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Having a crappie day! - MessAge Media: Our Columnists

Having a crappie day!

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Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 5:00 am

 I hear it’s about crappie spawning season. We like crappies most, sunnies second. Some lakes might be done, some just started, and Cedar it seems has started and may be starting to slow down. The trick, they said, is being there when the spawn is on, like steelhead! They didn’t say that.

This spring was chilly and wet. It rained and sleeted. I kept burning wood that I thought might be next year’s wood. The water stayed cold and deep and the crappies did too. Maybe they didn’t come to their usual shallows because their shallows was deep. Maybe they just hung out in their elusive holes under the ice fishing shacks, safe from the short rods till next winter. Maybe, but they’ll be in sooner or later, they said.

Cedar Lake is deep, real deep in places, like over 100-ft. and it has a lot of steep structure like a Catholic Church steeple! So it stays cold.

Most years I’d go off the access and up this channel to a baseball field-size pond – maybe a small baseball field – and cast in by shore and early-on catch a largemouth bass, sometimes a real nice one before the crappie got a chance, before bass season. I’d put the bass back of course but there were some nice ones! They’d be jumping out of the water against swamp clumps on shore, splashing and coming after my crappie minnow. And hit it and run and do somersaults above water till it got hoisted into the boat. More fun still when you can keep them. “Shoot, my crappie’s too slow again.” We caught limits of crappies in the pond in spite of the bass.

This year the channel is deep and wide, the motor clears the timber along the bottom. The pond is deep, too. Lily pads are out quite aways, the bass are biting just off the pads. No crappies though.  After a while a friend and his wife, Pat, came up the channel, said they’d  tried it over a week ago, nothing, and said maybe he was a little early then.

So after moving around the pond for a hour or two catching a few bass and little sunnies I decided I wasn’t sure if I was early or late. I sure wasn’t on time and I’m heading back down the channel to the lake and work the shore. “This pond’s too deep,” I’m thinking they said!

Out on the lake I’m trolling off the pads, casting in and not catching crappies. Catching sunnies and bass. No big deal, sure is a nice evening on the lake! I’ll just motor around for awhile, first time out, check out the shoreline, islands, try to find the 108-ft. spot.” I found just under a hundred feet. Cool, now try to find a crappie. Find a shallow sandy bottom with some pencil reeds. If I drive around this lake long enough, slow enough I’ll find a crappie bed, I’m thinking and I did. Oofda! Limit.

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