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View Full Version : Don't take your crappie fishing for granted



Oregon slabman
01-26-2005, 11:00 PM
This past week I was at a sports show in Washington state. I had a nice display with some mounted slabs and plenty of pictures. My booth got alot of interest as those folks are starved for crappie fishing. The story I heard over and over was that we used to have those around here and now they are gone. Several lakes were mentioned that once had great fishing for slabs. It sounded better than what I had to offer them. But every story ended the same.They are gone. Or,we catch a big one once in awhile but nothing like it used to be. I would ask what happened and the most common guesses were the introduction of walleyes,over-harvest and the volcanic ash from the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. But the bottom line is they really had no answer. It seems some of the fisheries are coming back due to very tight limits (5 fish)
So enjoy what you have. Never can tell when forces beyond our control will take it away.

Kokanee King
01-27-2005, 12:37 AM
Yeah the lakes here in washington seem to flux a lot. it is sad, but i would have to say that most of the problem is over fishing and people taking home more than their limit. I tend to realese most of any fish I catch but a few do stay in the livewell. but I am one to talk i have been known to break the rod limit (one) and go to, two rods. but it is just to catch the fish they do get realesed but it is still wrong. Bad Ian, bad.

kunes
01-27-2005, 02:19 PM
This past week I was at a sports show in Washington state. I had a nice display with some mounted slabs and plenty of pictures. My booth got alot of interest as those folks are starved for crappie fishing. The story I heard over and over was that we used to have those around here and now they are gone. Several lakes were mentioned that once had great fishing for slabs. It sounded better than what I had to offer them. But every story ended the same.They are gone. Or,we catch a big one once in awhile but nothing like it used to be. I would ask what happened and the most common guesses were the introduction of walleyes,over-harvest and the volcanic ash from the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. But the bottom line is they really had no answer. It seems some of the fisheries are coming back due to very tight limits (5 fish)
So enjoy what you have. Never can tell when forces beyond our control will take it away.
Think of that as you're filleting your "couple of thousand fish a year".

DENNIS BOWERS
01-27-2005, 03:06 PM
Thats The Good Thing About Limits And Minimum Lengths!!!we 've Got Em Both Here On Dale Hollow

Moose1am
01-27-2005, 03:46 PM
I consider myself very lucky when it comes to having access to a lake with lots of crappie. Just about 10minute drive from my house the State opened up a new Fish and Wildlife area that covers about 2,500 acres in all. I can drive over there and see hawks, beavers, deer, racoons, muskrats and all other forms of midwestern wildlife. Seasonally we get lots of Geese and Ducks as well. Many people are able to use the wildlife area and that is a great thing. Being raised in the city and then out in the burbs I enjoy getting away from the streetlights, noise and enjoying the solitude of nature. The crappie are not huge but they are many. I thank god everyday for this new area that has been put at my back door. Yea I wish it was KY lake but I am glad that I have what they gave us. I went to college with one if the guys responsible for making this possible. It's people like him that give us these State own public lands and lakes to recreate in.

If I had walleye in the lake that I fished I would targeting them guys. They are one great eating fish and lots of fun to catch. Just don't stick your fingers inside their mouths. They have nice big sharp teeth. Been bit by one before and it hurt.

lovetofish
01-27-2005, 03:49 PM
Here in Louisiana we have some lakes that have creel limits and size imits on them. It is a good thing to have in alot of lakes. The biggest problem I see is that in most cases they wait to long before they either put a creel limit or size limit on a body of water. People just don't realize sometimes that things have to be managed better for the future. I have heard it over and over agian (There's no fish in this lake and so on). Our lakes and bodies of water are like gold mines. You keep mining (taking out) them faster than it can be replendished and this is what you come out with - very few fish or only very small fish. Just this past weekend I had an encounter with someone over that exact thing. I was catching quite a few small fish (8 - 11 in) and was throwing them back. The fellow ask me why I was not keeping them and I told him I only wanted to keep quaility fish. He said well if I didn't want them that he would take them. I said no I'd rather let it grow some more and hopefull catch it in other year when it was bigger. He got pretty disgusted :mad: to say the least. But, that is the reason some places end up the way they are, over fished and with no management. Well, good luck on getting the fish numbers back.

Oregon slabman
01-27-2005, 08:35 PM
Think of that as you're filleting your "couple of thousand fish a year".



Last year I took over 300 fishermen in my boat. If they need or want there fish filleted I do it for them. I never said they were "my"fish.You do the math.




Brownlee Charters
www.pinetel.com/~fishbrownlee

Kokanee King
01-27-2005, 10:11 PM
Moose when I was reading your post it reminded me of one time when on this lake that I fish maybe 3 to 4 times a year it is right inside the the city limits of a tourist town, this town has tons of deer when fishing you cans 50 plus deer right on the shore. BUt last year i was casting to the shore for bass and hapened to look up on a cast to notice a little black bear watch in me. It was just a strange sight, niver knew they were even down there.

Kokanee King
01-27-2005, 10:13 PM
oregon slabman are you going to be at the show in washington this week?
If so I will look for you.

Oregon slabman
01-27-2005, 11:12 PM
oregon slabman are you going to be at the show in washington this week?
If so I will look for you.


I won't be at Puyallup but I will be in Yakima Feb.4-6 & Portland Feb 9-13. Be sure and stop by if you are at these shows.

Wildlife sure does add to a fishing trip. We also saw a bear .It was swimming the Snake River going from Oregon to Idaho. We have spotted elk,mule deer,antelope,otters,beaver, eagles and lots of chukar partridge.

Kokanee King
01-27-2005, 11:24 PM
I once saw an otter try to eat a duck , funny stuff. yeah if i am at thoes shows i will be looking for you.

Moose1am
01-28-2005, 02:25 PM
Last time I saw a black bear looking at me was at the picnic grounds up in the Smokey Moutains on the road that leads from Gatlinburg TN to Cherokee NC. Can't remember the name of that picnic area but it was once a trout hatchery and it's alway full of people in the summertime. There is a big hill side at the very back end of the picnic area near the moutain stream and two fairly large blackbears were up on that hill side about 400ft above the picnic area just watching all the people preparing food on the grill. Finally the big bear wobbled down the hillside and chased the people away from the first picnic table and helped himself to their steak on the grill. He wandered though the picnic area like he owned the place. Slow and deliberte with everyone scurring out of his way as he approached. We got in our van and had it pointed out towards the exit just in case we needed to get away fast and just watched all the people loosing their lunch to the bear. We were told at the ranger station that if we wanted to see black bears to go to this particular area in the afternoon. The rangers must know these bears and evidently they let them roam the picnic areas or have a hard time capturing or keeping them away from the food. I would not want to be on foot out in the woods and run in to a male black bear. Some of the older ones have been know to chase people and try to eat them. Not as bad as the grissly bears but still they can at times see us as food. They are a lot stronger than they look and much faster than we think. Some bears can hit 40 mph when they attack and have been know to run down a full grown moose. Back when I was just out of college I took a two week trip to Ontario up by Eagle Lake. We went to the garbage dump one night to see the bears. Everynight the black bears would come to the dump to eat. We were told not to run if we saw a bear. At first we stayed in the vehicle but after a while we got brave and got out and started walking along the road that paralled the dump. The dump was about 30ft below the edge of the road as the road way was up on high ground and the dump was out in the lower marshy area. The dump extended out away from the road for about 200 yard or more before the dump ended and the woods began. The bears would come out of the woods and then come up to the edge of the road where fresh garbage had been dumped that day. You had to get to the edge of the road and look down to see the bears. At first there was no action and it started to get darker. We were about 50 yards away from the vehicle when we heard a Loud Banging Noise like something fell down into a bunch of kitchen pots and pans. Scared the bejibers of of us and we took off running back to the car. We got the flashlight out and started shining it around to see what had made that awful noise and then discovered a family of skunks walking down the dirt road. At least it was not a bear. LOL. Then we parked the vehicle so that the headlights would shine out over the dump area and waited for a few more minutes. Finally we saw some eyeshine and at first thought it was just some more skunks foraging around. It turned out to be a black bear that had his head down making his eyes low to the ground. We thought it was a skunk since the eyeshine was so close to the ground until the Bear Stood up on his hind legs and we could plainly see it was not a skunk. Those bears didn't bother us and we watched them forage in the dump for a few more minutes and then got bored and went back to the camp. Most of our off time was spent out in the woods looking for wild mushrooms and blueberries. We had an Indian woman that befriended my mom and mom would go with her into the woods to gather the mushrooms and dad and I would be out on the lake fishing for Walleye's and Northern Pike. There was some great fishing out there. I first learned to use my 5ft long ultra light graphite rod there. The Eagle River ran from our camp down to the lake for about a mile or so. Every day we had to navigate down the river to the lake to fish. But at times the mouth of the river was full of 4lb Northern Pike and they just loved my spoons. I would cast a dare devil spoon out and retried it over the grass and have a hit almost every time. I caught many of pike that trip and we ended up taking them back to the camp and smoking them. They are boney but smoked and eaten slowly with some cheese and crackers they make excellent table fair. But you can't beat the taste of a freshly cooked walleye filet fish sandwitch when out on the lake and having a shore lunch. Now that was some of the best fishing I have done.

Big Zig
01-28-2005, 02:46 PM
Slabman - This topic of diminishing fisheries has started popping up on just about every fishing board I check in on. And it's all the fisheries; musky, walleye, panfish, etc. the only one I haven't seen it surface on yet is in the catfish crowd.
Fishing has always been better, "in the good ole days". Pick up any publication from the 60's and 70's - there are pictures of stringers filled to the max with large fish. IMHO, we are starting to see the effects of those pictures. Everyone is, not just the crappie crowd.

It sure seems that something needs to be done, however not everyone seems to agree on a direction to go. What do we do? Pick one change and hope it works? What if it makes the situation worse? How long before we anglers see the results? (I've gotten fairly passionate about this subject over the last year)
I don't know that there are answers to these questions. I've looked at waterways across the United States trying to find some common thread that makes one waterway produce more quantity and quality then another. There are so many limiting factors it's impossible to narrow down. Each year a lake can change in what it produces.
Looking at short term trends, crappie seem to follow year class cycles (most are 4 year cycles that I've paid attention to). Enter in the management aspect, and things really get balled up.
Unless we find a way to stabilize each individual fishery, the children of those that pointed out a diminishing fishery to you, will be saying the same thing to their parents.