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  • First Crappie Of The Year - SlabsRUs

    So once a week I commit a day to spend with my 3 and 5 year old grandsons. Itís a day of kidís movies, playing in the yard and a walk or two down the road to the ditches, mud puddles and small woodlots near the house. I love my grandsons dearly, and nothing could be more precious, but as I am sure any of you other grandparents are well aware, precious occasionally wears off and the terror comes out. It just so happens that yesterday was that day for both my grandsons, and barring a blizzard, gale force winds, or my sudden death, nothing was going to keep me off the water when grandma got home from work.



    With the ice having melted off our lakes in past two weeks, only one chance so far to get my kayak in the water, I was more than ready to hit the water. My reels are still spooled with last seasonís line. I am down to two of my favorite jigs. And my bait has been sitting in the jar, in the unheated shed all winter.

    But I took my fishing gear anyhow. Heck, I had to paddle right past my special early ice out honey hole anyhow so why not wet a line.

    When I got to the lakeside with my kayak, it was obvious that the weather man was right on with his prediction. The 10 Ė 20 mile per hour winds he had been calling for were blowing steady, and creating a pretty good chop on the surface of the lake. I stood for moment and asked myself if I was really ready to sit in that kayak, in 49 degree weather, with a strong headwind and waves. Was it going to be worth going out in a wind that had just switched to an east south east direction and would be pounding the spot where I wanted to drop a jig? Would I really relax from a long taxing day with my grandsons, or would the wind, cold, and waves just add the stress?


    10 Ė 20 mph winds had me second guessing whether I wanted to go out.

    Well I didnít ponder those questions long, and as soon as my rear end hit my kayak seat I felt like I was where I was supposed to be. As the larger waves splashed nearly freezing water over my bow, I had to put everything I had into each paddle stroke to maintain a forward course. There were a few whitecaps as I crossed the 200 yard stretch of open water to the far shore, which was a bit calmer for paddling. The following twenty minutes were all it took to get me in the right frame of mind and into the head of my quarry.

    Exactly, where would I be if I were a crappie. I know I would be on or near that first point in the river channel and at the mouth of the first bay. But where specifically would I be on that spot. I know there is a rock pile and some tall weeds just to the side of the point in 14 feet of water and they would create a good break from the current and the recently changed east wind. I know when the wind is from the other direction I can be on the opposite side of the deep water weeds so I better move between the weeds and rocks on the other side. I know the river current, with the recent snow and ice melt, will be pushing food past those weeds and rock pile. So why hang out around the structure.

    Of course that is just what I think a crappie might be thinking, and as I paused along shore to bait my 1/64 ounce orange jig with a year old Berkley Gulp Minnow, I convinced myself to give it a shot.

    I paddle out 30 yards beyond the shoreline point to a position that I thought was over the river channel and to the east of the submerged weeds. I started letting out line on both my reels until I was sure they were near the bottom, and then just let the wind push me along, as I used my paddle to control my speed. I immediately knew my jigs were near bottom as they both suddenly became taunt, and then released with the classic dragging bottom debris motion. I reeled my left side rod two cranks and whack. My rod tip made a quick dropping jolt and then instantly back to normal.

    Whoohooo. That was a hit for sure and was all I wanted. I could have called it a day right then and been more than satisfied but I just continued the short drift toward the point.

    I hadnít moved drifted 10 feet farther when my rod made another slight bend, like it was on bottom, but then it did a funny little tick. I grabbed the rod and slowly swung it toward the rear of my kayak.

    Fish on! First hole! First cast! And though it was only a five incher, it was a crappie. About five minutes later, on my third short drift over the area my day dreaming mind was pleasantly awakened by a sharp smack on my right side rod. Once again I swung the rod toward the rear and new right away that I was into a larger fish. As I put steady pressure on my adversary, it had the classic feel of a decent crappie. Steady pressure to the side and slowly rising toward the surface, the fish fought until I had it on top, next to the kayak, and could see that it was in fact a decent crappie.

    My day was fulfilled. My suspicions about where the crappies might be were correct. And I couldnít wait to get back home and spend the evening with grandsons.

    Comments 9 Comments
    1. NYHellbender's Avatar
      NYHellbender -
      It's been a long winter. Glad to see I'm not the only one ready to hit the chilly waters in search of crappie.
    1. usafret99's Avatar
      usafret99 -
      great report
    1. skeetbum's Avatar
      skeetbum -
      Good post on your first trip. We've been doing good for a while but I know the satisfaction of a good fish when a plan comes together. And it's just starting....
    1. Eaglehorse's Avatar
      Eaglehorse -
      Thanks for sharing a great story! Now, back to grandkids!
    1. CCcrappiejohn's Avatar
      CCcrappiejohn -
      Glad to see you had a great day, fishing and grdsons.......
    1. ronetone's Avatar
      ronetone -
      fishing with family is always fun
    1. kycreek's Avatar
      kycreek -
      Good story
    1. Rsw's Avatar
      Rsw -
      Great pictures thanks for sharing!
    1. Hoosier Crappie's Avatar
      Hoosier Crappie -
      Very nice!
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