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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fall crappie fishing picks up

Saturday, October 26, 2013

(Photo)
Kevin White poses with the crappie he caught on Stockton Lake in the fall. More anglers are finding that fishing for fall crappie can be rewarding.
Last fall, Kevin White caught 15 crappie while fishing at Stockton Lake, in a short time. Most of the fish were more than the minimum 10 inches long.

They were caught on small jigs, in water that ranged from 8 to 15 feet deep. His success was no fluke.

Of course, April is the traditional best month to be hot fishing for crappie, but many anglers are finding out that winter fishing for slab crappie is also good. There is not nearly as much competition in November as there is in April.

Kevin uses light spinning rods and 4-pound test line. He fishes brush, especially cedar trees that extend up out of the lake.

These are favorite spots for crappie to hang out. When the water temperature reaches 50 degrees on Stockton is when the fishing is at its best in the fall.

While fishing for crappie in the winter months, 80 percent of the fish caught are 10 inches or larger.

Crappies offer a tremendous amount of enjoyment to Missouri anglers. Action can be feverishly fast and when caught on lightweight equipment, crappie provide a scrappy fight. It's little wonder they are so popular with fishermen.

As Kevin said, "The most productive and universal lure for crappie is the lead-head jig, which imitates a small minnow, when fished properly. Jigs are constructed from a variety of material, and come in a nearly-unending assortment of colors.

"I use a 1/16 yellow, white or chartreuse-color jig for the best results."

Crappie fishing has become a year-around activity for area anglers. More and more fishermen are finding that fishing for crappie in late fall can be very productive. Bob Greer, Springfield, found crappie fishing to be very good last November, when he was fishing Stockton and caught a 2-pound crappie to go along with 14 others larger than 10 inches.

"It was the best fishing I had all year," he said. "I wasn't having much luck until I started moving around and finally found fish, then the action was fast.

"Movement often attracts fish into your vicinity and usually provokes strikes. I caught a limit of crappie by using a small Kastmaster spoon and by moving my wrist upward with a sweeping motion of my arm, I had a strike on nearly every cast. In open water, crappie are often suspended and it may be necessary to experiment at several depths until the crappie are found."

No matter when or where you fish for crappie, they are one of the most fun and best tasting fish to catch.



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Ken White
Outdoor Living