Post-Spawn Crappie in Mid-Range Depths
Written by Doug Wynn - Published on May 24, 2022
Hey Folks from the Excel Storm Cat 230. Last week and the beginning of this week are being brought to you by your local weather person. Sunshine, then rain, then wind, then more wind, then more rain... You get the picture.
No wonder the lakes look deserted on many weekdays. With the conditions changing every day, it had to finally catch up with the fishing.
We had three amazing days last week followed by a wind-blown cancellation then a very windy Saturday that we struggled thru, until the building thunderstorms on radar caused me to call it a day.
Big numbers and big fish were the ticket mid-week. One day was spent on Barkley, followed by two great days on KY Lake. My senior citizen clients got a taste of both lakes and good fishing on both.
Even though they were new to pulling cranks, they were fast studies and did very well. They were rewarded with almost a gallon bag of fillets each of the three days.
Saturday was hit or miss if the winds would even allow us to fish after a high-wind cancellation Friday. Two of the three passengers had fished with me before with the lone newbie being the father and grandfather of the other two.
He was very inexperienced at fishing, so he was a fast study with no reason to do anything except what I asked him to do. He was also one of the most excitable clients in a long time and thoroughly enjoyed the trip as did his son and grandson. He also took big fish honors for both crappie and catfish. We were even lucky enough to boat a couple of nice white catfish.
It is always unnerving when a group says, “we’re having a big fish fry of what we catch tonight and X number are invited.” That always puts a huge monkey on my back but most times I’m able to help them out. Saturday was no different.
We are now seeing the remainder of the late spawning crappie head back out from spawning areas to mid depth structure or depth changes.
Lots of offshore cover in 12-20 feet of water is stacked full of small crappie with many of the big crappie roaming in search of shad to stock back up after the rigors of the spawn. They should find plenty of shad and other minnows as it looks like we may have had a very good spawn.
Shad pattern cranks as well as some very much off the wall patterns like Purple/Pink and Black/Chartreuse are doing very well. Pico INT and Bomber 6A are both catching the bulk of the fish. We are also picking up sauger, many catfish, white and yellow bass, as well as lots of small largemouth bass.
We have the first big boating weekend of the year this weekend as Memorial Day is upon us. Vicki and I are sneaking off to fish Green River Lake for a couple of days, but the weekend will be left for the recreational traffic. I no longer do Memorial Sunday. Don’t ask why.
With this being the first week of summer vacation for many students and the first time many pleasure boats will be out of storage, please be considerate both on the ramp and on the water. We have more than enough acres of water for everybody to spread out and not crowd one another.
I know I’m talking down a well there. Go to any of several bays on the LBL side of Kentucky Lake and most any bay close to the Cumberland River channel on Barkley and it will be standing-room only. Crowds will be the name of the game. Not me!
Be extra careful out there. We lost a fisherman this past weekend in the Tennessee section of Kentucky Lake. Wear your PFDs when the big motor is above idle speed. Watch out for each other as well as kids being pulled on tubes, jet skis, and those who choose to not be on their boat without alcohol. Put all those factors together and tragedies can occur.
Welcome to our slice of Heaven!