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There’s Still Hope! Crappie Bite Is On

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Well I’ve managed to get out twice for crappie this year. In recent years it just seems like the crappie have gone bananas in our waters and after a fairly weak run at the bounty last year, I’ve hunkered down to fill the freezer better this year. My first outing three weeks ago was perfect. The temps had crept up into the low seventies and as soon as I saw that everyone else was consistently catching good fish I went after them. It was a solo Sunday evening trip and I had little trouble filling my limit, culling only four fish. I could tell that even though the bite was good and the fish were keepers, we were barely in range with water temps. I fished jigs until dark and switched to live bait when the sun went down.

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Of course the very next weekend I set out for a repeat performance, only this time I brought another angler to back me up. Temps dipped during the week and while I was a little worried about it, I had to go. We fished hard from 5pm until after 1am culling dozens of fish and keeping only nine. The water temps were just down too much and the bite was very lethargic. The good sign was that there were way more fish on the finder than the week before.
This last weekend temps dipped way down below average, so I left it to the pros. Fortunately the low temps were short lived and I’m seeing great posts of crappie catches this week, already. So hopefully we can make another good strong run or two before they start spooling down post-spawn.
My guide buddy Richard Simms has absolutely been hammering crappie for a few weeks now and serves as a pretty good indicator of bite activity this week. Granted he does it for a living and all-importantly gets out on weekdays, you can see in his and others successes that it’s another strong year for crappie in Tennnessee Valley.

Midday River Scouting for Ducks

While there’s hardly any ducks being killed around here, there’s not much else to do other than run the low rivers and see what’s out there. Saw some interesting things but mainly just cruising up and down the river.

2014 Season Opener Wood Duck Limit


With as many ducks in the area as ever to open the season, i knew where to go to at least stay busy with wood ducks. Going here pretty much guaranteed that only wood ducks would be shot, but it also guaranteed ducks. I passed up on several easy shots, so many in fact that I almost waited too long. I finally picked out a few and knocked two down and waited for an easy third duck to round out my limit.
A sever lack of water and rain is going to be an issue sooner than later but for now, the gadwall and woodies will have to do.

Weekend Crappie Combo Report Chickamauga Lake

After a decent Wednesday night outing, we gave it another go on Friday. Unfortunately a harsh weather change locked their jaws up tight. we caught two keepers in five hours of fishing that ended up at 41 degrees by about midnight.

14.5" KeeperAs temperatures returned to normal, Sunday afternoon was wide open for a double special fishing trip. For the first time, my custom aluminum boat hit the lake. Yeah, it only has a trolling motor for power, but it hit the water like a champ. The weather was good except for the winds picking up to about ten MPH later in the day. I only caught two fish, but they were good fish on light tackle. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It looks like crappie season is full underway starting any minute now.

Bass on a beetle spin. My specialty.

Crappie Scouting on Chickamauga Lake

Got the call mid-morning on Sunday that we were going on a Sunday afternoon crappie search. The weather had trended a little warmer since our mid-week run, but had again tanked for Sunday. The water temps had risen from 45 to 48 degrees, but the air temps were 43 and sinking. Continue reading »

Chickamauga Lake Crappie Fishing Report

We made our first crappie scouting trip last night after work. We usually make a run about this time each February. Having had so much flood rains and mild temperatures over the winter this year, we really didn’t know what to expect. The water levels appeared to be down around normal. The daytime temps had reached 60 degrees but this has come on the tail of a few colder days leaving the water temps around 46 degrees. The cooler water temps seemed to dramatically affect the activity of the fish. Continue reading »