First Herping Trip of 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010 , 0 Comments

It's springtime in Kansas. What does that mean, well fishing naturally but also herping. The other day my friend Andrea and I went out to Clinton hoping to find some reptiles and amphibians to catch and photograph and I was hoping to find a Copperhead or two. Well, no snakes but here is what we did find: 

American Toad, Bufo americanus

These guys were everywhere, mostly rocks faces and in shallow/still water: Blanchard's Cricket Frog

Blanchard's Cricket Frog, Achris crepitans

These guys are fast, I think I chased him around for 15 minutes. Never did catch him, only a photo: Prairie Racerunner, Aspidoscellis sexlineata 


Return of the Beetle Spinner

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 , 1 Comments

The other day I went out to Lone Star Lake to pursue some Crappie. I haven't caught any this year and I have heard they have been striking well at Lone Star. For my presentation I started out with minnows on a slip bobber. I chose a slip bobber because I was concerned that the cold front would be pushing the fish deeper and the slip bobber easily allows me to adjust the depth of my presentation. Good plan right ... well no fish. Shallow, deep, several locations, no fish. 

Taking note I changed my presentation to a beetle spinner. Over the years I have always been able to catch more Crappie on a beetle spinner than any other technique consistently. A beetle spinner looks very similar to a traditional spinner bait and is simply a jighead/grub attached to a spinning harness. You can buy them already set up but I prefer to buy several styles of harnesses, grubs, and jigs and make my own. Truth be told if I could only use one fishing lure. It would be a beetle spinner. I have caught loads of Crappie on it, as well as Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Walleye, Northern Pike, Sunfish, and even a small Muskie. Never anything huge but it always seems to produce. On your retrieve treat it like a spinner bait. The three which work best for me are a slow rolling retrieve, bounce it off the bottom, or a slow consistent glide just over a weed bed or cover. 

So how did I do, well no Crappie, but four largemouth's and a channel cat in an hour is always welcome.