7-6-12 – Vertical Jigging Crappie On Champlain

With a constant breeze from the north, my buddy Jamie (Fish Hound Outdoors) and I worked hard to fish structure for crappie. With temps predicted to climb into the mid 80’s, we got on the water early enough to get a few meals before we would be forced to retreat into the shade. To start the day off, we fished in a half and half mix of sun and clouds with a steady 10+ mph wind.

To combat the breeze, we positioned the boat perpendicular with the wind and fished upwind of the structure. Because the boat blocked the wind at first, the fishing was easy. Bites were easily detected and fish were plentiful as they were unpressured for a few days. After catching a few fish they became scarce. We started pitching our baits to both sides of the structure making sure not to go over the top so we didn’t snag. When those fish seemed to shut down we let out some line on the anchor rope and drifted downwind of the structure. We pulled some slabs in the slack water of the structure while battling the wind. I also pulled a few off the top of the structure suspending only a few feet below the stained water from recent rains.

Being so close to the structure, we spent the majority of the morning either dropping the jigs straight down or casting it only a few feet which gave the baits a good natural action as they swam through the water column to where the crappies were holding. With the bite being steady all morning I never switched colors or bait type. I used a pearl “Live” Baby Shad by Lake Fork Trophy Lures.

Throughout the morning we kept a few fish trying to release all the bigger and smaller fish. Most fish we kept were between 10-11 inches.

We got off  the lake for lunch and to clean fish so they didn’t spoil in the heat of the day. I think we got our meals!

After cleaning fish and lunch we met up with our buddy Mike for the afternoon bite. We tried trolling around for a bit with no luck. We found a lot of floating vegetation throughout the main lake causing lots of problems with our longlines and downriggers. After an hour of abuse from the conditions we called it quits and headed for the water chestnut mats to fish the hotels.

The wind was an issue as we cruised through prime flatfish habitat. We skipped over lots of pockets because of the wind only catching a few bluegill, pickerel, bass, and a lonely crappie.

After we fished through the hotels with minimal success we headed back out to the broad lake to fish more structure. The fishing picked up as the evening went on. We found that fish were more picky with their location on structure. Your presentation had to be perfect or else you wouldn’t get a bite. The wind had us taking longer casts at the bases of structure but the fish had some quality size.

Check out these clips on our YouTube Page!

The last fish of the night was a decent black pulled from the shady side of a deep water dock.

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