Today: Wednesday 19 September 2018
  • Ranger Alluminum
    Crappie Kingdom 24 Jul 2017

    Crappie Kingdom



    It has been an interesting late spring early summer to say the least.  A bucket full of rain put the damper on the spawn bite and left the lakes at near record high levels.  Oh well, that’s part of the game that we have to deal with.  There was a short window of time that most fishermen either stayed home or wandered aimlessly around the lake in search of what could be the few and far between bite that would turn into a boated fish.  The white bass run was virtually non-existent but the catfishermen were having a hayday up the rivers and along what areas were rip rap at one time before they were covered with high water.  Walleye couldn’t be found anywhere. Where did all the fish go?  Actually, they never left but the panic mode of high water that struck the minds of the fisherman took control and sent the average fisherman spinning in despair.  How do we cope with these conditions and what do we do?  I for one turn to my records over years past and search dates and times for what type of bite was going on during similar conditions.  Records can turn up the heat in most situations or at least give some sense of direction where to go.

    Record keeping is a ritual that must be kept on a regular basis or past experiences will be forgotten.  After each outing, certain data should be recorded for future reference.  I have certain bits of information that I record after each trip.  That information will help me when conditions are not so good or leave me wondering where I need to be searching for fish.  What information needs to be recorded?  I have a few pieces of information that have proven invaluable to me over the years. 

    Water temperature is probably one of the most important records that will lead me to the fish.  The water temperature is critical information for determining the spawn of the year.  For Crappie, when the water temperature reaches 56-60 degrees, the spawn can very well be under way.  In the summer when the temperature reaches the upper 70’s and low to mid 80”s, the summer bite is intact.  In the fall when the water temperature reaches the low 50’s to mid- 40’s, the deeper winter bite is taking shape.   There’s a lot of information within the temperature record. 

    Depth is another recording that tells me a lot of information.  It’s a record that can be recalculated to tell you where fish might be in any lake level condition.  If you know the power pool height for each lake, you can calculate where the fish should be at given times of the year.  By looking at past records, you can see where you were fishing and determine fairly close to where they should be in any given lake level sit5uation.  The depth also tells me if the fish were in deep standing cover in a suspended mode.  The suspended mode will generally indicate where the thermocline is at and help me determine what depth of brush piles I want to fish.  Brush piles that are shallower than the thermocline or those that have tops of the brush extend up above the thermocline will hold fish in the summer pattern.  As the water temperature rises, the thermocline goes deeper which allows the bait fish to go deeper and in turn is occupied by the game fish you are after.  I record the lake level as well as the depth fish are being caught.

    Color of lure and lure presentation is another record item, I record.  I am interested in how I caught the fish on each trip.  If I used the Pitch and Drift method or the Vertical Jig method, it is important.  I might want to duplicate the method if conditions are the same from year to year at a given time.  I record the number of fish(keepers) that are caught by using which method.

     I record the weather conditions of each trip.  Wind conditions and fronts are important information that can determine where the fish might be located during given weather patterns.  Somewhere in this entry, I will record which brush pile or cover location fished.  This is extremely valuable information to record due to the fact I fish so many places during the year that it is easy to forget or overlook a specific area.  It’s amazing how accurate these records can lead you to the fish and tell me the fishing conditions. 

    I refer to my “Fishing Diary” often and follow the record.  I will go back several years to determine patterns or references to patterns of fish.  It does not lie and I have my firsthand knowledge of what actually happened from year to year.  The key is “you have to fill it out each time” you fish.  Do not just take notes but fill it out methodically so you can quick reference information easily.

    Oh by the way, the summer pattern is on and the bite is “Heatin Up” day by day.  Good luck and good fishing.

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