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Tag Archive | "Payne"

Best crappie fishing of the year


Jack Payne with a large crappie caught on an action tail.

Jack Payne with a large crappie caught on an action tail.

by Jack Payne

 

Tap, tap and down went the rod tip. Another crappie fallen to the Mr. Twister tail. We use the Mr. Twister tail, the Charlie Brewer Crappie Grub or the Beatle spins two ways. First is straight out of the package, spinner and all. The second way we remove the jig head and action tail from the spinner.

Before the spawn (which is now) and during the spawn (which might be next week or the following week), the jig head and action tails works best for us. Just after the spawn, when the crappie are cruising the weed lines, the addition of the spinner is huge.

Right now most of the crappies will be near their prime spawning grounds. On most lakes this means new cabbage weed beds or reed beds. The best way to find a cabbage patch is with your eyes.

Broadleaf cabbage have large leafs. A mature stand of weeds will often reach the surface during the summer. Right now a good patch might be two or three foot tall at best. A marl bottom area is often found with cabbage weeds.

A reed bed or a rice field is usually found in sandier soils and in shallower water. Most often this will be in a depth between 1-4 feet. The reeds will stick out of the water and are easily spotted.

Fishing the reeds means being stealth or making long casts and slowly working your lure back. Fishing this shallow water structure is best with a Carlisle Float and then the jig and action tail. Set the depth at two feet and work it in slowly.

Another option in the reeds is a long rod and fishing the jig vertically around each stand of reeds. We use rods between 12 and 14 feet so we can slide in quietly. Work slowly and patiently.

Cabbage weeds can be fished in the same manner but I love casting the jig out and retrieving it in slowly. Cast out and count down maybe to four. Then slowly reel in. If this fails then cast out, let it sink to the bottom and then start reeling in slowly.

Any crappie present will hit a slowly moving jig and action tail. Best colors, well I hate to say it, we use two colors 95% of the time. Yellow or chartreuse just pound the crappie. Some day’s one color is better than the other, but one of these two will work. Two anglers should each work a different color.

The best weight is a one sixteenth ounce followed by a one eighth ounce and then a one thirty second ounce head. The one sixteenth is hands down the best overall jig size. The Mr. Twister Tail is a high action tail. The Charlie Brewer is less aggressive, much like a minnow gliding through the water. Both are our favorites and we switch back and forth throughout the day.

Memorial Day weekend is normally pushing the envelope around our area for spawning fish. The crappie will pull out the weed edge gouging on new minnows. This is when the spinner really shines.

Cast the spinner out and count down to half of the depth. In ten feet of water count down to five, then start reeling in slowly. Sometimes you will feel a tap tap; other times just heaviness on your line. No need for a power hook set, just a snap of the wrist and the battle is on.

The Beatle Spin is a great search lure and deadly on active fish. When the fish are less aggressive or when sitting tight to a bed, then the jig head is best. Once the water hits the high fifties and into the low seventies the crappie will be found near cabbage weeds and most often around the reed and rice beds.

 

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Junkyard perch


Jack Payne author with a large perch

Jack Payne author with a large perch

by Jack Payne

 

This past week we started catching perch in the junk. Each year as the ice leaves the perch move in. Wednesday was the first day of ice free water on a local bayou. Just like turning on a light switch a few perch moved into the shallows.

Get a day with a warm sun and calm winds and schools of perch will move in. Cold windy days will find the perch on the deep points closest to the shallow water junk.

Shallow water junk is old weeds, decayed vegetation, areas where the wind has pushed leaves and clutter into. If there is any type of current available the better the shallow water location will be.

One of our favorite locations has a drain culvert leading into it. With spring run-off a constant source of current is found. The perch are often in the junk filled bottoms in a foot or two of water and where the culvert current blows morsels of food by.

Any lake or river system that has a shallow water area that during the summer might not be fishable is a good place to look for early spring perch. Some of these locations are the weedbeds that become impenetrable during the summer. With higher water tables in the spring you might have depths between 4-8 feet.

The water temperature will be warmer in these locations than any other spot on the lake. Many times this will be on the northern shorelines first. Sometimes you will find a canal or boat channel connected to this type of water.

These locations become red hot on perch and plenty of bonus bluegill and crappies. These canals and small boat channels are shallow and often have a mud bottom that warms up quickly.

Under poor weather conditions the fish might pull out but only to the first deep water point. This seasonal fishery might last six weeks or like last season, only two weeks. It starts the day the ice comes off and will last until the water temperatures get close to the 50 degree mark.

The productive methods used are very basic. A bobber or a float, a few jigs and plain hooks with a couple of split shots and a speed snell connector is it. This is not the time and place for a perch spreader rig. These fish are shallow and active and you as the angler need to fish quickly and cover water.

We use a slip float from Carlisle or Lindy Tackle with a Fin Jig tear drop from Stopper Lures or the Lindy Crappie Queen and a plain red number six aberdeen hook connected to our main line with an Arnold Speed Snap. The speed snap allows an angler to add or remove extra hooks or jigs without tying or cutting your line. The speed snap hooks to your main line in two seconds and your second or third lure onto the other end of the speed snap.

Add just enough split shots so that your float is half submerged. Your jig should just graze the bottom when drifting with the wind. Your second hook should be set a few inches higher and if you want a third hook, just a few inches from the second hook.

Minnows are an excellent choice during the ice out season. Hook your minnow lightly so that it stays alive and dances around. Some anglers hook the minnow in the tail and others lightly through the lips. You pick, just make sure that it stays alive.

Work the shallow water debris, watch for any areas of current or spots that the wind might push your float across and continue moving until the fish are found. If the action wanes then pick up and start the search all over. If weather conditions sour head out to the deeper water points and drop the anchor. Ice out perch fishing is easy and perch often bite through out the day so no need to be the first on the water.

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