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Crappie Hunt 2014

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Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:39 pm

First topic message reminder :

There's been a lot of talk across multiple threads about getting together to hunt down slabs.  Figured it was about time we consolidated into one general chat thread instead of trying to plan across a couple different threads.

There isn't a perfect weekend for everybody so we'll throw up trip planning here as the weeks go by.  If you guys want to PM me your phone numbers it will help with day-of coordination so we can get everybody to to the boat ramp at the same time.

I'll be on the water this weekend Saturday afternoon and/or Sunday.  Need to break in the new rod.  Fish finder won't get here until next week so unless someone with electronics wants to take the lead I'll be hitting up the gamelands.  Small water, easy to find fish and figure them out without electronics.

Weekend of 1/12-1/13 I'll have a fish finder and I plan on using the crap out of it.  Thinking Lake Upchurch, get on some of the deep channel crappie that hemi has been scooping up.

Unless something changes I'll be out of town MLK weekend.

Post up your plans, reports, and tips here and we'll start 2014 right with tight lines and full stringers.
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  crappieassassin on Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:14 pm

Woooo them crappie aint gonna know what to do!  Can't wait guys!
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:26 pm

RAM mount showed up.  Install time.  Also a 12v deer feeder battery fits perfectly in a small night vision pelican case.  Just need to get the transducer mount fabricated.  Also finally got a measuring trough and fish grips.  Been putting those off forever.
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  07_hemi_thunderroad on Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:39 pm

It sure looks like we are going to have a nice turn out!
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  crappieassassin on Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:29 pm

Rain or shine right?
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:39 pm

Yup, digging out the Frogg Toggs tonight just in case.
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  07_hemi_thunderroad on Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:40 pm

crappieassassin wrote:Rain or shine right?

RIGHT!!!! I have my wading bibs and jacket ready for tomorrow!
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:01 pm

Checked Hope Mills weather.  At 0800 it's 60 degrees, 80% chance of light rain, 13 MPH winds, ramping up to thunderstorms and 20mph winds by noon.  Sunday should be post front sunny and clear.

Edit: 2200 fish finder is installed and running.  Truck is packed.  Transducer mount is a little flimsier than I would like but I have it rigged well enough for tomorrow I think.  Rest of the installation went fine.

Planning on meeting up with crappieassassin in the morning and launching with him.  Figure we'll be on the water no later than 830?  Hemi I'll PM you my number so we can link up with the Gus's crew at the lake.  If I'm remembering right we'll all be launching in the middle of the lake just on opposite banks.  I figure it shouldn't be to hard to find the only other kayaks drifting for crappie in a thunderstorm.
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  07_hemi_thunderroad on Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:32 am

Luni I pm you my #
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:29 am

I know it's short notice but I'm going to finish setting up my anchor trolley and drag anchor this morning and I'll be heading to the game lands this afternoon to dangle some small fish in front of some bigger fish.
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  07_hemi_thunderroad on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:54 pm

Good luck Luni!
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:27 pm

Since I'm gonna miss out this weekend I've decided to just leave the truck packed take the bike to work and if I have time to fish after work I'm goin.

Went to the big pond on the gamelands today and the first thing I noticed was how stained the water was.  Never seen it that bad.  The bucket of minnows is still kicking and I was drifting with the bait a foot or two off the bottom.  I was marking plenty of fish holding tight to structure but they would not take a wounded minnow drifting right past their heads.  Got the lowrance dialed in and tested out the drag anchor so it was still a productive day.  It was interesting seeing the bottom of a pond I've fished so many times before.  Fish were holding in 12+ FOW on bottom structure and I think might have been suspending around 6-7 FOW but that might have been noise.  Luckily I had 1 bass (wooo!) take a minnow and keep me from getting skunked.  It's nice being able to see that I'm on fish and they just aren't taking bait makes a slow day more bearable.



I didn't measure him but if we figure the coffee cup is about 12" and the lowrance is 5" than that's probably a 17-19" bass.  Yea, we'll go with that.
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  07_hemi_thunderroad on Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:45 pm

Congrats on the bass in your cuda!
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:25 pm

Well I got out of work a little earlier today and had time to work through a pretty solid pattern and try some stuff.  I really wanted to try the shallows and brush that gets the most sun and is on the downwind side of the pond.  First thing I noticed was the water was a lot clearer than it has been.  Still stained but a few feet of visibility.  Water temp at the launch was 51-52* up a couple degrees even from yesterday.  I tied on a chart crappie jig head, white and black tube, set a bobber 3ft over it and baited it with a minnow.  I checked the bottom as I paddled to the opposite shore and the same cover that was holding fish 2 days ago was bare today, felt pretty good about my plan.  Wind was whipping so I dropped the drag anchor and let my bobber blow into the shoreline and slowly retrieved it back.  I made it to the back corner of the pond before I got the first hit, bobber went under and took off and first fish was on.  Ended up being a pickerel.  I hate catching pickerel and came to the sudden realization that I would probably catch less of them if I didn't fish moving baits along weed lines, which is sort of my default approach to fishing.  I catch a lot of jacks.

After that I had those natural "urges" you know the ones that happen when you drink a cup of coffee before getting in the kayak and you just made it to the opposite side of the pond.  I paddled through the brush and beached myself, took care of business, and while I was getting situated again started hearing bass blowing up topwater in the shallow reeds behind me.  I ditched my previous plan and tied on a hair jig on a crappie spinner.  I was trying to find a frog to tie on but I didn't bring any, since it's January.  I look at the Lowrance and I was sitting in 2 feet of water with a temp of 57(!).  I tossed around the spinner and got a follow on every cast but only 1 bump.  Bass were schooling and feeding in the warm shallows.  That's when I had my second realization for the day, keep it simple stupid.  I tied on a bait hook 1 foot under a bobber, put a minnow on it, tossed it out and it was on.  Boated 3 bass in the next hour with a couple more misses.  They wanted live bait SLOOOOWWWWW.  A slow retrieve got their attention and the bait would get bumped a couple times before finally getting carried off but once the hook was set they were gone.  Fighting bass on ultralight in the shallows surrounded by snags and brush was a blast.  Put the last fish in the boat watching my bobber in the sunset reflection on the water, it was the only spot with enough light to see it.

Learned a huge lesson about water temp today.  I've been looking for deep water holding winter fish but really I just need to spend more time finding the warmest spot on the pond.

The first fish was caught at 1630.  Last fish was caught just after 1800.  Tried to get the fish finder in the background of the first bass.  Haven't seen active bass in months.  I'm still excited.

As far as figuring out the crappie on the main pond goes, no idea.  I was hoping to pull crappie using the same jig and cork technique that works on the small pond but I ended up with a jack.  And I'll never pass over hungry bass.  As the sun was going down there were topwater strikes all over the pond.  Probably crappie or bream.





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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  07_hemi_thunderroad on Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:33 pm

Luni, Congrats on the nice bass! and jacks are a great fight on the ultra light tackle! Thanks for the report and posting the pics! I am hoping to get a chance to fish the uplands really soon!
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:17 pm

I'm about to rename this thread since crappie are the only thing I'm not catching.

Said hell with it and got on the water after work today.  Really I just wanted to run the fish finder over one of my other ponds and see what the bottom really looks like.  It's a lot shallower than I anticipated.  It was also a lot colder.  I did a lap and it warmed up to 46* on the NW end where it was protected from the wind.  That was also the shallow end and aside from scaring one fish off a tree and some non-biting fish swimming around some stumps most of the lake looked not to fishy.  On the way back to the deeper dam end the fish finder decided it was a cold and battery went out.  I had a big bite panfish minnow tied on to a 1/64oz jig head and decided to try my luck jig and corking my way along the wind blown bank near the deep end.  Caught 2 pickerel on back to back casts into the same spot in the southern corner.  Saw some panfish popping on topwater but not biting.  Then the sun was down and I couldn't feel my toes and packed it in.  Might go back tomorrow afternoon and see if I can nail down the crappie.  Covering the deep end nice and slow with a jig head hanging and the drag chain out should find them.





2014 fish count is 4 bass, 4 jacks, 1 crappie  Laughing
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  07_hemi_thunderroad on Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:58 pm

Luni-

Were did you buy your fish ruler? and how many inches is it?
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:15 am

http://kayakfishinggear.com/hawgtrough.aspx

30".  After seeing them in pictures all over the place and not being able find them in stores anywhere a friend of mine in Jersey finally steered me in the right direction.  That's also where I got my fish grips.

Also that's the first time I slimed it.  I brought it with me just in case and that fish looked like it was worth measuring, especially on ultralight.
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Deepblu505 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:53 am

Nice size jacks , I really want to get on some of them that size with the fly rod. 
You may not be catching Crappie but you seem to be doing ok on general fishing . Laughing
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:54 am

One of the things I want to work on is really targeting species. I can catch fish its just not always what I'm looking for. That will come with getting on the water and patterning different fish in different conditions. Should be a good time.

Right now I'm.stuck with a 24 hour shift on Saturday which screws my.entire weekend but I'm trying to get out of it. Got a couple spots inmind between raeford and Aberdeen. Anyone interested?
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Deepblu505 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:05 pm

Luni wrote:Right now I'm.stuck with a 24 hour shift on Saturday which screws my.entire weekend but I'm trying to get out of it. Got a couple spots inmind between raeford and Aberdeen. Anyone interested?
I have to check with my boss but looks like my Saturday might be free . Will let you know.
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:24 pm

Looks like I'm not getting out of work on Saturday but forecast calls for decent temps but 20+mph winds.  Sunday looks colder but more manageable.  Not sure if I'm gonna feel like spending a day in the kayak after staying up all night but I'd be willing to give in to peer pressure.  If I'm working Saturday than I'm taking tomorrow off.  I'll either be fishing Mackall or trying out a backwoods pond in Raeford.
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  07_hemi_thunderroad on Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:25 pm

I wish I could fish this weekend but I have to build a new pump house for my neighbor this weekend. I am planning on fishing Feb 2nd. I was thinking about kicking off a day out on harris or Jordan for KayakWars! Let me know if anyone wants to join me! I am going to make a post this weekend about the event!
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:52 pm

You know I'm in.  Ordered up a couple livetarget craw lipless cranks and a bomber flat A in case the water temps get up.  Also the hitch extender should show up next week and that should let me fit another yak in my truck for carpooling since I think the rest of you guys have 14ft boats.

Gonna take advantage of the arctic cold front and add some PVC rod holders, measuring trough holder, and net holder to the crate.

Cabin fever is dangerous.  I've got lures tied off and baitcasters adjusted.  Reading every article I can find on fish habits in low water temps.  Finding new ponds.  Debating making a new battery box since the velcro on my current one froze and came off.

EDIT: Screw that the high isnt even breaking 30 today.  Time to get some stuff done around the house.  I'm eyeballing Sunday afternoon but I counted on the forecast and there's something like 13 hours of air temps above 35 between now and then so any of the shallow ponds I want to fish will probably have water temps around 40.  Really getting tired of this winter thing.
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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  Luni on Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:11 pm

No way I was missing out on 60 degree highs today.  Went to work with the kayak in the truck and the fishing gods smiled on me and I was out the door before lunch.  Friend of mine has a small pond in his backyard that's been closed off from public access since his subdivision was built and a little bird told me that back in the day it was known for giant crappie.  I got permission to fish it and finally got the time today.

It was about a 50m bushwack through vines and small trees and pricker bushes to barely slip the kayak into the water underneath an overhanging tree into a patch of ice that I had to break through before I got to open water.  It was a work out just getting to the water.  Once I got there it was a totally closed off beaver pond with only a couple old foot paths going to a short stretch of shoreline on the far side.  I was in a t-shirt with a light breeze and it just felt like a good day.  Water temp was around 45 and pond was between 3-6 ft deep stained/slightly muddy.

The next 4 hours could summed up by me doing a lap of the entire pond throwing a white/chart jig with crappie nibble and tossing a lipless crankbait a little bit and getting good use out of my stake out pole and being general stubborn and refusing to pay attention to what the fish wanted.

Finally at about 5 I decide to change colors and a put on a white/pink/black tube and toss it on a sunny grass line and immediately get nibbles.  After a couple casts into the grass and no takers I figure they're bluegill and I toss out a little deeper.  Bobber goes under and I hook into a solid fish.  I thought it was a bass.  I finally get it to the boat and it's a slab.  Gigantic crappie.  I grab the line and lift him out of the water to lip him and with a good head shake he's gone.  There's swearing.  I realized they're probably keying more on black/purple instead of white and go with a straight black/purple tube.  I continued to work over that area getting bites on every cast with a couple takers.  My next hook up came on a knotted up cast.  I cut the line at the knot and I figured I'd hand line it.  I got bit while working the line by hand and I played the fish most of the way back to the boat before he shook off.  Got a decent look and it was another good sized crappie.  Re-tied and put the first fish in the boat.  A skinny 10-11" crappie.  Fished until dark but didn't get anymore hook ups.  All the action came in that that 30-45 minute window when I finally started tossing the color the fish wanted instead of what I thought would work.

I'll be back out there Saturday probably clearing some brush first to make life a little easier.  I've got permission to bring a couple people out with me.

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Re: Crappie Hunt 2014

Post  07_hemi_thunderroad on Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:49 pm

Way to go Luni! I cant fish on Saturday but I will be fishing somewhere on Sunday! Congrats on the nice crappie! Starting this weekend is KAYAKWARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LETS GO TEAM FAAN!
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