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Thread: For Every Season Turn Turn Turn

  1. #1
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    Default For Every Season Turn Turn Turn

    After the upcoming Thanksgiving, I will be approaching my one year anniversary of fishing for crappie. Bought the boat last Christmas. The start was slow and I tried different styles of fishing until late Spring when I began long lining. There was a definite uptick in my results almost immediately. Later during the Summer months, I was able to launch the boat and catch a limit (25) almost every trip. For a while I was done within and hour or two. I had found the secret recipe.

    Well now those 86 degree water temperatures are down to 62 degrees and things have definitely changed. I saw as my large jigs became less and less attractive. Then the bladed jigs stopped getting bites. Then I started catching fish on plastic baits that had almost no tail action whatsoever. Slabonator’s Hot Rod became very popular. Then Bob’s Worm bait fit in to my lineup nicely.

    Then I started trimming the bait’s length, making it shorter and more compact and that got their attention pretty well. Then I started pouring jig heads with short shanked hooks and trimmed plastics and that was doing great. Then I revisited the jig tying vice and started making the lowly and way too common bucktail jig. No tail action at all when pulled at a steady speed of 1 mph. Just way too simple in shape and design, but the fish responded to it.

    So then I began comparing my really good plastic baits to these bucktails and at first the results seemed even, but not any more. Now the bucktails are definitely getting more attention. How odd. A lure that has no action outperforming lures that have all sorts of action. Well I surmise it has to do with the fish changing their diet with the seasonal changes. I suspect that in my lakes they are wanting small little minnows. Many others have mentioned that downsizing during Winter was a good idea, and sure enough here I was seeing it for myself.

    So a sleek little profile and a compact length are being hit hard by my locals. It can be hard to score a limit each time as the fish move about on the lake and where they were last week is not where they are this week. However once found my presentation, which has not changed, has been doing pretty well. I suspect that I might do almost as well as some of the best fishermen on the lake. The freezer is getting kind of full now. LOL. I have gifted and eaten and still there are fish in vacuum bags stacked inside. What a blessing. I have been very lucky and appreciative of the dominion He has gifted to me.




    So now I am revisiting hand ties once again after abandoning them over the Summer. This is the jig design and colors that are getting the attention of my fish lately.

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    These are very simple to make and I will be making some new ones that are even smaller. I plan to make 1/32nd oz heads, keeping the 1/0 hooks, and then making a slimmer tail. I’ll post later after I have had a chance to make them.

    I also wanted to revisit the Living Rubber legs and my version of the Tail Gunner.

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    As you can judge next to the penny, these are not large jigs. Bladed jigs have not been good in a few months now, but these are smaller and the colors are good. The fish might like bladed jigs as long as they are small.

    Here are some of the tube baits I thought unworthy. They are back in the mix as well. I plan to use 1/32oz heads with these so they will swim near the surface.

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    Anyways, I want to encourage others to at least try to make their own lures so that they can then change as the seasons change. Dial in the colors and profiles the fish will respond to. Diversify and adapt as the fish change their habits and preferences. Stay loose and be at least willing to swap out some things that have always worked for you, for new things that might work better. Fix what is not broken. Trial and error.

    Yesterday I caught my best fish on a bucktail that was swimming behind a 2 ounce sinker being dredged a foot away from the side of the boat and about two feet deep. I saw that the rod seemed normal but the line had moved away some, grabbed it and lifted him straight into the boat without engaging the reel. HAH……. who knew that the fish would like that. Go figure that one out. I first saw that over the Summer after landing a fish and pitching the jig over the side of the boat while putting him into the cooler. A fish nailed it and ever since I keep two rods right beside the boat.

    So there has been a lot of things to learn, and no doubt much more lies ahead for me. Six plastic lure boxes chocked full of jigs of all sizes, colors, profiles, adornments, and still I feel the need to create something new. My goal is to discover the perfect jig for my lakes, and am quickly learning that there never will be a perfect jig. The stupid fish are fickle. They require me to meet their demands if I am to trick them. I think I am the one that should be in charge, but just look at how easily they control me. LOL

    So the trolling sinkers are a big hit for me because they allow me to add rods to my spread without limiting my ability to turn the boat. They stay in close and avoid the far back lines easily during turns. I can circle back around fairly quickly and easily and do so every so often. I also like to alter course every so often as that seems to trigger bites. I have been holding a rod and jigging it as I go thinking that too might trigger bites, even though results are poor so far.

    Have any of you any words of wisdom regarding changes to your techniques and presentations that you make as the seasons change ? As we enter colder conditions, are there any generalities that might be helpful to me ?
    Thank you Crappie.com
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  2. #2
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    Nice report.
    I seem to hit a lull around 65 degree wt, on tons of fish but they really don’t want to bite.
    As it gets colder they won’t care what I drop.
    When the water gets ultra cold I’ll be catching them 40 foot or deeper. Then a blade really seems to help.


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  3. #3
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    They do change their minds with the seasons
    :I would like to thank the builders of docks for giving me a place to fish and lose tackle

  4. #4
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    So I made some 1/32 ounce FreeStyle heads using the EC 571 size 1/0 hook.


    Everything is nice and small. I can use my tube baits very easily as the heads slide right on in. The bucktails are small with the hook tip presenting tall and proud, and sport two different chenilles. These will be swimming behind me next trip out and we shall see if the fish respond to them. The tubes are cheap cheap cheap compared to other plastics and come in myriad colors. I already have accumulated a nice collection and they have been sitting around waiting for me to use them. Nimrod scores very well with his purple and chartreuse tube jigs, but he uses a different technique. Trolled they may not illicit a response.
    Thank you Crappie.com
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  5. #5
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    Those tubes lend themselves well to being injected with crappie nibbles. That is supposed to work very well
    :I would like to thank the builders of docks for giving me a place to fish and lose tackle
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  6. #6
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    Hat tip to Byrds’ thread title!
    Future moderator of the “Discuss Your Favorite Beatles’ Song With ‘Help’ In The Title” forum
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  7. #7
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    I tie jigs in all sizes from 1/4 to 1/80oz. They also have all size different hooks from size 12 to size one. In the winter they typically like tiny baits be it jigs or plastics. I will go as low as a 1/64 with a size 12 hook. I lose some fish due to the small hook and I have to use a net. These are necessary because sometimes they want touch a bait unless it is tiny. During the spring it is just the opposite. They will hit baits larger than most would use for crappie. I personally don't think color matters as much to crappie as they do to crappie fisherman. I think the profile and size of the bait is a bigger factor. For years I kept a journal on the fish I caught. What I found amazing is the crappie certainly follow seasonal patterns and water temperature is a huge factor. I also found that just when you think you have them figured out they will throw you a curve ball. They are a fun fish to pursue.
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  8. #8
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    Interesting read and follow-up comments.

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  9. #9
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    Good song choice, and bucktail is my favorite. By the time gets to those temps I am all in on walleye season up here. I have 200 jigs on the bench I poured yesterday ready for the fun part, paint and eyeballs. It will be slow as he did not want them till fishing time was on. Turn turn turn.
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  10. #10
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    You have come a long ways in a year
    :I would like to thank the builders of docks for giving me a place to fish and lose tackle
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