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John's Journal... Entry 27 - Day 3

click to enlargeHunt Cover, Not Crappie

During the pre-spawn in deep, clear lakes like Lake Fork Reservoir in Texas, you may find crappie in water 30 to 40 feet deep. These fish often hold on underwater humps or ledges and in large, tight schools. At this time of year, you can take them easily with your depthfinder.

click to enlargeOnce you locate the schools holding on these humps or ledges, fish vertically with either minnows or jigs. When the crappie quit biting minnows, switch to jigs for bait, or, change to minnows if you've used jigs. If you don't have minnows, change the color and/or style of jig you're fishing. Crappie become color-wise relatively quickly. To catch a limit of keepers, you may have to change colors several times to make the fish continue to bite.

click to enlargeDuring the pre-spawn before the crappie move shallow, you'll catch crappie under stumps, roots and brush that you won't spot on your depthfinder. For this reason, search for hidden cover. Even if you don't see any crappie, begin to fish through and around the underwater cover. Many times you'll catch a good number of big crappie on spots where you never actually see the fish.

click to enlargeMany crappie fishermen will fish the outside edges of that cover. However, if you want to catch the most and the biggest crappie, fish right through the heart of the thick stuff.

As one old timer once told me, "If you're not breaking off jigs, straightening hooks, busting your line and losing your leads, you're not fishing where the crappie are during the pre-spawn."

Tomorrow: Find Underwater Highways and Railroads, and Fish Concrete


Check back each day this week for more about Pre-spawn crappie...

Day 1 - Ducks, Bass Fishermen, and Sea Gulls Will Mark The Spots
Day 2 - Find Crappie In The Mouths, and Troll the Ledges
Day 3 - Hunt Cover, Not Crappie
Day 4 - Find Underwater Highways and Railroads, and Fish Concrete
Day 5 - Catch Crappie In Discharge, Ditches and Near Docks

John's Journal