John's Journal... Entry 245, Day 3
10 WAYS TO CATCH THE BIGGEST CRAPPIE OF YOUR LIFE
A few years ago I discovered a warm-water discharge feeding out of a factory that ran down a small stream not more than 10- or 15-yards wide. This stream dumped into a major reservoir. During late February and early March, I found that the big female spawners would come up this small, narrow creek to lay their eggs in the warm water at least a week or two and sometimes three weeks before the other crappie in the lake spawned. I fished a small bobber with a 1/32-ounce jig suspended about 2 feet under the bobber. I cast out into the current and let the cork wash around a small peninsula of land and into the eddy pool formed on the back side of the peninsula. For two to three weeks, I consistently caught 1-1/2- to 2-pound crappie from this eddy pool formed by the peninsula in the small creek.
During The Spawn:
Bass Baits For Crappie (Spawn):
I knew if Criss had taken those size crappie on a spinner bait, I should catch plenty of crappie with smaller jigs. The next weekend I had my two graphite poles, bobbers and 1/32-ounce jigs in the same boat with Criss. We went to the small bay where he'd caught the big fish. Apparently big crappie used the grass bed that came out about 8 feet from the bank as a spawning ground. The big fish hammered our baits regularly. When I later asked a fisheries biologist friend of mine why we'd caught big crappie 6- to 8-feet away from the bank on a clean bottom, he explained, "Big spawning crappie may not stay on the banks for more than an hour or two. Once they've laid their first batch of eggs, they'll move back into open water close to the spawning area and wait until it's time to spawn once more. Crappie often go to the banks to spawn three or four times during the spring run. Many times you're more likely to catch the big spawners further out in open water, close to the spawning area, than you will in the shallows when they're laying their eggs. The most-consistent place to catch a big female spawning crappie during the spawn is not in the shallow-water spawning areas, because that's where crappie spend most of their time."
Tomorrow: Fish Deep With Tiny Jigs (Postspawn)
Check back each day this week for more about 10 WAYS TO CATCH THE BIGGEST CRAPPIE OF YOUR LIFE ...
Day 1 - Two Tips for Big