Tuesday, December 3, 2013

11/29/13 Rocky Fork Lake Crappie

Friday after thanksgiving I decided to give the Ohio River a break and target crappie. I was ready for another good fish fry and Rocky Fork Lake is my favorite lake for keeper size crappie. The weather was favorable, a little cold but sunny and minimal wind. I got on the water around 11am and headed to a good piece of structure and anchored up. The water temperature was 44 degrees. I started by tossing out a slip float with a minnow set at about 7ft. Minnows on slip floats set at 7-8ft has always been a good starting point at Rocky Fork Lake. The snag I was fishing was about 8ft deep in 12-14ft of water. Before I could even get a second rod in the water I had a bite. It was a nice fat black crappie at 12.25" and 14oz.
12.25" 14oz Black Crappie
12.25" 14oz Black Crappie
This was a great start to what turned out to be a great day and made me completely forget about the cold temperatures. I reloaded my float with a minnow and cast back to the same spot. Again I had a bite before I even had a chance to pick up a second rod. It was another keeper size crappie. The bite continued to be hot for a few more crappie before dieing down. I ended up catching 6 or 7 crappie with 4 keepers off of this snag before I decided to move as it appeared I had caught most of the active fish. I continued on to another good snag.

Much like the first snag I got a bite almost immediately after casting my float and this snag ended up yielding a lot more crappie. For the first hour I didn't even bother using two rods as I was getting so many bites on just the one float. On top of that almost every other fish was keeper size. Eventually the bite slowed enough that I started using two floats. The 6-9ft range was the ticket. The bite remained decent until I could barely see my floats in the dark. At about 5:30pm I called it a day and headed in. As I was pulling anchor I snapped a picture of my fish basket to demonstrate how I keep my catch.

On the day I caught 41 crappie with 19 keepers, more than enough for a good fish fry and sharing with friends and family. Most of these crappie were very fat in preparation for the winter.

Before cleaning the fish I decided to challenge myself to get the most possible meat from these fish. I weighed the fish before cleaning at 8lbs 10oz. The final meat weight... 2lbs 4oz, not bad at all. That comes out to 26% meat vs total weight. Now all I got to do is fry them up and enjoy!


  1. Can't help but pop back to your website once in a while and see what's new and I am happy I did. Enjoyed reading your descriptive and informative blog for this day. I have never tried a slip float but with the size and quantity of Crappie I can't wait to give it a try. I am curious as to where to get minnows for fishing? Also is there any way to get a close up picture of the slip float and jig or hook and minnow? or maybe a blog post dedicated to live and jig setups for different types of fishing. Thanks PS: I did like your last paragraph about your challenge, that's a great philosophy to stand by

    1. Glad you enjoyed reading! I'll see what I can do about getting a slip float basics post together in the near future. As far as getting minnows, I'd check bait stores around bigger lakes. Minnows come in two sizes around here, bass and crappie size, either will work but I do prefer the crappie size.

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