Well it looks like the crappie have started to make their way into the fishing scene once again. That mean’s it is time to put the ultra light gear into the kayak and head up the creeks.
When you pattern crappie there are a few key points about these fish that you have to understand and when you do, it will make it easier to find them.
First of all, crappie are a schooling fish. That means when you find one fish you will find more.
In the winter they are usually following their bait. If you can find the bait, you can find the fish. Small minnows and baitfish are the target species they are looking for so if you are fishing along a bank or small bridge then notice a school of shiners swimming around you probably have crappie nearby.
Lately it seems the farther up the creeks you go the better the crappie bite, so start up into the creeks and fish your way out.
You want to target lay down logs and brush with your baits, which in most cases are minnows on bobbers.
Remember that crappie have big eyes and they face upward. You want the bait to be presented above their heads because they are always looking up for their prey. If the water is 5 to 6 feet deep then start out with about 2 feet of line under the bobber.
The clearer the water the lighter the line. Nothing over 8-pound test is my general rule.
While moving down the creek, pitch the bait at every tree and brush pile in the water until you get a strike. This is when you slow down and fish the entire structure.
If you are fishing artificial lures like Beetle Spins, tubes or curly tail grubs, remember that slow is better than fast in your retrieve.
I like to toss the bait above the structure, flip the bail and let it fall on a tight line.
This will allow the bait to look like a injured baitfish that is just too much for the crappie to pass up.
Another bait that I have had luck with is the small micro spinner baits made by Strike King Lures.
I pitch the bait up onto the bank and let it drop into the sweet spot. It flutters through the water and the slab crappie can’t resist the look of the bigger bait.
Try some of these techniques and I am sure your catch will increase and so will your table fare.
What’s biting, where ...
The report from the beach is looking pretty slim only because there is not a lot of people fishing.
Some of the boats got out last week and when they did they caught some nice yellow fin tuna. The Big Tahuna from Teach’s Lair had an overnight trip and slammed the yellow fin and there was just as much action when a boat went out of Oregon Inlet, so if you get out there the tuna are biting.
The beach action is slow with reports coming in from Hatteras of some mullet and puppy drum. Other than that, it is mostly skates and dog fish.
In the sound the stripers are still around in the usual haunts like the I.C.W. in Coinjock and the sound bridge in Edenton.
Yo-Zuri lures and stretch lures along with swim baits will bring the fish back but I got a report that my buddy Tom Condrey was crappie fishing up Halls creek for crappie and caught a nice striper on a minnow.
This doesn’t surprise me at all because the striper will follow the baitfish and if the baitfish are up the creeks there is usually some nice stripers around.
If anyone gets out this week send me some pictures and a fishing report to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on my new face book page Fishing With Mike.
Mike Sweeney is a fisherman who lives in Elizabeth City