Crappie Season is Back!!!
The time is now upon us to really start thinking about the first serious crappie pattern of the season on Lake Shelbyville. As another fishing season is back in full swing, be sure to check over the safety equipment and be sure to have a current license for the year. The crappie will be transitioning throughout the month to pre-spawning areas, so be prepared for the crappie’s mood to become much more aggressive. Change is in the near future and the days of 100 or more crappie a day are almost here.
First, as of April 1st the previous year’s fishing license has expired so be sure to get this year’s license before you go out. Also, it is very important to recheck all the safety gear and make sure it is handy just in case it is ever needed. A dry bag with an extra set of clothes is an ideal thing to leave in the boat for numerous reasons. Doing a basic walk around and walk through of your boat, at the beginning of a new season, is a great way to double check all your safety equipment, first-aid, ropes, fire extinguisher, and other emergency supplies. If there is any doubt on any safety regulation, I advise calling your local conservation officer and setting up an appointment. Taking a few minutes in the garage can save a lot of time on the water.
As the water temperature rises this month the crappie will become very active and will be gearing up for pre-spawn activities. Anywhere from 12-18 feet of water is where the crappie will be holding, and the water temperature will dictate when they move in more shallow water. The crappie will be feeding more each and every day of this month, making this a terrific time to be out on the water. Hair jigs, plastics, and minnows are all three going to catch a lot of crappie this month, but be prepared to have to use all three each day. As the crappie becomes more active so can your presentations for attacking those SLABS!!! The pendulum toss or casting presentations are ideal to catch those active crappie looking for their next food source. The daily speed on the pendulum toss or cast retrieval will vary at times, so be sure to increase and decrease the speeds for your retrieval until you figure out the right speed. If and when the crappie gets spooky, using slip-corks is how to stay away from the fish and keep them from detecting the boat. Slip-corks are ideal for attacking the tops of any structure and staying six to twelve inches above the structure is the perfect distance above, allowing those crappies to stay in the structure until they commit to the bait. Vertical jigging standing or lay-down timbers is another place to find active schools of crappie. Try fishing the outside areas of timbers, because the most active fish can and will be found just a few yards from the actual structures. Always take your TIME when approaching your next locations because you can do a lot of damage to an area by coming in too fast, bumping the structure, and not being ready to fish when you arrive. Regardless of how you prefer to fish for crappie, this is the time to grab your favorite rod and reel set up and find yourself at Lake Shelbyville for some terrific crappie fishing.
This month’s trip down memory lane takes place in Mississippi and it was in the first part of March when this happened. As a member of the TopHat jig Pro-staff team, I was invited to Grenada, Mississippi, the “Home of the 4 Pound Crappie”, to try to catch a 3lb crappie on the Guppy Gobbler by TopHat jigs with fellow teammate Chad Rogers. Day 1… Fish 1… 2 POUND SLAB and that was just the beginning!!! The water was as muddy as I can remember, and the fishing was better than I ever experienced. We were BOAT FLIPPING SLABS just four to six inches beneath the surface of the water while in six to eight feet of water. The crappie were so high in the water column I was amazed I could not see them swimming!!! For the first two days the Teddie Bug Guppy Gobbler was the hot bait and it helped me catch my personal best crappie that weighed 2.66lb and others (2.60, 2.53, 2.44, 2.41, 2.40, 2.31) that were just true GIANTS to me!!! Day three the Goldfinger Guppy Gobbler was the color they wanted, and it produced some 2.55, 2.50, 2.27, 2.18, 2.15, 2.11, 2.07 and 2.0lbs. Although I did not break the 3lb mark, my friend Chad did twice with a 3.30 white crappie, 3.17 black crappie, and a 2.97 white crappie for the three biggest crappie of the trip. It was an amazing experience fishing such an amazing lake with some of the world’s best crappie fishing and learning a ton from Chad!!!
To book a trip visit www.englandexpeditions.com or call 217-520-3653.
“HELPING CLIENTS CATCH MEMORIES ONE FISH AT A TIME!!!!!”