Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12/17 Crappie Trip

With Winter at our door step, lately we've been doing quite a bit of crappie fishing, something we've not done often in years past. We fished Rocky Fork Lake Saturday from 11:00am until sunset. Sean caught 11 crappie, 4 bluegill, and 1 yellow perch with the two biggest crappie around 11 inches. I caught 10 crappie myself, none over 10 inches. With the water temperature dipping below 40 degrees we expected to find the fish fairly deep but that wasn't entirely true. One crappie came from less than 5ft of water while the majority came in the 6-18ft range in water depths of 12-22ft. All fish came off of submerged structure on crappie and bass minnows.

We utilized two different technique's of fishing the minnows. Sean's setup was a minnow hooked with a jig hook (1/32 for crappie minnows and 1/16 for bass minnows) and either set tight lined inches off bottom or jigged slowly at different depths. He also worked an ice fishing jig (1/32 moon jig) tipped with a wax worm slowly on the bottom, this method produced the bluegill, perch, and a few of the crappie. On the other hand, I used slip floats with a minnow hooked below the dorsal fin. Both methods produced fish but at this point it's debatable which technique is preferred, they both have pros and cons which I hope to discuss in the future. Didn't take any pictures, hope to get some next trip.

Towards the end of the trip an unlikely visitor approached our minnow bucket looking for a free meal.
 
Unfortunately this Great Blue Heron had an injured foot but we didn't mind letting him have a minnow. We also caught him a bluegill to eat.


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