The crappie are starting to come in on the main lake. This makes things more
interesting for the lunch hour period. The water levels have been low in the
lakes and ponds in this area. The rain the past week has helped that to some
When I headed out to the lake there were several folks on the one jetty and no
one else at the far jetty. I went to the far jetty, so I did not have to
worry about casting around folks. I was just heading to the jetty from the
pick up when one of the old geezers showed up. He told me "To get down there
and he would be there in a minute with his bucket." I told him that if he
got bossy that he would not get any fish. Our normal type of greeting to
There were three boats out from the jetty fishing for crappie. All of them
were about 50 feet offshore, safe from my casts. They told me that the
fishing was slow. They could see fish on their graphs but they were just not
getting them to bite. In any case I still wanted to try and see what I could
I had three rods with me. They were rigged with a white boa yarn leech, a
Marabou Miss, and a streamer nymph. The last two are in Ricks Favorite
Crappie Flies in the panfish archives.
I started with the white boa yarn leech. I cast it out about 30 feet and let
it drop for a long time. I then very slowly moved it an inch or two and then
let it set again. The fly had moved a few feet when the first crappie
decided to take it out to the middle of the lake. I did not know the fish
was on until the rod tip was down, it was that fast. It was one of the 8
inch cookie cutter crappie that are in the lake. The old geezer was happy to
get it in his bucket.
I caught two more crappie on this fly by casting to the same area and doing
the same retrieve. I hooked another fish on the next cast but it felt
different. This fish had a lot more energy and wanted to stay deep. I
finally got it up and saw that I had a small walleye on it. The walleye did
a job on the fly and it was destroyed after the fight. The teeth of the
walleye were grinding on the thread wraps to tie the fly off and they were
gone. Here I have to admit something that I preach about all the time. This
was the only white boa yarn leech I had with me. I have a lot of them tied
up, but I had not stocked the boxes that I had with me. What stupidity.
I decided to try the streamer nymph next. It is my go to crappie fly.
This is the fly that I tie on when I want to make sure that the fish are not
biting. I cast this fly out and let it drop for a long time. It was
un-weighted and it takes a long time to drop very far, but it can suspend
wonderfully because of that. That means that the fly can stay in the same
place for a long time and let the fish come to it.
While letting the fly drop I happened to look down at the jetty as it went
into the water. About five feet out from where I could not see the rocks of
the jetty anymore I was seeing the flash of fish turning. Not a lot of them,
but enough to make it interesting. I wondered if it might be that the more
active fish were very close to the jetty and in the shallower water. The
boats were over 12 to 14 feet of water. Near the jetty where I was seeing
fish it is only about 6 to 7 feet deep.
I slowly moved the fly in toward the jetty to test this out. When the fly
was about 15 feet out from the jetty another crappie rolled on the fly and
was hooked. I thought I might be onto something. The next cast was about 20
feet out and I let the fly drop. The water was clear enough that I could see
it with my polarized lenses on. When the color disappeared, I set the hook
on another crappie. This was another contribution to the old geezer's
I started casting about 15 feet offshore and let the fly drop. On almost
every cast I had a fish hit the fly. I missed several of them, but I hooked
a lot of them also. In the lot I picked up some nice sized bluegills also.
Two of them were 10 inches long and they are still swimming in the lake,
much to the regret of a few folks. They told me that I was nuts to let them
go even after I explained why the biggest fish needed to stay in the lake.
That didn't work, so I went to the statement of last resort: "It is my fish
and I will do what I want with it."
I did get a good number of fish into the old geezer's bucket before I had to
leave. One lady in a boat told me that while I was there that 67 fish had
been caught near this jetty. She then told me that I had caught 52 of that
It was a fun lunch hour, and I look forward to several more over the next
month or so while the crappie are in. I did carry the bucket out for the old
geezer, after I told him that I did not want him to strain himself. He could
carry it because he is in very good shape for his age, but I was doing a
nice thing for him for a change. Besides that it bugged him a little.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~