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It’s warming up fast and the Crappie are biting

03/03/2016 lswaney

Up the rivers at West Point, Sinclair, Oconee, lots of lakes and reservoirs across the entire South, the time is right for you to get in gear and round up the tastiest little fish in Southern waters.  Well, maybe a Walleye is better, but not by much and anyway, there’s lots more crappie available than Walleye.  In Georgia the daily limit is 35, I believe, so that’s an indication that there are plenty to be had for all.

As an example to be applied to most of the Southern reservoirs, if you’ll just motor up any major river that feeds and lake, like the Oconee River above the I-20 Bridge and turn right into the main river and follow the mobs of boats, you’ll just naturally round up with a cooler full of scrappy Crappie.  Remember the waters are still cold so move slowly, give the critters lots of colors to choose from and before you know it, you’ll be an expert perch jerker.

Have you seen the really tricked out crappie rigs?  I have one friend in Alabama, well actually more than one but a few.  He is a perch jerker supreme and has a fully rigged Ranger all set for Crappie fishing.   It’s impossible to describe but I’ll betray a confidence here and tell you that he paid $78,000 for it.  OK, he was a friend and now you see why.  I don’t have to trailer my simple little rig to Alabama to fish for Springtime Crappie.  He has it all…multiple rod holders out front of the bow and behind the engine, long willow branch rods with soft ultra-lite tips fashioned with super light line and tiny little multi-colored Road Runners.  I have to tell you, it’s really impressive.  He says the key is to move ultra-slowly.  Early season Crappie are slow to bite but they will. To my surprise, he also says that once they spook a bit and stop biting, go elsewhere for a few minutes and return for another half dozen or more.   Keep a cooler with ice instead of just your live well.  They clean up better and taste better by doing that.

Never mind those high and mighty bass boys in their quick start boats that you’ll see flying up and down the lake.  They’re fast and famous, but take heart in the knowledge that during dinner soon, while you’re enjoying some sweet tasting fillets, that bass jumper’ll be washing that expensive personality extension.

–O’Neill

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