Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Crappie Harvest 10/25-10/26

Last Friday after work, October 25th, I met up with Sean at Rocky Fork Lake to do some more crappie fishing. I knew I wanted to try deeper water based on the experience two weeks ago. We both agreed on a deeper cove. I got on the water at 4pm, the water temperature was 58 degrees. I found that the cove was loaded with baby shad. At one point it looked like rain they were hitting the surface so much. Sean had arrived before me and had already caught a few different fish casting a Smack Tackle Flitterbait. I went straight to a big submerged tree that we have known to hold crappie. Sean soon settled in on a tree a little ways up the bank to focus on the crappie as well. The tree I was fishing was sitting in 12-13ft water. I set a minnow float out at 7ft deep and began jigging a chartreuse crappie tube. It didn't take long to find my first crappie.
This crappie was near bottom so that gave me an idea of where to set my float. I adjusted my slip float to about 9ft deep and continued jigging the tube. I got lots of nibbles on the tube near bottom but failed to hook these fish. Every 10-15 minutes I would get a bite on the float. About one out of every three bites I would get a crappie. The other two out of three bites I would either miss or I would hook the fish and get snagged reeling it up through the tree. I attribute the misses to bluegill and the nibbles on bottom to bluegill. I eventually caught one of the said bluegill on my minnow float.

Later in the evening I snagged my crappie tube really good. My crappie jigging reel is spooled with 15lb braid so typically I pull my baits out of just about anything often times bending the hooks. Well this snag was relentless. Finally I was able to pop the hook free or so I thought. This is what happens when you put 15lb braid up against a 1/32oz jig.

The sun soon set and we called it quits. I had got 8 crappie and 1 bluegill on the evening with 5 keeper crappie. Sean had done considerably better catching approximately 20 crappie with 8 keepers. Sean wasn't planning on keeping fish so I had previously told him I would keep anything he caught. I headed home and cleaned fish. Here's the fish we harvested.

Saturday, October 26th, I had originally intended on going to the OH River for some Hybrid Striped Bass. The 20mph wind however turned me against this idea. I hardly wanted my first trip to the OH River in my NuCanoe which involved crossing the river to be in 20mph wind. There wasn't many options I would consider doing in 20mph wind. Ultimately I decided to head back to Rocky Fork Lake for more crappie. The tree I had fished the previous day was perfect for tying off to which is the best way to anchor when it is possible. I arrived at 1pm to very choppy water as expected.

I made my way to the planned tree, which was against the wind, and quickly tied off.

The bite was similar to the previous day. Floats in the 8-10ft range was the best bite I could find. The water temperature had dropped to 56 degrees. I caught some surprisingly small bluegill on my minnow float this day, here was the smallest, almost small enough to use for crappie bait itself.

At one point I hooked something that felt decent but of course after a few seconds it was wrapped up in the tree and broke free. By the end of the day I had got 9 crappie and 6 bluegill with 6 keeper crappie. Here's the fish I harvested.

So I ended up with a decent mess of fish and can't wait to have a fish fry. I did end up making it to the OH River the next day but I have decided to save that for another post later this week.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Neil, the big black crappie in the last picture was nearly 12", was the biggest fish.

  2. Stumbled on this site and have enjoyed reading about all your adventures and I am learning about how to fish better. Wondering if you could do a feature on how you clean and cook all those fish for your fish fry. much appreciated from Maryland!

    1. Sure can, will have to wait untill I catch some more crappie to cook though. Here's the short version. Dip the fish into a milk egg mixture, then coat in the batter your of choice. Fill a large skillet 1" deep with vegi oil. Cook fish for 4-6 minutes depending on size and temperature of the grease. Thanks for reading!