Cold Front Crappie

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 , , 6 Comments

Less than a week ago it was mid-80's and sunny. The past three days have been in the 40's with intermittent rain scattered throughout. All else equal this means a more reluctant fish that are harder to find. However, don't be to discouraged. Crappie can still be brought to hand, it just takes a little more work. Now I am not a Crappie expert, but I can hold my own, have read a fair amount on the subject, and talked with several much more experienced than myself. As a result I have come up with four conclusions on how to increase your success with cold front Crappie: 

  1. Decrease the size of your presentation. I typically drop down one or two lure/fly sizes on my presentation.
  2. SLOW down your presentation. The fish are going to be more lethargic and more reluctant. Slowing down keeps it in front of them longer and increases your hook up percentage. I typically go at half my normal speed. 
  3. Try deeper water. Deeper water is more resistant to temperature changes in the short-run and often those fish that were shallower during the warmer weather will be found in deeper water adjacent to where you were catching them earlier. 
  4. Stick close to cover. Present your lure/fly tightly next to cover, whether that be submerged timber, a rock pile, or vegetation. You may snag more often but its the price to pay. 
I employed those four tactics yesterday and had a very successful day despite the odds being stacked against me. I had to work for the fish but in some ways that made it all the more rewarding. No monsters but I still had fun. 


Clinton Lake Crappie

Sunday, April 27, 2014 , , 18 Comments

It is hard to beat large Crappie on a fly rod. The action is continuous and some of these slabs can put up quite the fight. For me Crappie season signals the official start of spring and warm water fishing. So the other day I went to my local home water, Clinton Lake and threw a fly for a few hours, landing dozens of Crappie. I only stopped when I eventually was crowded out by others (I prefer solitude while fishing, and thus tend to vacate an area when too many people arrive). Still it was a lot of fun and I hope to get back down there later this week for round two. All were caught on a Sarge's Crappie Fly, casting parallel to the banks. Here are a few of the willing participants: 


Happy Easter

Sunday, April 20, 2014 , , , 7 Comments

Spent some time with my Dad fishing a new pond this Easter. More or less we were just trying out his new rod, an 8 weight TFO TiCr X, that my family gave him for his birthday. The rod was way more than required for these fish, but it is always fun to cast a new stick. 


Tenkara: A First Taste

Saturday, April 12, 2014 , 14 Comments

I had been debating trying Tenkara for several years now, so I finally took the plunge. Following Michael's advice over at the blog Troutrageous (be sure to check out his blog if you haven't already), I decided on a 12 ft Iwana. 

As with all things new, the first attempt is a mix of frustration, excitement, and an ever present learning curve. All three described yesterday. First impression: the system of knots I found to be innovative, the casting fairly intuitive (had to be careful not to overpower it though), but what struck me as must peculiar and difficult to get use to was the lack of any line near my hand to manipulate the fly with. In moving water I think I would have been more okay with this but fishing for warmwater species it was difficult to manipulate a 12 rod while trying to think what the tiny fly on the other end was doing. On top of this the rod was a tad heavier than expected. 

Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed myself greatly. I see great potential in small streams in rivers while trout fishing, but in a stillwater situation like a lake or pond I just wasn't completely sold on the idea yet. I like to manipulate the fly more and have a more direct connection. That said I am going to give it a couple more shots and hopefully catch some bigger bluegill and some crappie. I only had one willing participant this outing and lets just say he barely put a bend in the rod. I am still excited to try this new style of fishing (new to me) but still unsure what the utility will be for Bluegill and Crappie in ponds, which was my hope. Needless to say, the jury is still out but I will keep you up to date on future outings regarding how my opinion has changed or not. 


Early Season Warmwater… Inaction

Friday, April 04, 2014 , , , 12 Comments

Visited a local farm with my cousin, threw line for a little bit until the temps fell below 40*, for which we were unprepared. Didn't have much luck, but we weren't skunked, so I will take it for what it is. Generally this pond is great at producing both Bass and some monster Bluegill, caught one of each over the course of a few hours, nothing remarkable or really even postable, but what the heck, I thought I would share anyhow. Overall the conversation was better than the fishing but sometimes those are the best days. 

An absolute dink of a Bass… 

Decent, but pretty 'Gill