Saturday, September 4, 2010

Crappie Thunder Jig Review

I've been interested in trying the Blakemore Crappie Thunder Jig ever since I laid eyes on it in a catalog. Basically what we have here is a Blakemore Roadrunner jig with a soft plastic tube jig skirt attached. It's such a simple concept, I don't know why it wasn't thought of sooner! Sometimes Crappie fishing is that way, you don't notice the obvious!

But the proof is in the puddin' as they say. I bought several packages of these jigs from Bass Pro to give them a try and see if they would haul in the slab Crappie. So I headed out to Lake Fort Gibson to give them a try on the Crappie there. To get the best performance from these jigs, remember to use the proper fishing reels or your success rate could suffer.

The morning started off nice and warm as it generally does this time of year. The main reason I bought these jigs was to review them to see how they would perform with a new technique I'd been wanting to try. Well, let me clarify. The technique isn't new, it's long lining for Crappie, but it's new to me.

Now just about any Crappie Jig will work for Crappie. Heck, some people make Crappie jigs by tying on pieces of brightly colored yarn to bare hooks and do well that way. However, as most of us know, some jigs catch more Crappie than others. This is why I was anxious to try the Crappie Thunder Jigs.

I set out 4 lines behind the boat. Each line was put out about 40 feet, with two 1/16th oz Crappie Thunder Jigs tied on, about a foot to 18" apart. The more line you let you, the deeper your jigs will go. Also, the heavier your weight, the deeper your jigs will go. I wanted to fish the water column between 8 and 15 feet.

I was fishing near some creek channel drops in about 20 to 30 feet of water. Crappie will suspend in these areas when it get's warm and since they're generally scattered, they can be hard to pinpoint.

I had only went a short ways when one rod started bending. I set the hook (actually, when longlining for Crappie, the fish set the hook) and brought in a nice 11 inch Crappie. Just barely legal in this lake, so that makes him (or was it a her?) a keeper.

The day progressed much like this. I had a few throw backs and a few keepers. The fish were scattered just like I thought. I also caught quite a few White Bass and two Channel cats. I ended the day around noon with 9 keeper Crappie. The biggest was 14 inches.

The last hour of trolling, I tied half of the lines with normal 1/16th oz tube jigs and some standard marabou crappie jigs to see if the fish preferred one over another. They did, they much preferred the Crappie Thunder jigs over the other two types by about 2 to 1. Now I know that's not a scientific test, but it's good enough for me to order more for my tackle box the next time I go longlining for Crappie!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pre-Spawn Crappie Fishing On Lake Eufaula

It's said that anyone can catch Crappie on Lake Eufaula in the Spring. And this may be true because the Crappie can be found in less than 1 foot of water during the Spring all around Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma. This gives everyone an equal chance to take home some slabs. It doesn't matter if you have a boat or not, you can catch just as many Crappie from the bank as a boat during the spring Crappie spawn.

However, if you've never been to this lake, then you should consider hiring a Lake Eufaula Crappie Fishing Guide before going. It's a huge lake, something like the 13th largest lake in the U.S. and it has over 600 miles of shoreline. A newbie could get him or herself lost easily if you don't know where you're going. Hiring a guide will get you into the fish in no time plus all the hard work will be done for baiting the rods, cleaning the boat, cleaning the fish and sacking them...etc.

Lake Eufaula is a favorite of many Crappie anglers because of the huge number of fish in the lake. Not only that, but you'll have a good chance at landing those coveted 2 lb. plus Crappie. Each year there are many caught that go over 3 pounds! No matter if you're after a freezer full of fillets or a trophy Crappie, Lake Eufaula is your best bet!

Fish at Lake Eufaula spawn in waves. The first wave will start around the full moon in Feburary and continue the next few months. Normally the last wave will spawn around the full moon in May. If you want the really slab Crappie's, go early and bring a coat.

Every year we catch huge slabs in the back of creeks way before most people start looking for them. It's a popular misconception that Crappie spawn when the water temps reach 55. Recent studies suggest it's the Moon phase, not the water temp, that triggers the first wave of spawners!

Siince Lake Eufaula sprawls over many counties, you should start your search in the Southern sections the earlier you go. It just seems the Crappie start spawning in mass in the creeks down around McAlester before the do other areas.

Also another thing to take into consideration when crappie fishing Eufaula lake is the weather. It's not uncommon to have freezing temps in March and April. A few years ago there we were catching Crappie during a late Spring snowstorm at the end of March!

High water conditions can also be expected during this time of year. It's the rainy season and don't be surprised to wake up one morning and find the quiet little creek you fished yesterday be a raging wall of water today due to overnight rains! Be prepared any time you fish Lake Eufaula for Crappie this time of year. This is just another advantage of hiring a Crappie fishing guide. They'll know where to go when the water gets off colored and hard to fish!

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