Whitesburg KY
Mostly clear
Mostly clear

Gabby’s fishing fever

Crappie fishing in heat of summer

Crappie were being caught in bunches when they were shallow and holding on shallow wood and rock cover, but now the water temperatures in the shallows have reached into the low 80-degree range. This has caused crappie to move to deeper, cooler water.

Fish like crappie, smallmouth bass and trout prefer the cooler water. Also, most of the minnows and bait fish have moved deeper and crappie will follow. Fisherman who still fish for crappie in the shallows will have limited success, but the angler that understands the seasonal movement of crappie to deeper water in the summer and fishes for them there will do better.

Look for deeper cover like bush piles and stump rows and standing timber; you can find these types of cover in most lakes. Anywhere you can find wood cover in or close to deeper water, this is a good place to start your fishing. Also, on deeper banks look for laydown trees and wood washed up into coves and pockets and — my favorite — green, overhanging willow tree limbs in the water.

When you find any of these areas start with a live minnow or a small crappie jig, tube bait or curly tail grub. Colors like white, chartreuse or blue and black work most of the time. Crappie can be very color picky at times and you may have to switch colors during the trip. If you are using a minnow, try to keep a lively, fresh one on your hook.

A good crappie rod is around six feet long with a good backbone and a limber tip. Use line in the four- to eight-pound range. Clear line helps to not spook the fish. Make your cast close to the cover and work it slowly up and down. Watch your line for any movement and, if you use a floater, look for any movement and wait for the line or floater to take off and set the hook.

Night fishing can produce better catches at this time of year. Just find your spot and put out a light and soon the minnows will start swimming around. Drop your minnow or jig below the school and wait for the action.

As many of you know, crappie are among the best tasting fish there are. So on your next crappie fishing trip, try it at night and look for deeper wood cover. Most lakes have manmade fish attractors; these are also good to fish.

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