KENTUCKY (11/9/12) – With all the hunting seasons going in and out this time of year, only a select few anglers are taking time to hit the waters for Crappie season.
As you can see in the photos, the Crappie are hitting hard right now, and the sizes are fairly impressive. As most anglers are aware, during the cooler days of fall, as winter gets near, Crappie goes into a feeding frenzy so they can beef up for a possible hard winter. Once these Crappie start putting on the weight, they become what is referred to as “Slabs.” As per the norm, the slabs are out in numbers right now. The only issue anglers are having is finding good Crappie locations. Usually, this time of year, the slabs are hitting just about anywhere. This year, for some reason, they are being rather particular about their spots.
Fortunately, the WK Outdoors team has been hitting the water every weekend, and has figured out the “hotspots” for the Crappie this year.
The most popular place the team has found so far is in deeper water, about two to four feet from hard rapids. Though the water they are hitting in at this type of location is generally 8-10 feet deep, the majority of the slabs are being caught at approximately 4 ½ feet. In this type of location the numbers caught aren’t as high as other locations, but the size is extremely larger.
The next popular Crappie spot is also around 8 foot of water, but consists of calmer water and foliage. Many anglers are having great luck near trees that have fallen in the water. Granted, you might lose a few hooks in these spots, but the amount of Crappie you’re bringing in is usually well worth it.
The time for fishing during Crappie season is generally in the early mornings and the late evenings. This year, again, has thrown a curve ball on this. Local anglers are stating that they aren’t having nearly as much luck in the evenings as they are the mornings. The key times seem to be just after daylight with a second surge, that doesn’t last very long, around 9 AM. Of course, the time change has thrown a bit of chaos into these factors, but the basics are the same.
Usually the WK Outdoors crew has two main baits for Crappie season. This year, however, has again thrown a curve ball. Usually we do exceptionally well utilizing white twirl-tail jigs for slabs. This year, however, we aren’t having much luck with these. However, the other normal bait we use this time of year is producing quite well. This, of course, is minnows. When all else fails, a fish will go for his natural food source. With Crappie, that is minnows.
On the bait end, there is one more interesting factor that we have noticed. When cleaning Crappie, we always check their stomachs to see what they have been feeding on. Though we have not tried this bait yet, we have noticed that many of the Crappie we are catching have Crawfish in their stomachs. With this in mind, you might want to try a small crawdad lure on your next Crappie trip.
Have a great weekend and good luck to our Deer hunters and Crappie fishermen.
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