The crappie bite wasn’t on today. They had been set up on structure for about a week but they had moved off within the last 24 hours. Not only were they hard to locate, the large pods of them sitting on main lake breaks were spooky. Catching one or two on a pass was doing well. While it was hard to stay on them and vertical jig, it seemed like trolling would be the most effective method for the day.
With jointed shad wraps tied on, we sent them back 40-70 feet. The first few passes produced fish in the 45-55 foot range. Each pass allowed us to zero in on where the fish were. 45 feet back seemed to be the ticket at 1.9 mph.
Along with the crappie, some largemouth bass, pike, and sheephead. One of the sheephead was a nice one! As the time passed, the bite slowed up even more so we called it a day early. If only I could make sense of when and why these fish don’t bite!
To start off a several day fishing spree, I met up with a buddy and his wife to fish for some panfish on Lake Champlain. The main target for the day was to be white perch but in the same area would be yellow perch, pumpkinseed, bluegill, and most likely every other fish Lake Champlain has. The weather was suppose to finally cool down after a two week heat wave and I couldn’t be happier.
We were on the water shortly after 7 and it was starting off as a great day. There was a slight chop on the water and the fish bit right off. Before the anchor was even set we had some fish in the boat. We used the anchors long rope to change our fishing spot for as long as the fish bit. When the bite would slow we would flag out further until we got on them again. The majority of the day was vertical jigging with a 1/8 ounce jig on the bottom and a hook tied in line a foot or two above. As the sun rose higher in the sky, I used a drop shot rig to hold the bottom thinking that the fish would move down the water column to stay in the cooler water. Not to mention, as it got later, more boats came out and the water became rough making it tough to feel bites with little to no weight.
The fishing was either really good or really bad and it became apparent very quick when we needed to move. It seemed like throughout the day, the larger fish were holding tight to the deep side of a weed edge while the smaller ones were in the weeds. Using electronics was huge in order to locate the weeds when they weren’t visible. The majority of the day was spent in 11-16 feet of water. While most of the fish were holding close to the bottom, the white perch were anywhere from 7-9′ below the surface.
Mixed in with the panfish we were after were several nice bass, bullpout, and drum.