Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Trying for Crappies

Temperatures rose to almost sixty degrees today as Indian Summer temperatures made what is likely their last appearance here in the mid-west.  I had made plans with PWoody from DuPage Angler to meet him at a pond near his home and try for crappies.  When I mentioned my plans to my friend Monique she jumped at the chance to come fish with us as she and PWoody are cousins                    by marriage and she enjoys fishing.

We all met at the pond.  I had heard from Pondboy that the bite wasn't happening for crappies today in his normal crappie spots.  That didn't bode well for us but we walked the pond anyway.

It is always nice to get out and fish with members of DuPage Angler and it was a pleasure to meet PWoody this mild Saturday morning.

We had figured live bait is best for crappie today so we came prepared with crappie minnows (fathead minnows of a smaller size, not actual crappie fry), wax worms, and red worms.

The standard live-bait rig I use for crappies is similar to the way I drift rivers.  In place of the circle hook I use an ice jig for weight and presentation and replace the spring-float with a slip-float.

None of us got skunked but none of us caught crappies; all bluegills, all day.

We fished for two or three hours until the scattered showers that were promised in the weather forecast came to pass.

It got dark in a hurry.  I guess if we'd have started walking to our cars when we heard the thunder none of us would have gotten as wet as we did.  "One more cast" was the mantra until the small rain drops turned into big ones.

As we loaded our cars and said our goodbyes the heavens let loose and gave us some rain to fill in a small part of the gap left in our ponds, lakes, and rivers by this past dry year.  

Autumn into Winter is a challenging time of year to fish.  The weather and temperature fluctuate and days get shorter.  Fish know the ice is coming.  Signs posted around this pond ensure the fish will be safe from anglers under the ice.  That's a pitty.  I'd love to search for slabs here this winter.  I will ice fish for crappie this winter, just not at this pond.