October 17, 2014 BigCrappie Fishing & Lake Report
The bite has gotten really good this last week, and with the water temps finally dipping in the low seventies, it's only going to get better.
Here's what I'm doing right now to put my clients on fish:
At daybreak I'm fishing shallow structure, and by shallow I mean 6-9ft. As the sun gets up and the fish get active, I extend my range out to 17ft. Almost anything and everything between 6-17ft is holding fish right now.
The technique is fairly simple, and is consistent with most people's ideas of fishing timber/brush. I have the customer hold their pole roughly a foot off of the surface of the water, as they open their bail and watch their line fall. Once the line is slack and they know their jig is on bottom, I have them lift their pole extremely slowly, 18-24" from the spot where they found bottom, hold the rod still for a 3-5 second count, then lower the pole as slowly as possible until they find bottom again. If we are fishing a really tall pile, or a tree, I will have them lift their jig higher to cover all depths of the water column.
Upon instructing them on technique, I try to let each and every angler know what to expect from the fish. Generally speaking, the crappie will usually bite when the rod tip is being held dead still, or as the angler slowly returns the bait to the bottom. In all situations, I strongly emphasize how important it is for the angler to watch the line below the rod tip, setting the hook if any irregular line twitches are noticed. I also have every angler hold the line with the pointer finger of whatever hand they like to hold the rod with.
The fish are getting very aggressive, making it essential to move if no bites are detected in two to three minutes of fishing a new area. Both quality and quantity will continue to increase as the water cools into the sixties, as the fish really start to gorge themselves in preparation for winter.
As far as tackle goes, here is what we're using:
Rod and Reel= Six foot Ultra Lite Ugly Stiks with Abu Garcia Cardinal reels. I personally use a seven foot Crappie Maxx with a Pflueger President reel. All reels are lined with 6lb Wally Marshall Hi-Vis line.
Tackle: If it's sunny, I'm using a CR Special Thump Chubby. If it's cloudy, I'm using a Shaddaboy Thump Chubby. Both are rigged on 1/8 ounce unpainted jig heads with number four sickle hooks. Tackle provided by www.constantpursuitoutfitters.com.