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Thread: Old School Stump Jumping Crappie Fishing by Brad Wiegmann

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 1996
    Central Florida
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    Default Old School Stump Jumping Crappie Fishing by Brad Wiegmann

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    If you ever wonder where the phrase stump jumping came from you can probably bet they were crappie fishing somewhere. There are so many popular crappie lakes and rivers that come to mind when you think of fishing stumps. Of course it seems like the more stumps there are the more crappie there are around the stumps.

    For many of you itís normal to crappie fish in stump fields, but on a recent trip to Santee Cooper lakes in South Carolina I got to experience firsthand stump jump fishing for crappie. We were on Lake Marion below the Interstate 95 bridge area. This area has limited clear cut lanes to travel from one side to the other, in addition to a marked river channel for safe travel, however, that doesnít mean there might not be a floating log or debris on the surface.

    Santee Cooper project took place from 1939 to 1942 by the Santee Cooper Power and Navigation Project that would provide hydroelectric power from both the Cooper and Santee rivers; in addition to improving navigation from the coastal area to the midlands. The project was also to help the economically depressed region and proved electricity to rural areas. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates and manages the lakes along with the project boundary including forestry management, natural areas, project operations, proposed future residential, public general recreation, public vacation recreation, residential, residential marginal, S. C. Wildlife Game Management Areas, USFWS leased and USFWS owned.

    When I said experience firsthand stump jump fishing I should reintegrate old school stump jump crappie fishing. The boat didnít have a trolling motor just a small outboard engine to control and motor the john boat from the boat ramp to every stump we went to and fished. The camouflage aluminum boat seemed right at home bouncing from one stump to the other as we fished.

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    Now Whitey Outlaw said Tim Johnson was a heck of a crappie fisherman. So getting praised as that good a crappie fisherman from Whitey I knew he was good. My expectations were set high and Tim surpassed it with his knowledge and skills of crappie fishing.

    After launching the 18 foot aluminum boat we set course out to fish several river channel markers. I know what you are thinking. He was going to tie up to the channel marker and fish. Nope, instead Tim positioned his upwind of the channel marker and put the engine in neutral allowing the boat to drift towards it allowing him to makes several cast before repositioning.

    His boat positioning reminded me of someone patting their heads while rubbing their belly. Tim was a master at boat positioning and did it over and over all day long like it was normal to be that skillful. Of course at time the boat would drift over a stump just under the surface of the water and get hung up or bounce over top of it. Letís just say a nice, new fiberglass boat would have battle scars after being out where we were fishing.

    No Livescope! If you put a trolling motor it would probably end up ripped off along with the transducer. Nevertheless, Tim did have a small, older model sonar unit that he occasionally looked at, but I sure he had memorized every stump and brush pile where we went. There were also wire markers on trees that he knew was a clear to get the boat on plane, however, we did run up on some stumps during the day moving around on plane that were just subsurface that high-sided the boat.

    As for fishing gear Tim kept it simple. He brought 6 rods, but only used one Catch the Fever 12 spinning rod with a spinning rod rigged up with 6 pound test line and one small tackle box with an assortment of jigheads, soft plastic lures and hair jigs.

    Boat positioning was by far the hardest thing to fishing this way as the boat approached the stump Tim would slow down and put the engine in neutral than cast to where he knew the brush pile would be tied to the stump. As the lure pendulum down a crappie would strike it, however, every once and a while a crappie would bite it stilling still. The key depth was 18-feet deep for the stumps to be in and he would just how deep by past experience where to start targeting than change to either shallower or deeper if the crappie stopped biting.

    Tim didnít stand up to fish. He sat down, ran the outboard and always casted off the port side of the boat. He also made what I would say is a roll cast with a spinning rod. Every cast almost perfect to where he wanted it.

    We did take a break from fishing to drive over towards the management areas so I could get some photos. As Tim was pointing out areas he kept referring to something called a digger. Iím thinking that is a topic for another article.

    Our fishing trip was limited to one area, but Lake Marion is a vast reservoir with over 110,000 acres, however, Tim talked about the swamp and fishing there. In fact, Whitey has even invited me to go fishing up in the swamp. One day I will and write about it.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Rutland, OH
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    Awesome read! Thanks for sharing this with us
    ďIf your too busy to fish, youíre too busy!Ē Buddy Ebsen
    (Billbob and ďGĒ approved!)
    Proud member of Tekeumís Jigs Pro

  3. #3
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    Jul 2018
    North Carolina
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    Awesome article! Good read, thanks for sharing.

  4. #4
    Brimfisher's Avatar
    Brimfisher is offline 1K Star General * Supporter
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    Apr 2005
    Hahira, Georgia
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    That was cool.

    Sent from my SM-A125U using Fishing mobile app
    Create Memories Worth Repeating, Go Fishing With Your Dad.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2013
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    nice read
    sum kawl me tha outlaw ketchn whales

  6. #6
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    Sep 2012
    Dayton Tennessee
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    Good info
    The love for fishing is one of the best gifts you can pass along

  7. #7
    Billbob's Avatar
    Billbob is offline Legend - 2013 Guber Of The Year * Supporter
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    Apr 2004
    md. st. in.
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    Great trip

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