Ron’s Fishing Tips and Stories: Fishing for Crappie
I want to remind you all that this week we open up and start our Mexico bass fishing and Brazil peacock bass fishing as we begin our 37th year of outfitting.Now let’s get down to this week’s fishing tip. I am always talking about black bass on this blog so let’s talk about another fish this week. Crappie! During the early 1970s all of us in the fishing business began to see a great decline in our black bass populations. We began preaching CATCH & RELEASE to help save our favorite sport fish. This program has been very successful and we now have good populations of black bass in most of the lakes in the USA. It’s true the bass are harder to catch today than they were before the tournament age began in the early 1970s.
We have many more bass fishermen with great equipment, and lots of great know-how. Since we began to not keep bass to eat that left a lot of us bass eaters without our favorite fish as table fare. Therefore many of us went to catching crappie or channel catfish as table fare instead of bass.
Crappie are just plain good eating anyway you cook them and they can be a blast to catch if you use light tackle. Sometimes I use minnows but 90% of the time I use small jigs and small spoons in the 1/8 oz or even 1/32 oz worked straight up and down. I personally prefer to use 6 lb mono up to 10 lb mono on a small level wind reel fitted to a very small light weight rod. This type of equipment will turn your crappie fishing into a nice challenge with a good fight from your fish.
I feel the very best way to become a great crappie fisherman is to put out some brush piles in the lake or river or where ever you plan to fish. I like to use a mixture of willow trees and some hardwoods in my brush piles. I weigh down the piles with a 2 gallon plastic bucket filled with concrete tied to the trunk of the trees. The willows will draw in the baitfish within a week and then the hardwood will last for a longer time after the willows have rotted.
The brush piles will begin to grow algae which will attract bait fish and then here comes the crappie, bass, and lots of different species of fish. These crappie piles will bring you lots of pleasure for a long, long time and provide many hours of pleasure for your guests. This is way to get a child or a beginning fisherman started as the action is normally fast and furious. You won’t waste a lot of time looking for places to fish, which is boring to children.
Brush piles are really easy to make as most people know someone who wants to get rid of brush or unwanted trees. Old vacant lots are a good place to look for unwanted brush and trees and in one hour with a chain saw you can cut all the brush you will need for years.
Now the secret is where to put this brush in your favorite lake so you can fish it most months during the year. I prefer to find a sharp drop in depth of 15 to 25 feet of water and I scatter the brush from top to bottom. Using these depths I can usually catch crappie most all months of the year except during the spawn.
Try spending a little work time building crappie brush piles and you will have years of enjoyment catching and eating these fine fish.
Good luck with your fishing and wear that lifejacket.