2017-09-27 / Sports

Gabby’s fishing fever

Now is time for crappie of a lifetime
BY GREG ‘GABBY’ CAUDILL

The arrival of early fall means that crappie fishing is getting better by the week.

This was sure the case for a friend of mine, Ted Adams, who caught the crappie of a lifetime on Cherokee Lake in Tennessee last week. It measured more than 17 inches long and weighed around three pounds. He was going to keep it and mount it, but returned it to the water instead.

What Ted did might be good for future crappie anglers; as they say, big fish reproduce big fish. He said he caught it on a live minnow — just fishing like most anglers do.

During this time of year, crappie will move from deeper, cooler water to banks and shallower backwater areas. They will be more active in the slightly cooler water than they were in the hot summer water.

The water temperatures have dropped some, and even this few degree change will turn the crappie action up some and as later fall comes the action will get better and better on most lakes.

One good thing about crappie is that they are not affected as much by cooler weather and water like bluegills are. They will stay active during most all of the year even in the winter months. You just have to adapt to fishing the right depths and the right presentations and also the right colors of baits.

Crappie can be very color picky when it comes to baits like tube baits and curly tail grubs. Try to keep a good color selection of these baits. Sometimes crappie like a slow up-and-down pumping action in a bait and sometimes they want a natural swimming action and then at times hardly any movement at all.

During colder and hotter times of the year crappie will school in groups and follow baitfish schools around. If you run across this situation, watch your fish finder and try to target the depth of the school and try to fish your lures or live minnow just above them for best results. Crappie have their eyes more toward the top of their head and will look up to feed.

Try some of these tips to catch your crappie of a lifetime.

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