Today: Saturday 19 January 2019
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    Crappie Kingdom 25 Aug 2017

    Crappie Kingdom




    The year continues to be a “fluke” so to speak.  Who would have thought that August would be temperate and mild with relatively low humidity and ample rain fall to keep the pastures green and lawnmowers in high gear?  The lakes have maintained temperatures that are cooler than normal and I have noticed that the thermocline is much like a “wave-length”, up and down all over the lake.  Fishing and catching crappie has been awesome to say the least.  Brush piles and other structures have produced lots of quality fish and sub-legal fish as well.  Not only are the crappie on the bite but so are other species.  Lots of folks miss the boat by not fishing for their favorite game fish during the “dog days of summer”.  Crappie, Walleye, Catfish, Bluegill, White Bass, and of course Bass are active during this time and can be caught in abundance.  It’s fun to go after the “summer slam” and catch them all.

    Walleye can be caught fishing flats and humps in the lake by drifting bottom bouncers and night crawlers.  You can try a different twist by using a night crawler on a 1/8th oz. or 3/16th oz. plain Roadrunner head and work it slowly along the bottom of the aforementioned type of water.  There are numerous types of rigs that are used with artificial baits tipped with live bait that works as well.  Early morning hours might find the walleye in shallower and top water baits can attract the bite.  The same goes for late evening and night time.

    Catfish can be caught on rod and reel drifting flats using fresh shad baits and night crawlers.  The fresh shad bait seems to be the most effective.  Trolling crank baits on these flats will produce catfish as well as walleyes.  Throw nets are used to catch fresh shad.  Jug lines, trotlines, and limb lines are also methods used to catch the catfish during this time of the year.

    Bluegill can be found around bridge peers as well as select structure that attracts the prolific feeder and ferocious fighter.  Crickets are the go to bait for catching these critters.  They are hard fighters and excellent table fare.  Light line and sensitive rods are a must with these guys.

    White bass can be found surfacing on calm mornings off points and in coves and pockets all around the lake.  Look for explosive surface activity.  Use the trolling motor to ease to within casting distance and throw jigs, spinners, roadrunners or small crank baits and use a fast retrieve method.  The strike is hard and the fight is outstanding.  I like to use ultralight equipment but sometimes wonder if the gear is adequate to land these fighters.  If the lake is windy, look for the windblown points or backs of coves where shad have been blown into and use the cast and retrieve method.

    Crappie can be caught on structure 12-25’ deep.  The depth will be determined by the thermocline and in most cases where they are in deeper water they will be suspended.  A pitch and drift method for suspended fish works well.  Simply pitch out, countdown to fish depth (as indicated on your graph), and slowly retrieve.  The bite may be light so watch for it.  Vertical jigging works well when fish are holding close to the cover and are reluctant to hit the drift techniques.  I use jigs but minnows are effective during this time of the year but are hard to keep alive in hot weather.  Detecting the soft bite and using a slow retrieve is critical in putting limits of fish in the boat.

    I won’t even cover Bass since there are so many methods that are used during this time of the year.  There are numerous articles available for this species. 

    Nothing like fishing for the summer slam.  Mix it up a bit and enjoy the opportunity you have to be on the water.  Good luck and good fishing!

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