From the deck of the Kick’n Bass pontoon
|Fishing has been tough this April but perseverance has proven to be the best way to put crappies in the boat. Seems every few days a new cold front moves in and slaps them in the head. Then fluctuating water levels add another problem—a couple days of adjustment for the fish to acclimate to the changing pressure. And then another cold front moves in. To combat these obstacles we have been using several different techniques: from spider rigging to pulling jigs to pulling crankbaits. Crappies are spread out, and most days, have not been concentrated in any one location. We have held our own in catching numbers, and the quality of the crappies is tremendous. The KnB pontoon keeps moving at varying speeds and techniques to do the best we can with the crazy weather!|
The water level is on the way up. We are at 358.5 and rising some more but not much. Water temp was 63.4 on Easter Sunday. You can check the link below for more info. TVA has a phone app also.
Crappies have been scattered lately to say the least. We are picking up some beautiful crappies, both black and white, and they are chubby from feeding on shad all winter. Depending where you are, south or north, the spawn is either on or getting close. My best guess for the fish we have caught is the spawn is still a week away. We have been alternating between pulling jigs at 1.0 mph and pulling crankbaits at 1.6 to 1.8 mph.
After the cold fronts we slow down and then adjust speed as the weather stabilizes. While pulling jigs we have caught most on the Crappie Hut jigs colors (www.crappiehutjigs.com). Their Kiptail jigs in 1/16 ounce with a split shot just up the line have been super. Best colors have been their Patriot and the red headed Kiptail with black and yellow bodies. While pulling cranks, we have had good success on Jenko Chartreuse Tiger and Orange Tiger (www.jenkofishing.com). 80 to 100 feet back have been our best as most fish have been caught in 12 to 16 feet of water.
Whitebass and Yellowbass
Have only caught a few yellows with not much size but they do frequent the same areas as crappies.
We have been catching some very nice blues and channels in the eater-type sizes. Nothing better than a 5-pound blue cat fillet!! And the fight on a 14-foot Jenko slab city trolling rod is a blast.
Only a couple small bass so far up to 14 inches on cranks.
Bluegills and Redears
Have had some nice bluegills and a redear on cranks. They are up next on the KnB agenda and using an ESB Bobber is the best way to catch these fish. More on redear/bluegills in my next report but order your ESB bobbers soon to be ready (www.hloutdoors.com).