Today: Tuesday 19 March 2019
  • Ranger Alluminum
    Crappie Kingdom 15 Nov 2017

    Crappie Kingdom




    One of the nicest things about fishing the late fall and early winter season is that the boat ramps and parking lots are nearly empty.  A host of folks have hung it up for the year and focus more on Deer and Duck hunting.  I’ve been a few times this month when no one else was there.  One certainly doesn’t have to take a number to launch or wait for a beginning boat backer to get out of the way.  Those who choose to hang it up for the year are making a calculated mistake.  The fishing can be and is awesome and productive at this time of the year.  It can, however, be hot and cold.  Whether it’s hot or cold depends on how much time you want to spend looking for the hot bite.  It is there but may not be where it was a month or more ago.  Having a loose game plan can be to your advantage.  I have had several trips when I had a plan and never got to fulfill the plan.  I would check a few spots and determine a pattern quickly and never go forward with where I was planning to fish.  It is a fall and early winter transition that occurs every year and you must be prepared to roll with the flow and figure out the hot bite.

    The determining factor for looking for fish is the water temperature.  If the water is in the 50ish degree level, the fish can be in a variety of depths.  There are some fish that are still on the shallow (12-17 foot) structure and some are on the medium depth (15-22 foot) beds.  You might even find some on slightly deeper structure but suspended.  The water temperature dictates where the shad are at and that is where the fish will be.  When the water drops into the 40’s, the fish will have tendencies to go deeper and hang out on the deeper structure.  The deeper bite takes a little time to develop so it may be good one day and cold the next.  It is a must to have structure in all depths at this time of the year.  When I put beds in the lake, I consider where I want to put them by the time of the year that I want to fish the selected area.

    The bite during this time of the year can be ever so slight.  It is imperative that you watch and pay close attention to your line and rod tip.  If something out of the ordinary is detected, set the hook.  The worst thing that can happen is you will hang up and break off.  I get lots of practice retying jigs.  More times than not, I catch a fish on these light detections.  Every bed has a sweet spot.  That spot is a small area where, for some reason, the fish are hanging out. Therefore it is important to fish the entire bed as well as the outer areas around the bed.  I am guilty of spending too much time on beds but can feel comfortable that I have fished the entire area.  That can make the difference between a hot or cold bite.  Do not get in a hurry and be patient.

    Each spot you fish can be different from the last.  Some will produce a few good fish and a few small fish.  Some will produce only small fish.  Others will produce only one or two.  It may take a dozen beds to find the one that produces several good fish.  You have to keep moving when the bites quit.  Some might call it running and gunning but I call it filtering out the hot and cold spots.  Don’t give up.  Be persistent and consistent. 

    Dress for the occasion.  Some days the weather will be mild on the shore but colder on the water so be prepared.  Use more caution due to colder water temperatures.  Be safe and good fishing.


    Read more

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