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Night Hawk Stories... Entry 32

The Crappie Dawg And The Pup
by John E. Phillips
Page 4

You Can Bait A Hole For Crappie

click to enlargeThe Pup doesn't just accidentally catch crappie -- he works hard to catch more and bigger crappie than anyone else. "I put out brush for crappie before they come into the shallow water to spawn," Driscol said. "In January and February, I cut down buck brush along the bank, weigh the brush down with concrete cinderblocks and line the brush along the edges of underwater ditches, holes, creeks and channels. I'll also put out brush in flats where I know crappie will spawn.

"Next I photograph the brush and the land around the brush pile. Then I use a laser rangefinder to shoot the distance the brush pile is from recognizable landmarks. Usually I shoot the distance with the rangefinder from three or four different landmarks, and I write down the distance in a log book. Then when the water comes back up, I can use triangulation to find the brush that's now covered with water.

"Once I get my pictures back from the processor, I'll note the landmarks on which I've recorded the distances on each photo and put them in a small album. When I go fishing in the spring, I carry my photo album in a Ziploc bag to see what the brush looks like and determine exactly where I need to be to fish that brush. With my photo album and my laser rangefinder, I can locate the brush and fish the brush that I put out that most other anglers won't be able to find."

When Driscol approaches the crappie he's trying to catch, he generally wades in from the downwind side and from downcurrent to keep from muddying the water or spooking the crappie before he reaches them. He moves slowly and deliberately, wanting to make as little noise and as little wake as possible before he gets into position to drop his jig in the brush where the crappie hold.

click to enlargeIn two or three hours of fishing, Driscol expects to catch a limit of 30 crappie. On a really tough day, he only may take 10 to 15 crappie.

"On an average day, when I'm fishing Arkabutla Lake, I expect to catch several 2- to 3-pound crappie, but most of my fish will weigh more than a pound each," Driscol commented. "The biggest stringer of crappie that I ever caught when wading Arkabutla was 10 crappie that weighed 24 pounds. "

To catch the size and number of crappie the Crappie Dawg and the Pup do, try their tactics this spring.


Night Hawk Stories