Bait, Technique For Springtime Crappies

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

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Well, I spent the afternoon on the water fishing and discussing springtime crappie fishing with longtime friend Curt Rambo. In all honesty, we were confident we were going to find those fish in 2 to 10 feet of water near or on the spawning beds.

We were using our ultra light spinning gear and moving along the shoreline waiting for that first fish. Curt's bait selection was a Kalins two-inch grub in the color combination of black, blue and chartreuse. This color combination has been his best producer in the springtime months. Because of the shallow depth of the water, we were using 1/32-ounce jig heads, which allowed the bait to sink ever so slowly in that all-important strike zone. There are times that Curt will actually switch to a 1/48-ounce jig head or snip part of the lead to slow down the speed of the fall.

Crappies are very deliberate in their approach to the bait before they bite.

We found a spot on a shallow water point where Curt picked up three crappies with his very slow retrieving pattern. We stopped and continued to fish the spot for the next hour and never caught another crappie. During that time, we did catch some very healthy bluegills in the three-quarter of a pound range. I might add they can be caught on the same baits and give a great battle on lightweight fishing gear. I have never seen bluegills this large from Roosevelt Lake, and it brought back memories of fishing the Mississippi River sloughs as a youth. By the way, they are great table fare.

The bright late afternoon sun along with the clear lake water allowed me to peer into the submerged brush and actually see crappies. This is called sight fishing and is most effective with a good pair of polarized glasses and standing on the deck of one's boat. Keep in mind to wear a brimmed hat, which will also cut down on water glare. Cast to the shadows and allow the bait to flutter past the fish. Chances are good you will catch that crappie. We did pick up some crappies by sight fishing the shoreline. I was using a 2-inch power grub made by Berkley in a natural color pattern.

I would recommend that when you go to Roosevelt Lake in pursuit of the crappies, you should have a wide variety of color choices made by Kalins or Berkley.

Sometimes the color does make the difference. Always have springtime favorites of John Deere, BBC and natural pumpkin. If all else fails, a few dozen minnows may save the day. Place a bobber about two feet above the bait, and fish the shallows and the submerged brush.

We had picked up about a dozen fish as the day was drawing to a close. I asked Curt what he thought about Roosevelt Lake. His comment was that the high water mark made it a new lake and it will take more exploring to find those elusive crappies.

This weekend, take a friend fishing and enjoy God's creation.

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