Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Crappie Day Fishing

Thank goodness it has rained as much as it has the last week.  I could see the effect when I went fishing today.  The water level in this pond was a good foot higher than when I last walked it a few months ago.

I met my friend Monique to fish a pond that her neighbor, fellow DuPage Angler member Pwoody had good luck in.  Any pond that you hear has good size largemouth and crappie makes you go fish it at least a few times.  I had done that and only scored a bluegill and a tiny largemouth in all the time I had spent at this pond.  Still my hopes were high that we'd catch crappie as the weather has begun the slide from cool to cold and that's when crappies can turn on and feed.

Our first casts were with bass in mind.  We both had swimjigs with Big Hammer swimbait trailers.  This is a combination I've grown to love as it produces good hits when bass are willing.  Today they weren't willing.

Since science hasn't figured out a way to force fish to bite yet I decided to change course and switch to an ultra-light rod rigged up with a slip-float and a tungsten ice jig tipped with wax worms (waxies).

My first cast my float went down slowly, I got excited at what I knew to be a crappie bite and set the hook into nothing.  I set too early.  Reeling in and checking my waxies to be sure I still had them I cast my float right to the same spot I missed the fish in and sure enough the float slowly went down.  A short hook-set later I caught a black crappie!

It was about palm sized and decently thick.  If this was a lake with a creel limit I don't think this would have been a keeper.  I was fine letting it go to grow bigger.

I set up another ultra-light the same way for Monique and she was catching bluegill after bluegill.  Come to think of it I was too.  There was only the one crappie that bit.  Well since crappie school and roam an area I figured we should walk the shoreline a ways and try our luck at a different spot.

I quickly pulled in a small bluegill when Monique said what she had on felt heavy.  I turned and saw the fish flop in the water.  I only saw it's back but thought it was probably a largemouth bass.

I was wrong!  Monique caught the second crappie of the day.  It was the biggest crappie I had ever  had the pleasure of lipping.

After I stopped saying, "Holy sh#t that's a nice crappie" over and over I handed the fish to Monique for the picture with her catch.  Then I got out my Boga and weighed the fish.  2 1/4 pounds!!!  I've heard of bigger crappie being caught in southern lakes but I've never actually SEEN one before.

Plenty more bluegills were caught and released but we didn't catch another crappie and not one bass.  The best part is we didn't care.  We were both excited by that thick, black-speckled, slab of a crappie Monique had hooked and landed.

Fishing in the colder months of the soft-water season can be hit or miss.  The weather may be nice and the bite is off or the bite should be on but the weather is lousy.  Today was a Crappie Day of Fishing with blue-gill skies and temperatures in the 40s.  

Soon the water will be hard and this blog will take the turn to hard-water fishing.  Until then I hope to have many more crappie days fishing!