Hi folks! Bill Latham here, your host for Fishin Fever. When it comes to late spring, early summer fishing, you’re in prime time for crappie and large mouth. The fish go through three stages of the spawn. Depending on what part of the country you are fishing in determines which pattern you would use. Understanding which stage of the spawn they are in will depend again on where you are fishing.
In first stage, males move to shallows to prepare beds. During this stage they are very protective of their territory and will strike just about anything, for me it’s jigs.
Second stage, the female moves on the bed to disperse eggs. This is the best of the best because the female bass and crappie are the larger of the two most wanted fresh water fish in the world today. However, they can be a little finicky at this stage. And then BINGO, once they have dispersed the eggs they become much more protective of the bed than the male ever was, and they will strike at just about anything.
Third stage, post spawn, out to the deeper water we go for a test of our patience and knowledge. Now we find out just how versatile we have to become in our fishing experiences. In other words don’t be afraid to experiment with different lures and presentations.
Just a quick rundown of ways to catch these critters…
For crappie pre-spawn, jig color depends on water temperature, water clarity, and barometric pressure, but always be loaded with ole faithful, live bait (minnows)! For large mouth bass, use a variety of plastics, pig & jig combo, top water, such as buzz baits, pop r’s, frogs and spinner baits.
For spawning crappie, it is just like the first stage, with the exception of presentation. Stay away from the bed and present your lure or live bait with a four or five foot ultra light with four to six pound test line slip cork rig. Cast the bait past the bed and slowly swim the bait over the bed. For large mouth, the #1 lure of all time beyond a shadow of a doubt, the trusty ole lizard and then the craw worm. Both of these baits represent their most dreaded predator to the bedding area. This presentation is simply flipping with a seven or seven and a half foot flipping stick.
For post spawn crappie get out into the deeper structures, trolling live bait, and trolling three hundred series Bandit crank baits. Remember, color always depends on conditions. For large mouth, deep running crank baits, carolina rig, texas rig and pig & jig.
Hope these tips help you catch some bass and crappie this season. What other techniques are you guys using to lure in large mouth or crappie during spawning?