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Jerry Blake
12-19-2006, 05:15 PM
We went to Lake Greeson this morning to sink some bamboo and do some scouting. The wind was up pretty good and blowing out of the NE with the passing of a cold front so we ducked into a deep creek arm just off the main channel where we've been catching a few crappie around 20-feet deep to get some protection from the wind.

We didn't get any bites at the depths we've been catching them there and my graph showed fish near the bottom from 28 to 35-feet deep so we dropped down to that depth range and started catching fish. We fished three bucket/bamboo condos and caught 2 or 3 fish on each one but the most productive area was a big rock pile where we caught over 20 crappie.

We caught a few on Rosy Red minnows but most came on chartreuse/silver/chartreuse and white/red/chartreuse hair jigs and the majority were right at 32-feet. (We mark our lines with permanent marker so we know how deep we are fishing).

Fortunately they were all good fish (except one that was about 9-inches) because their air bladders were bulging up in their throats and they were bleeding from their gills and I don't think any of the ones we caught over 30-feet deep could have survived if released.


http://www.actionfishingtrips.com/12-19-06.JPG

So, I guess you could say they are heading into a winter pattern here even though our surface temperatures are still in the mid 50s.

L.A. stumpjumper
12-19-2006, 05:21 PM
Some nice fish Jerry. That's the way they are on L. Monticello, even if you bring them up slow their air bladder is up in their throat.

Jumping Cholla Jigs
12-19-2006, 06:19 PM
Nice looking fish Jerry...

Deep fish is something we rarely get to play with out here but every so often when on the troll bite they drop out from the normal feeding depth of 12 to 16 feet and suspend around 25 feet or even hug the bottoms at 35 or so. Try as we may we have only caught fish once when they drop out. That was trolling at 1 mph with twin 1/8 oz JCJ's and Kalin grubs, 6 lb fireline and 100' of line out. BTW check out these reels for your trolling or drop fishing. They are a good reel for the little money and make it sooo easy to change depths on the fly... http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1731968

What methods could you share to up our odds on the deep fish?

Thanks...

bobberwatcher
12-19-2006, 07:10 PM
Nice catch Jerry...

Jerry Blake
12-19-2006, 07:14 PM
Nice looking fish Jerry...

Deep fish is something we rarely get to play with out here but every so often when on the troll bite they drop out from the normal feeding depth of 12 to 16 feet and suspend around 25 feet or even hug the bottoms at 35 or so. Try as we may we have only caught fish once when they drop out. That was trolling at 1 mph with twin 1/8 oz JCJ's and Kalin grubs, 6 lb fireline and 100' of line out. BTW check out these reels for your trolling or drop fishing. They are a good reel for the little money and make it Soho easy to change depths on the fly... http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1731968

What methods could you share to up our odds on the deep fish?

Thanks...

Hey JCJ:

It's really unusual for us to catch crappie over 25-feet deep. This one creek arm seems to be the exception as I found them over 30-feet deep there last February too. The middle of the channel is about 60-feet deep where the creek arm meets the main river channel, which is about 70-feet deep. The sides drop off at least at a 45-degree angle, maybe more and our condos and the rock pile are a little more than half-way down the banks.

We fish the same way deep as we do shallower - hovering over the cover (brush, bamboo and today a rock pile) with minnows under slip-floats and vertical jigging 1/32nd and 1/16th ounce hair jigs either with or without a jig tipper (small Rosey Red) using 10 and 11-foot jig poles.

We don't anchor but use the trolling motor to position and move the bait over and around the cover or hold in place when we start getting bites.

We mark our lines with permanent marker at 20 and 30-feet so we know how deep we are fishing. We don't cast out at all, just drop straight down to the depth we're marking fish or we've had bites and move the jig up and down slowly or hold the jig as still as possible. We try to keep our lines tight - no slack - on the down stroke and sometimes move it downward just as slow as possible.

We use colored line so we can see a twitch or slack in the line but I also run the line lightly between my middle and index finger on my pole hand so I can feel the slightest nudge or even a slight change in pressure indicating a bite.

Most of the bites we had today were very light and all but one that really thumped it were hooked just inside their top lip.

wrwest
12-19-2006, 07:27 PM
Good going Jerry, Sounds like ya had a good time too. I just started fishin deep water 30' - 40' early last spring it was productive too. Keep it up :)

Jumping Cholla Jigs
12-19-2006, 07:31 PM
Thanks Jerry...

In similar situations we have a couple of tactics I think will improve your minnow bites even more.

1st... Use chartruese hooks. Believe it or not they work more often than other colors.

2nd... Bring along some paper cups (disposable) and put 1/2" of Berkley's Crappie scent in one. Just before you drop the minnow over the side dip his little butt in the scent. I've never seen it hurt the fishing but often seen it turn a picky bite into a hard bite.

Most things that work out west also work back east so take a shot and try them then let me know what you think.

Take care...

Jerry Blake
12-19-2006, 07:56 PM
Hey JCJ:

I use Cod Liver Oil on my jigs but I've not tried scent on minnows yet. We were talking about trying chartreuse hooks today. Chartreuse is a good color to have on jigs so it should work on a minnow hook as well.

So many things to try and so little time!! :)

titleman
12-19-2006, 08:28 PM
Jerry,

Nice pic of the "hushpuppie man"!! I still NEED that receipe!

Titleman

Jerry Blake
12-19-2006, 08:55 PM
Hey Titleman:

Yep, that's Carlos The Hushpuppy Man. Guess what we did right after we took that picture. Yep, he started frying hushpuppies and fish while I filleted and he had a pile ready when I got done - and they were GOOOOOOOD too! That recipe is on the Crappie Camp Thread somewhere.

Jerry Blake
12-19-2006, 09:01 PM
Found it:

Hush Puppies

1 1/2-cup Self Rising Flour

1 1/2-cup Self Rising White Cornmeal mix

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 can Cream Corn NOTE: MAKE SURE YOUR CREAM CORN IS "CREAMED" REAL WELL BECAUSE ANY WHOLE CORN KERNELS MAY POP AND SPLATTER HOT GREASE ON YOU!!!!

1 Onion - chopped

2 tablespoons Oil

Mix together and add milk until the batter is about the consistency of pancake batter.

Drop by heaping teaspoons into 365-degree oil and fry until dark brown on both sides.

Optional Variations:

Add chopped jalapeņos and/or chopped bell peppers and/or minced garlic

anchorpuller
12-19-2006, 09:04 PM
This is a great thread! Jerry, as usual, looks like you put on yer crappie thinking cap and made the ambush!

JCJ, great suggestions too! I've never seen the chartreuse hooks. Do you paint them or is this something I just haven't laid my eyes on in the fishing dept? I want to try your suggestions....as soon as Santa Claus comes!

Jerry, you just KNOW I'm eating my heart out here wishin' *I* was fishin'. Then you have to go and make it even worse talking about fresh hushpuppies and fish filets! Danged if you don't have a way to motivate even the shiest of winter fisherfolks. :D

Thanks you guys for the sharing of information, as usual, I really appreciate and enjoy it.

Jumping Cholla Jigs
12-19-2006, 09:17 PM
anchorpuller... Eagle Claw sells a pack of hooks with 4 different colors of powder coated hooks in it and thats what I first tried on a lark just to see if they worked any better then red hooks. They DO but the other colors in the pack have not caught a fish so we started just powder coating our own hooks. We now have settled on #4 or 6 black circle hooks. Heat them with a small tourch and dip in the powder in such a way as to not color the point, barb or eye and you are ready to fish...

Darryl Morris
12-20-2006, 08:02 AM
Aarg! I'll be back soon. Thanks for the phone call. I know you weren't rubbing it in, just sharing, lol.

DENNIS BOWERS
12-20-2006, 08:59 AM
Jerry, Good bunch of Fish!! Crappie here are the same-deep. We too have nice weather,kind of makes ya wonder why there so deep. Surface temp. here is 50*.

speck chaser
12-20-2006, 09:51 AM
crappie here in east tn have been deep all fall this is quiet unsuall
shad haven't came up either may be why crappie are so deep just a thought

Jerry Blake
12-20-2006, 10:02 AM
crappie here in east tn have been deep all fall this is quiet unsuall
shad haven't came up either may be why crappie are so deep just a thought

Yea, I think the shad have stayed deep here too. We've not seen hardly any whites, stripers, hybrids or black bass surface feeding this year, which is very unusual and the shad are showing up real deep on our graphs. The crappie gotta go where the food is if they are going to beef up for the spawn.

Ole Carlos - "Hushpuppy Man" - on the right - was pretty funny yesterday. He's been fishing Greeson since they filled it up over 50-years ago and about every second or third fish he'd shake his head and say something like, "I ain't never seen such - crappie so deep!"

titleman
12-20-2006, 01:48 PM
Jerry,
Thanks for the receipe.
Somehow I missed it on the Crappie camp thread, so you made my day!!
In fact, now you don't have to get me a Christmas present!!

Titleman