Trolling for Crappie is a Struggle Right Now
Written by Doug Wynn - Published on October 23, 2019
Hey Y'all from the Excel Bay Pro 230, "Fishful Thinking".
We are sitting in the new Excel Boat factory location in Union City, Tenn. Vicki and I had the extreme pleasure of attending the groundbreaking ceremony at the former VF Factory Outlet Mall building. We got to meet and talk to Glenn Foreman and his lovely wife Connie, owners of Mud Buddy Motors, the parent company of Excel Boats.
Many employees of Excel were there from the headquarters in West Jordan, Utah as well as the plant at Mountain View, Arkansas. It is always great to put faces with voices one has dealt with over the phone.
As the attendees began coming in for the ground-breaking, I had noticed a short man in a plaid shirt and windbreaker jacket with a ball cap with a logo I didn't recognize. He was talking with those of us around him. Suddenly Vicki poked me in the ribs and said, "That's Glenn Foreman you were talking to!"
I was looking for a gentleman in a three-piece suit to be the owner of such a large corporation since I had not met Glenn. Here was a guy who could be part of our coffee crowd at JoJo's Café or somebody I might meet on the dock at Sportsman's Marina with a tackle box in his hand, a normal guy!
He told me he really liked my boat. I told him that it was HIS boat. He laughed and agreed since I'm an Excel Boats Pro-Staff member, he furnishes me with my boat.
Later we had a chance to talk about my boat and he was very complimentary of the way I have it rigged. Since Glenn does most of his fishing in areas that are different than ours such as coastal and salt-water, he wanted to know about how I utilized some gear he was familiar with, like the Millennium R-400 Rod Tree. As Vicki talked to Mrs. Foreman, I talked to just a normal guy who happens to have done very well for himself and his employees.
I have prided myself for having caught keeper crappie on all my trips up until recently. My last two trips have come after we finally saw some seasonal temperatures and a lake cool-down, as much as 18 degree drop. I have found that as hard as I try, there are times that my beloved trolling tactics need to be put away in favor of a much slower presentation.
Having two trips without a keeper crappie have burned me to the core. Granted, we caught other species, but our target species has alluded me. I see some new tactics and equipment in my near future, starting with a Garmin Livescope. If you aren't familiar with the Livescope, do a Google search.
I'm seeing good fish at the cleaning station and pictures my friends have sent me. All these fish have been taken in medium to deep areas in cover. I'm not talking NEAR cover, they are in it. Some are being taken with minnows dropped on top of the crappie's head and others with plastics with the same presentation. Look for cover from 15-25 feet deep. A slow presentation is needed since the crappie don't seem to be wanting to chase a bait or lure very far from the protection of their brush or stake beds.
I don't have reports from other species.
The lakes are at a dangerous level, below 355'. It is imperative you use extreme caution when running in areas of shallow water. A friend of mine lost a lower unit last week to an underwater gremlin. If you aren't familiar with the lakes, please take it slow. A GPS Chartplotter with good lake map like the Lakemaster will always be on my boat and in front of me.
Falling lake temperatures increase the chance of bad things happening if one takes a dunking. Please be careful, wear your PFD and take a partner with you. Many folks think they are in good shape and will have no problem pulling themselves back up into their boat after a falling in scenario.
Most folks would be wrong, especially when one's boat may be moving slowly if that tumble came while the trolling motor is on slow speed. Consider buying and installing a folding boarding ladder or transom step. It, along with your PFD, could save your life.
Asain Carp Aid Meeting
There is a public meeting at 6:30 Tuesday October 29th at the Kentucky Dam Convention Center. Matt Quinn of HITEC Outdoors has a vision for a festival to raise awareness and funds to combat the negative effects and publicity of the Asian Carp. Matt will be explaining his vision and plans for this festival to be held in late spring.
This is a very important meeting for those of us who are feeling the financial pinch of negative publicity from the carp. We are seeing very positive results from the hard work being done by the commercial netters and I, along with many others, will continue to support their back-breaking efforts. Please consider attending.
Welcome to our slice of Heaven.