Crappie fishing, Round II

If you read my articles then you know that I took Katy crappie fishing last Saturday and we had the best fishing trip ever. We found one spot and out of 125 casts only four to six casts didn’t produce a hit. It was the best fishing trip that I’ve ever had.

Then Monday I went mushroom hunting and only found one morel! Tuesday I went to my hotspot whistle pig hunting and either the plague had run through and wiped them out or the birds of prey had eaten themselves out of house and home but I literally did not see one whistle pig in this spot. That has never happened before.

Which brings up a word of advice. Nature has ups and downs and we need to adjust accordingly. Here’s what I mean by this. I may have wanted to hit all three activities this week. Crappie fishing, mushroom hunting and whistle pig hunting. But if only crappie fishing is good, then I need to hit the crappie. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out fishing for this or that species and stumbled upon the mother lode of a different species. Be fluid. Adjust. Don’t be so regimented that you can’t enjoy a different agenda.

I could give a million examples but one time I was teaching a junior high Sunday school class. I had off a day and had taken the boys out doing something or another. We found a sandpit that had a mulberry tree on the dam. The kids (not me of course) were picking mulberries and painting up themselves.

After squeezing the mulberry and painting ourselves we flipped it out in the pond. A fish hit it. This repeated itself a few times and it soon became apparent what was happening. As the wind blew, it shook loose mulberries which fell into the water and the fish were setting under it feeding. I told the boys to jump in the T-Bird. We raced home and grabbed an armload of fishing rods and raced back.

Over the course of the week after this discovery I think I caught 75 carp and a bass or two and maybe a catfish. We’d hook a squeezed mulberry on a bare hook with no weight and flip it out in the water under the tree. It’d slowly sink and as soon as it disappeared, we’d have a hit. Numerous species of fish were lying in wait under the tree feeding on falling mulberries.

I forget what we were doing that day but we improvised and had a memorable experience. This will happen to you when you’re outdoors. If you see a once in a lifetime event happening, drop what you’re doing and improvise. Don’t be a stick in the mud and say nope, here’s what is on the agenda today or you may miss a once-in-a-lifetime outdoor event.

So with that said, I improvised and dumped the whistle pig and mushroom hunting this week and ran back out Wednesday by myself and boated 277 crappie. Wow! The fishing is unbelievable right now. I didn’t keep track but I bet for one to two hours I got a hit nearly every cast. It was totally unbelievable.

Then Saturday, I took Kolby (my daughter) and her boyfriend, Joe Chappell, crappie fishing. We fished for a few hours and then it started storming with lightning, which is never a good thing while out on the lake in an aluminum boat.

I remember once I was fishing in Nebraska with a guy and a storm blew in. My line was floating about 10 feet high due to the static electricity in the air. Pretty soon, I noticed that when I moved my rod it’d make a sound like a Star Wars sword and shock you if you touched it. Wuh row, we were about to get zapped with lightning. We fired up the motor and zipped to shore.

So this trip we hid underneath a rock column and waited until the lightning stopped and then headed in. I was wanting the kids to rack up like Katy and I had done, but still, I guess we had a good day. We boated 85 in a few hours and I think the kids had fun.

So, you get my drift. You can want to do whatever you want but, if it isn’t in season then you’re barking up the wrong tree. Do what is in season and right now crappie are in season.

Used to, when I got home from a fishing trip I stayed up until some ungoshly hour fileting fish. Now, I throw a bag of crushed ice over the fish. Then the next day I wake up refreshed and filet my catch. In the past I’d stayed up until after midnight fileting them while Kolby held the flashlight.

So, even though the numbers are down, I’d still recommend you go crappie fishing. And now that it has slowed down a bit, start using an attractant on your jig like the ProLine Baits Crappie Series. Crappie makes some super table fare. Good luck.

Tom Claycomb lives in Idaho and has outdoors columns in newspapers in Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Louisiana. He also writes for various outdoors magazines and teaches outdoors seminars at stores like Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Bass Pro Shop. He can be reached via email at

Post Author: By Tom Claycomb

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