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This week's Feature Blog

Getting The Max Out Of Minis

Bruce DeShano of Off Shore Tackle holds a nice crappie taken with the new Awesome Crappie Board. The new floating chamber helps this board carry more weight, plane to the side even better and setting the board is a no-brainer.

In the world of fishing sometimes less really is more. More fun, more fish, more opportunities and even more money in your pocket at the end of the day. Imagine that, a fishing presentation that actually costs less to participate!!

The newly redesigned OR38 Awesome Crappie Board (formerly Mini Board) features a new hollow float chamber mounted to the top of the board that helps this unique side-planer carry more weight, plane out to the side better and makes setting and clearing lines an absolute “no brainer”. Easy to use and amazingly effective this new board is taking planer board trolling to a whole new level.


The Mini Board and Awesome Crappie Board are both products that were spawned (no pun intended) thanks to Nick DeShano, Bruce DeShano and Tommy Skarlis making a long term commitment to fish the Crappie Masters tournament circuit Back in 2013 Off Shore Tackle pro staffers Tommy Skarlis and Kyle Steinfeldt stunned the crappie fishing world by winning the Crappie Master National Championship on Grenada Lake in Mississippi pulling crankbaits using Off Shore Tackle OR12 Side-Planers!

Since that fateful day crappie anglers everywhere have opened their eyes to board trolling as a legitimate way of catching more and bigger fish.

It’s no secret that crappie spend a bunch of time suspending in open water foraging on gizzard shad and other minnows, which makes them very vulnerable to board trolling tactics. Often these are among the biggest fish in respective fisheries and exactly the specimens tournament anglers are interested in.

The problem was until the introduction of the Off Shore Tackle Mini Board there really wasn’t a fully functional “crappie sized” planer board on the market. Sure the iconic OR12 Side-Planer from OST can be used to target crappie, but smaller boards put the fun back into trolling especially when targeting crappie and other smaller species.

The new Awesome Crappie board replaces the Mini Board and continues the evolution of developing new and better trolling gear. Essentially a floating version of the original, this new board is small in stature, but big on function.


Rigged right from the factory with an OR10 (yellow) light tension planer board release on the tow arm and an OR16 (red) Snap Weight Clip at the back of the board, the Awesome Crappie Board comes out of the package ready to fish and stack as many lines per side as an angler wants. Because many states do not limit the number of lines a fisherman can use, this new board allows anglers to fish as many lines as practical.

To rig and fish this board all an angler needs to do is place his favorite lure the desired distance behind the boat. Next place the fishing line between the rubber pads on the OR10 and finish the set up by also placing the line behind the plastic pin mounted in the middle of the jaws on the OR16 Snap Weight Clip.

At this point simply drop the board in the water, troll away and let line play off the reel so the board can swim out to the side. Rigged in this manner anglers can stack two, three, four or more of these pint sized boards per side of the boat. Even better, when a fish is hooked, a simple snap of the rod tip will pop the line free from the tow arm release allowing the board to spin around in the water and stop planing. Meanwhile the OR16 Snap Weight clip has the board “pinned” to the line.

Because the tripped board is no longer planing, it starts to slide out of formation and towards the back of the boat. This allows the angler to reel in the fish and board without ever having to clear any other planer board lines! Now that is just slick and super efficient.

This rigging method makes it easy to stack lines, fight fish, switch out lures or change lead lengths without ever having to clear other lines! The releases and line clips on the Awesome Crappie Board are designed to function flawlessly with 6 pound test and larger monofilament, co-polymer lines and also fluorocarbon line.


Designed with crappie fishing in mind, the Awesome Crappie Board is also an awesome fishing tool for targeting stream trout, steelhead and even salmon when fishing both from shore or an anchored boat. Simply cast out a favorite lure, clip on the Awesome Crappie Board and let the board pull lures out into current seams, undercut banks, submerged tree trunks and other fish holding cover and structure.

The Awesome Crappie Board is also at home trolling stickbaits over the top of emerging weed flats. This presentation is absolutely deadly for post-spawn walleye and northern pike that invade the shallows to target spawning perch and other small fish.

The same presentation works like a charm on post-spawn largemouth bass that invade the weed flats looking for young-of-the-year bluegills for dinner. Instead of using a stickbait, substitute a shallow diving square bill crankbait and let the games begin.

The opportunities for catching all kinds of fish using light line and light action rods is almost unlimited. The new Awesome Crappie Board was made with crappie fishing in mind, but this unique floating mini board is light out for a host of other species as well.

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