• Festive Crappie Fishing - By Brad Wiegmann

    Every year about this time every crappie angler starts getting excited about the upcoming season. Laughter and good cheer can be heard coming from boats everywhere on lakes. These crappie anglers aren’t just in good spirits over the coming of Santa, but the arrival of a great season to crappie fish. By December and January most fair-weather crappie fishermen have put the boat in storage until spring. What they are missing is one of the best times of the year to fish for crappie.

    Crappie fishing guide and tournament crappie pro Todd Huckabee (Phone# (405)520-8980 or check out his Facebook page for current photos of crappies caught during guide trips) has spent numerous winters in a boat during the Yuletide season catching big crappies. “Although it’s a little different every year once the water temperatures get to 54- to 35- degrees, I start looking for brush piles or lay downs to crappie fish when I’m guiding on Ft. Gibson in Oklahoma,” noted Huckabee.

    If the water temperature is above 45 degrees, Huckabee explained that crappie may be located almost on any brush piles or lay downs. After the temperature drops below 45 degrees he noted that the crappie will move to brush piles and lay downs with steeper banks commonly found on the deeper channel side.

    During this time electronics play a critical part in locating brush and crappie. “Electronics are huge. They are the only way to find brush piles and lay downs that are 14- to 20-feet down,” acknowledges Huckabee.

    Normally, Huckabee will always use his electronics to locate these crappie honey holes, but there is one exception to that rule. “Like on other reservoirs, Ft. Gibson has steep banks where big lay downs may start on shore, but run into the lake to the bottom in 20 to 15 feet,” revealed Huckabee who would also fish those lay downs during this time.

    One thing that changes constantly on Ft. Gibson is where many of the washed in and sunken brush piles shift to because of current. “Current is constantly changing on Ft. Gibson and crappie anglers need to adjust to what the conditions give them every day out there,” explained Huckabee.

    Interestingly bottom structure is not overly important during this time. Huckabee will fish all the productive areas no matter how deep it is until the water temperature drops below 45 degrees. After that Huckabee will concentrate more on brush piles and lay downs in deep water.

    Huckabee will use two main lures during this time. The YUM Wooly Bee and YUM Wooly Beavertail rigged on a ¼-ounce Lindy jig head ( On sunny days, Huckabee will use a white/chartreuse color YUM Wooly Bee or YUM Wooly Beavertail, but change to an orange/chartreuse YUM Wooly Bee or YUM Wooly Beavertail on a cloudy day.

    A heavy Lindy jig head is vital when fishing during this time. “We are presenting the lures straight down without casting them. It’s basically dropping it down to where the crappie are located,” said Huckabee.

    Other Lindy Fishing Products that an angler can fish with for crappie are the Quiver Jig, Little Guppy, Queen’s and Little Nipper. Every Lindy Fishing Product is hand crafted from the finest materials available.

    The heavier jig also allows anglers to get right down in the thickest cover and bump into it. Huckabee noted that if an angler wasn’t getting snagged that they were probably not deep enough into the brush pile. “Once you get a bite, an angler has got to be ready to set the hook and reel up fast 5 or 6 times with the reel handle to get the crappie out of the brush pile,” advised Huckabee.

    Surprisingly, Huckabee uses a bigger diameter, but stronger fishing line than other crappie anglers. His choice is Silver Thread AN40 monofilament fishing line.
    For a reel, Huckabee uses a baitcasting model with a fast retrieve ratio. “I like something that will get the crappie out of the brush and can swing them in once they are on top of the water,” pointed out Huckabee.

    Rod selection is easy for Huckabee when he goes crappie fishing. He uses his signature series 11 foot long crappie rod.

    Anglers should expect positive results by utilizing the technique Huckabee does during this time of year. If your results lack success go back to the process of searching around for them. Like Huckabee pointed out your electronics are vital for catching crappie during this season.

    It may be cold out, but that has never stopped crappie from biting or anglers from going out fishing for them. Just remember to watch your temperature gauge and move to deeper water once it falls below 45 degrees. Then just look for areas that have brush piles and lay downs to fish.
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. "G"'s Avatar
      "G" -
      Good read for sure and I gotta tell ya, that YUM Wooly Beavertail is killer ..... I like it in red and chartreuse.
    1. Speckanator's Avatar
      Speckanator -
      Enjoyed the article and hope to fish that kind of water someday. For now I fish Florida lakes so year round fishing is great. During the cold snaps we might register water in the 50's but it ususally stays 65 to 60 most of the winter. Thanks for the article.
    1. Speck's Avatar
      Speck -
      Todd is a good guy and a heck of a crappie fisherman!!! He introduced me to YUM Wooley Beavertails a few years ago at the Grizzly Jig Spring Show!!
      He knows his stuff!!
    1. tight_knot's Avatar
      tight_knot -
      Good read! I'm gonna have to try some of those Yum Wooly Beavertails.
    1. Billbob's Avatar
      Billbob -
      great read need to try sum
    1. CrappiePappy's Avatar
      CrappiePappy -
      I can't find any fault in anything Todd has presented in this article !!

      I knew about the downed trees on steep banks, during Winter, as I've experienced some good results when fishing them ... even fishing from the bank !!

      Good advice & good products = success when

      Thanks Todd !!

      ... cp
    1. Luvfatslabs's Avatar
      Luvfatslabs -
      Great info thanks for sharing
    1. crappie4me2's Avatar
      crappie4me2 -
      Great article and you can"t beat Todd!! I also love the red/chart. beavertail jigs!!! Maybe oneday I'll be able to hire him and fish with him. Thanks, Lynn
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