Whitesburg KY
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Mostly cloudy

Gabby’s fishing fever

The best time for crappie is now

There are many signs in nature fishermen may use to tell them that angling for a certain fish should be good.

Among the signs I have used for years are the blooming of the redbud and dogwood trees. That means it’s time for good crappie action in our area.

The blooming of the redbuds and dogwoods means the weather is now warm enough and the water levels high enough for crappie to be moving into the shallow water areas with good wood and rock cover.

Crappie can reach large sizes, and actually grow to long lengths in some lakes. In Kentucky and Barkley Lakes in the western part of the state, crappie in the threepound range with lengths of more than 20 inches are caught. Lakes in our area also produce good crappie fishing at times.

While fishing for crappie at Carr Creek Lake, I have had much better luck at night than day.

Crappie are more active when the lake has settled down and the boat traffic has slowed. Look for them in areas with large amounts of wood cover. I have found that the deeper water areas or spots that have deeper water close by the area you are fishing will prove to out-produce a shallow water spot at night. Once you have decided on a spot to fish, simply look at your fish finder to see at what depth the crappie are holding.

A crappie’s eyes are located on the top part of its head, enabling it to look up for food. Therefore, it helps to try to keep your bait about a foot above the depth where the crappie are holding.

You can’t go wrong starting with a minnow. Once you think the crappie are active you can switch to a small tube bait or a grub. Crappie are very color picky and can even change their color selection several times during a night. This is where you need a good selection of colors of baits. Some standard colors do seem to work good most of the time — tube baits or grubs with a black and chartreuse color or a white and black spotted (also called a salt and pepper pattern) are all good to start with.

I have been asked many times over the years if I think that staying as quiet as you can in a boat while crappie fishing will really help you catch more fish. My answer to that is yes. At night the crappie will school up on cover and will hold most of the night. But I can promise you that if someone is in your boat making a lot of noise your success will not be as good (and the person making the noise won’t be invited back).

Other area lakes including Buckhorn, Fishtrap, and Cave Run also offer quality crappie fishing.

Good luck and good fishing. Check out my fishing web site at www.myspace.com/ gabbysfishingfever or e-mail me at gabbysfishingfever@yahoo.com.

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