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Click to enlarge“What to Do When a Cold Front Hits Your Crappie Lake”

Wading for Cold-Weather Crappie

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kent Driscoll of Cordova, Tennessee, a professional tournament crappie fisherman, has been fishing for crappie for over 30 years and really enjoys fishing all over, but particularly Grenada Lake in north-central Mississippi. Regardless of the weather and the water conditions, he has to be ready to fish on tournament day. In late March when Driscoll and I fished together, the temperatures had plunged from the 70s to the 30s, and the Click to enlargewater level on the lake rose 10 feet. If you fish for crappie in the spring, sooner or later, this will happen to you. Here’s how Driscoll solves this problem.

When a cold front hits, I like to fish the bays on the north bank of the lake that are out of the wind. The northwest or the north bank of the lake will get the most sunlight during the day, and generally warm-up quicker. The crappie is searching for that warm water to spawn. When the water temperature is in the upper 50s to lower 60s, the male crappie will run up the ditches to start fanning the beds in the spawning flats for the females to come in and spawn. The female crappie will generally be holding in 4 to 6 feet of water until the water temperature is right for them to spawn.

Click to enlargeThe ditches leading to the spawning flats are the highways that both the males and female crappie use to get to the spawning flats. Many times when the crappie go into these ditches, I’ll wade-fish for them. I look for the bays that are protected from the wind and that don’t receive any run-off and wade those bays and creeks. I usually go into these bays with my boat, then get out of the boat wearing my waders and wade the shallow flats at the edges of the creeks with a B’n’M Pole, Mossy Oak Fishing Line, and Spike-It jigs. If I can walk the edge of the creek and reach all of the way across the creek with my pole, I may only be in ankle-deep water. B’n’M makes 10-12- and 16-foot poles that I use for Click to enlargewading. I keep my jig fairly close to the end of my pole and jig fish around any type of visible cover that I see. But, I also swim the jig down the middles of these creeks and bays. I keep my jig in the water the entire time I’m fishing. Typically where I catch one crappie, I’ll catch several. The real key when you’re wading is to walk extremely quietly and make sure your shadow is behind you and not in front of you so as not to spook the crappie.

Tomorrow: “My Favorite Six-Pack”

Check back each day this week for more about “What to Do When a Cold Front Hits Your Crappie Lake”

Day 1: Scouting for Crappie in Cold Weather
Day 2: Wading for Cold-Weather Crappie
Day 3: My Favorite Six-Pack
Day 4: Trolling for Crappie
Day 5: Big Crappie on Grenada Lake



Entry 346, Day 2