Mild December weather has been keeping crappie in more shallow water and more active than normal, which is great for fall fisherman.
I myself love to fish for crappie year round. This is one of the few fish you can actually try to catch 12 months a year, and in the cooler water they are active most of the time. If you are looking for a lake to do some late fall crappie fishing, we have several lakes with in a three-hour drive.
In Kentucky we have Cave Run Lake in Morehead. This is a good crappie lake all year long, with several “tagged” crappie tournaments held on it every year. Lake Cumberland is a good fall crappie lake also. Right in our own back yard is Carr Creek Lake and Buckhorn Lake, both of which are decent crappie lakes.
In Tennessee, there are several good crappie lakes including Cherokee Lake, Norris Lake, Douglas Lake and Dale Hollow Lake.
On most of the lakes I have mentioned, look for some type of visible cover — made fish attractors, standing timber, stumps, fencerows, fallen trees and brush. Any type of wood with some water on it can hold crappie most of the year.
On lakes with very little wood cover, crappie will relate to other forms of cover like weeds or rocks. As far as bait for fall crappie, it is hard to beat a lively minnow. You can also use a small tube bait or curly tail jig rigged on a small weedless jig head. Work these baits close to and around the cover. This is the best way to look for late fall crappie.
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