Today: Wednesday 19 June 2019
  • Ranger Alluminum
    Crappie Kingdom 15 Apr 2018

    Crappie Kingdom



    What can a person say about the weather other than it is not controllable nor can we look into the crystal ball and predict what it’s going to be like from year to year.  It inflicts unmeasurable unpredictability on the fishing as well.  It has been a while since we have experienced this type of spring.  It is rare to experience the long term pattern we have had.  My prediction is that in a few days or weeks we will go directly from the so-so spring pattern to summer.  Consequently the spawn will be quickly on and done. 

    The fishing report thus far has been on and off.  Table Rock Lake experienced some pre-spawn activity over brush piles before we had some torrential rains that muddied the water and caused a moderate rise in the lake level.  It is slowly coming around and will be good in the near future.  Truman is good for the spider riggers up in the creeks off channels in depths that vary day to day.  Good numbers of fish and good quality fish are being caught.  If we hit some warm nights and days, the males will be looking for spawning banks and begin the spring ritual.  Stockton has been tough for most fishermen.  Water temperatures continue a roller coaster ride.  It goes up to just about where it needs to be then falls off as quickly as it went up.  Fish are in then they are out.  Consistency is very hard to find anywhere on the lake.  Some fish can be found shallow following shad but traditional spawning areas are void of fish.  Some fish can be found deep around deep structure but the consistency of those fish are hit and miss at best.  Lake of the Ozarks has been producing some good fish in mostly low light conditions in and around docks.  It is dependent on the water condition and temperatures.  Pomme de Terre is about the same.  You will find a few fish here and there but lack of consistency is the issue.

    In order to kick the spring patterns into full swing, we need to have four or five sunny days with temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s and the same number of nights with temps above 50 degrees.  The length of day is where it needs to be and is one of the factors that does not change.  The longer the sunlight hours become the more radiant heat affects the lake water.  Getting the water temperature to the right degree and keeping it there is dependent on the actual air temperature.  Warm rains help to get the water temperature where it needs to be as well.  The suitable temperature for some consistency to develop for crappie is somewhere around 54 to 56 degrees.  Fish can be caught in cooler water but to have a rigid pattern to establish, stable water temperatures needs to prevail.  Once the water temperature reaches the 58-60 degree level, the spawn will kick in.  Keep in mind that prior to and during the spawn, the fish can be very unpredictable.  You might find the fish in one spot one day and they will be gone the next.  The females will “stack” up in a little deeper water generally over some type of cover before they go to the shallows to deposit eggs.  When you find the males in the spawning areas, look deeper for the bigger females.  The fish will spawn in water depths that is determined by the water clarity.  I use a “rule of thumb” that they will spawn a foot or two deeper than the depth you can see a bright colored jig in the water.  In other words , if I can see my jig two feet deep, the fish should be in three to four feet of water or slightly deeper.  Throw to the bank and retrieve fast enough to keep the bait from hanging up.  If you have trouble getting hung up, use a slip bobber and slowly retrieve or “twitch” it back to you.  My favorite lure for the spawn of the year is the roadrunner with a curly tail grub attached.  It’s a great bait that produces fish.

    The only thing I can say that makes any sense at this time of the year with this type of spring is it is “predictably unpredictable”. I employ the saying my Grandson tells me,  ”Don’t give up, Poppy”.  So don’t give up, keep fishing and keep throwing.


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