 logs.Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2020 Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse Fishing: August 2020

Ned Kehde - September 08, 2020

This August guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 22 logs.

See More Midwest Finesse

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now