Have you ever sat down and eaten til you were full, only to find out that there was dessert available? Many times I have found that I had room for just a little bit more, especially if it's ice cream. Well, I've never successfully interviewed a crappie, but I have an idea that's just what happens when I use a crappie nibble and catch one over a brush pile that I know holds crappie that may have eaten recently.
There is an ongoing, although somewhat silent, argument between crappie fishers as to whether fish attractants work or don't work. As a retired guide all I can say on the matter is that they seem to work well enough for me to include them on my list of necessary tools to take on the boat. Granted, I don't start off fishing with crappie nibbles on my jigs, but the moment the fish "turn off" I reach in my bag of guide goodies, and tip my lure with crappie nibbles.
There are sprays, there are a few that have the consistency of ointments and then there are the nibbles on the market. Sprays and ointments work well, but the little marshmallow-like nibbles make it easier to decide when I need to add more to my hook. It's very simple, with ointments and sprays I have to guess if there is still scent on my hook because they are clear and I can't see them. With a crappie nibble, if it's gone, I need to add more.
Whether you're hovering over a brush pile, or fishing a dock or fishing barge, start with a jig or minnow as usual. At this point you're after the actively feeding fish. Be sure to notice your depth, jig action and any other part of a presentation "pattern" you are having success with. If the fish stop biting you have some choices to make.
You can move, but that takes time and burns gas in a boat. If you're fishing from a dock, barge or land, it's not an easy option. You can change jigs just to see if the fish want some other color or style, but what if that doesn't work? You can change your basic presentation too, but an extremely productive method might be to simply add a scented crappie nibble to your hook and repeat the pattern you have been having success with. You may find that the fish were simply full and needed a little 'dessert' to nibble on!