Two Days at the Waconda!!!


Pointing West to the Crappie

The old saying is when the wife is away the cat will play is kind of true this weekend. My wonderful wife of over 7 years was out of town on a work trip, which meant I was semi-free to take a short trip and not feel too guilty. So a good friend and I planned on hitting a lake in Western Kansas that has been producing big crappie and walleye.  We planned on driving out Sunday morning and coming back on Monday afternoon, but Friday evening after a considerable debate about the wind and a strong cold front predicted for Monday we made the executive decision to move the whole trip up one day.

 Saturday morning Jason Surface and I met at the Hooters in Topeka, we loaded the dogs and gear in my truck and started the 3 hour drive to Glen Elder. We pulled my boat and with a few stops for lunch and cooler stocking we were on the lake searching for fish by 1 pm. Jason (my guide for the weekend) has fished Waconda for many years, but normally he fishes for Walleye. Since he had been there the weekend before and just murdered them we at least had a good starting point. The plan was to fish the top side of the big breaks looking for active feeding schools of crappie. Once we reached our first fishing spot we used my Hummingbird 597 di to work up and down the break looking for fish. As we were doing this I noticed a lot of boats moving around (which is never a good sign). We spent 15 minutes looking around trying to see what we could but man, they just where not showing up. We dropped our first buoy and worked a section of the river channel that looked good but produced no fish.

Jason on the Hunt

We decided to move down the break and as we were doing so something just wasn’t looking right, on the graph we just were not seeing anything more than the occasional fish… We kept doing what several boats where doing and working our electronics up and down the break looking for fish. That’s when we got lucky. We went across one area of the break that had a little point and something didn’t look right on the graph so I flipped from regular sonar over to the down imaging and wow, there they are… the crappie where in a neutral position sucked down to the bottom on the down slop of the break. We could see the rocks and fish in between them stuck right on the bottom. We found them but could we get them to bite?

Crappie on the break stuck to the bottom

We dropped a couple of markers on the break and proceeded to work the break for the next hour producing 8 or 9 nice fish but no hot bites. Since I had this spot marked on my gps we took off to go check out a couple of other breaks and brush pile. No fish, we couldn’t graph them, we could find them at all. We spent about an hour looking and fishing a few other spots but decided for the last 2 hours of the day to head back out the big school we found and see if the bite ever picked up.

After we got back to the break, we checked to see if the fish were still in the same spot we marked them before and proceeded to grind of the fish. There was never any hot bites but every few minutes you would pick one up and then we would move up or down the break and pick another one up. It was frustrating in that all the time you could see the fish on the graph but just not active.  The fish we were picking up where nice fish, mostly 12 inch plus fish but as Glen is known for we did not pick up any of those 15+ pigs tonight. All in all the wind laid down to make the lake glass calm and even though the hot bite never really picked up we did grind out 29 keeper over 12 inched throwing back all the smaller fish that would go back down. The jig color of the day was never consistent but electric chicken seemed to produce the most fish. No wind, big crappie and an incredible Kansas sunset what more could you ask for?

Answer; A surprise fried chicken dinner when we got back to my aunt’s house!!! One of the best parts of this trip was I got to spend Saturday evening with my aunt Donna in Glasco KS. She was nice enough to let us stay at her house Saturday evening, even better is when we got back she was in the middle of making one of my favorite dinners; homemade fried chicken with sides. So Jason and I got to cleaning some fish with the smell of fried chicken in the air. After all the fish where cleaned and food cleaned up it was time for a few beverages and nice good sleep. What a great day in Kansas!

~ Nick

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