Page 8 - Mid America Boating - August 2022 issue
P. 8

bridges on other tributaries and casts small   shape and continue fishing.
                                                                                  1/16 ounce jigs with twistertails, hopefully in   Some of the biggest crappies in the state
      wrinkles and excess stress.
      Nothing wrong with an                                                       white, chartreuse, or pink is going to catch at   are found in Lake Erie. I’ve caught them there
                                                                                                                       up to 15 inches. Use a red and white jig with
                                                                                  least some of those moving through.
      outing like that.
        But if you like to catch                                                   Here are a few final tactics. One is to fish   a grub body, and this MUST be baited with
      a LOT of crappies and are                                                   with at least 12-pound test line or even 15 if it’s   a waxworm. And a final tip is to remember
      willing to work a little,                                                   the ultra-thin type, and avoid minnows, stick-  that crappie often move deeper as the day
                                                                                                                       progresses. They might be holding near shore
                                                                                  ing strictly to very small jigs. With this combi-
      there are some tactics
      guaranteed  to  improve                                                     nation, you’ll spend no time chasing minnows   in just three feet or so of water early on, but
                                                                                                                       move out along the limbs into four, five, even
                                                                                  around a bucket, dropping them, and finally
      your catch. For example,
      I  stopped  at  East  Harbor                                                hooking up. And the jigs can be fished tight   six feet as time goes by. If you’re suddenly   7     [     MID-AMERICA BOATING     ]     AUGUST 2022
                                                                                                                       not catching anything at the depth they hit
                                                                                  among the limbs of a tree or brushpile. If you
      and donated half an hour
      to  watching  a man  try                                                    snag up, which will happen often, the heavier   before, try raising your bobber or working
                                                                                  line will let you straighten and free the thin
                                                                                                                       the jig deeper. Often enough, you’ll find them
      his luck. He was using a                                                                                         biting again. MAB
      graphite “crappie pole”                                                     wire jig hook. Then instantly bend it back into
      at least 12 feet long with
      the usual thin pencil float,
      splitshot, No. 6 hook and
      flathead  minnow,  but
      instead of sitting there
      watching his bobber, he
      moved almost constantly.
        Every bit of cover near
      the bank was covered, every half-submerged   and the remainder will either move elsewhere
      twig, half drowned willow, tree limb, and   or go off their feed, stimulated by cousins
      more, and he obviously knew that any fish   suddenly thrashing skyward. So, fish one
      there would bite quickly (they do), because   prime spot for 20 minutes or so, then move to
      each spot got only 30-45 seconds before he   another, and another. Boat fishermen should
      moved the bait elsewhere. And with monoto-  do the same, and will have even better luck
      nous regularity his float sank or moved away   because some likely near shore spots will be
      and he landed another silvery morsel. When I   inaccessible to land anglers.
      left, he had over two dozen fish, while others   Since crappie often move up rivers and
      around had four or five. There’s an obvious   streams to do their spawning, I’ve had good
      moral to this story.                  luck more than once seeking out bottlenecks
        In fact, one of the great secrets of crappie   and fishing them hard. One favorite spot is
      fishing is simply to move occasionally. Any   under a bridge on a river not far from my home.
      bit of good structure is likely to have some   Fish are forced into a narrow strip of water, and
      fish, but in short order you’ll skim the cream,   any angler who spends time here or beneath
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