5-12-14 – Sight Fishing Spawning Crappie And Perch

I hit a new body of water today. Not knowing what to expect, I started off using a pattern that worked well for us in this region last year. Basically, I would replicate fishing for smallmouth but with smaller plastics. After launching the boat, the water temperatures looked a tad cold at only 55.5 but I would try none the less.

For quite a while, my smallmouth pattern of fishing humps and large boulder produced nothing but smallmouth. After about two hours of pitiful fishing, I hit a fork in the road. From where my boat sat, it looked like I could stay shallow and keep searching basically what I had been or I could work a quickly dropping shoreline. While I thought the shallow water would be their destination for the day, the deeper water might have more to offer at this point.

As I started drifting the deeper shoreline, I began to see dark silhouettes of fish suspending over 12′ of water. Below them there was a pine tree with a needles still attached. towards the shallower end, hundreds of crappies sat still in every nook and cranny imaginable.

I quickly backed the boat out and got to catching. I found that most of the fish I caught were males but as I started to work deeper the females started to show up. Little by little I pieced together a puzzle that worked well for the next few hours. I had a few spots that were all similar and I could catch them non stop as long as I kept switching colors so they didn’t get too weary. Also the brighter the better. Mostly I used the fireperch color of the “Live” Baby Shad by Lake Fork Trophy Lures.

While the crappie bite was great, I wanted to explore another new body of water so I packed it up and headed out. Hoping to have similar success, I had scouted aerial photos the night before trying to locate some points of interest. As I made my way to my first way point, the anticipation built.

Things didn’t look good when I arrived as the weeds had not yet shown up and the water was already 66.8. Regardless, I putted around catching good numbers of perch and bass of both large and small variates. Things stayed the same for this and just about every other section of water that I searched. While I can’t complain about numbers and size, the species were not what I desired.

In time, I will find them in these locations because I know that they are there but until then, catching perch and bass will have to do!

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5-11-14 – Man They Are Addicting!

Dylan had to work until 4 but we were on our way to the lake within minutes of punching out. Hoping that the crappie would be in some of their spawning locations, rods were rigged and ready to go with brightly colored “Live” Baby Shad from Lake Fork Trophy Lures.

The bite was on as soon as we started fishing in depths ranging from 4-6 feet of water. While the crappie were being pretty loyal to a few small areas, the bluegill and pumpkinseed were just about everywhere surrounding. Judging by their aggressive bite, their spawn was on as well.

The bite was good for all target species during the day but as the sun started to set the bluegill and pumpkinseed mostly shut off. With the hydro glow lighting up the water surrounding the boat, we picked at the crappie until be packed in for the night.

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5-7-14 – Spawning Crappie

I couldn’t get myself out of bed but it didn’t matter in the end. I was on the water around 10:15am and the surface temperature was 55.8. Knowing that these crappie either relate to shoreline stricture or small weed patches in no mans land, I started working the perimeter first. I fished for about an hour and a half without as much as a bite. I was contemplating heading elsewhere .Before heading, I had to check one small section of dark weed patches that produced nothing earlier. The water temperature hadn’t gone up at all but it would only take a few minutes and quite often this is a hot spot.

On my first cast I hooked into a crappie but lost it before the boat. Immediately, I tossed out my second pole to see what a deadstick with worms would produce. While I tried battling the wind for a while using my trolling motor, it was more effective to set out my anchors.

The fish had turned on. I was catching a crappie about every third cast and a bluegill or pumpkinseed just about every cast if I let it soak. The crappie were very spot specific as there is an abundance of these dark patches. I found them to be on only three though.

Most times I work the “Live” Baby Shad from Lake Fork Trophy Lures fast with a popping action under a bobber. Today they wanted it moving slow with about a three second pause between pulls. I tried adjusting the depth of my jig several times but it was a very specific 22″ down. Any deeper or shallower and you caught nothing.

To see these fish in their spawning colors was great. While they would have tasted good they were released to get their business over with. Maybe in another couple of weeks I won’t be so kind!

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5-1-14 – 5-5-15 – Long Weekend On Pymatuning Reservoir

While walleye fishing in Vermont can be good at times, I took a trip with a buddy down to Pymatuning Reservoir in western Pennsylvania recently with only one species in mind. Up here, I am use to days consisting mostly of rockbass and smallmouth bass by catch but not this time.

Arriving late at night, we took the next morning to sleep in, get licenses, and do some touring of the area. In the afternoon, we hit the lake. The bite was tough, and the rain made it difficult to want to stay out. Both casting and drifting was slow. With only a few fish in the box, we called it an evening and made our way home.

The following morning we hit the water early but found not much other than perch and bass. After grabbing lunch, we got back out on the water. The wind had switched and the skies grew dark with showers in the near future. These changes triggered the fish into biting. After a successful first pass we tossed a marker buoy and almost instantly had to head in due to a thunder and lightening storm.

After the storm passed, the bite remained good long enough for a limit and then some. The fish weren’t huge and it took quite a bit of sorting to get the keepers. Many of the fish that made their way into the boat were 14.5″ while they had to be over 15″.

The next morning, we took our time getting out as the morning bite had been tough the day before. On our first pass, we tripled up and drew lots of attention even though we were trying to be sneaky. The first couple of passes were productive but quickly faded because of the increased boat pressure. To combat them we drifted out deep, tossed a marker buoy, got the net out, slapped high fives with some hooting and hollering and moved off the side of the flat.

Within minutes 20 boats converged in a small area while we sneaked back in shallow and got back to catching. With some nice fish in the boat, the trip was concluded. Even though we had until the following morning, cleaning fish and packing up the car was necessary for an early departure the following morning.

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4-23-14 – Wild Day On The River

I had the opportunity to fish with Kevin Davis of Catch The Drift on the Oswego River today. Usually he is booked straight out but a few dates opened up short notice and by default I made quick work to fill one.

The river has been flowing and the spawning steelhead bite has been phenominal. When the shorelines of Ontario are calm enough, the bite this time of year cannot be beat. With the forecast we were dealt, the main lake was not an option so the river it would be!

We met Kevin just before sunrise and scoped out the situation. After launching the boat and shuttling a car at the destination, it was go time! we made our way upriver to the dam and got things rolling.

Within minutes of deploying small crankbaits for trolling we hooked up with a fish that shook the bait. From there it was on. We caught fish in every spot we took a crack at as long as the lures were bring. While steelhead were the main species we caught, there were also some rainbows, browns, and smallmouth bass.

As the bite on crankbaits slowed up mid morning, we started casting spawn sacs and or beads under a float. This was the ticket for the rest of the day. Until about 2:30, we caught fish consistently when we could match the float with the flow.

When it was time to go home, the four hour trip home was not looking so good but with the adrenalin flowing, we made it home in time to fish the next morning!

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4-22-14 – Warm Water Is Here

With a slow spring warm up, seeing 55 on the graph was a welcomed surprise. From the trips that we have had in the boat so far this spring, nothing else has matched up or even come close. Even though the water was warm, finding the fish was difficult. We fished every bit of water that we have located fish at and nothing. Not even a bite. Over the course of a few hours, the water warmed only slightly. Not having much for luck, we packed up and headed elsewhere.

Arriving at our destination, we headed towards the shallows working slowly in hoping to stumble on the fish and they moved in. There was not much happening but we kept at it. Eventually, we found some bluegills in 4-5 feet of water. They were not present in numbers but the action was more than welcomed. As we kept tip toeing in shallow, a few crappie were busting at the surface. We sat still for a bit and then got to catching. The fish were skittish in the clear, shallow water we we did our best to minimize movement and sound.

The day wasn’t spectacular but it was good to see things actually heading in the right direction!

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