For weeks now we have been looking forward to a return trip to Glen Elder for some more fantastic crappie fishing, but Mother Nature had other plans for us. We just didn’t feel that we could withstand the forecasted 30+ mph winds all weekend on the large, open body of water and collectively opted for plan B. The backup plan was to head down to Fall River where, if necessary, we could escape the winds by fishing up in the river area above the lake. So, with much anticipation, we hit the road early Friday morning full of excitement. I think we mentally filled the livewell several times over by the time we got there and surely had every strategy fully discussed and dissected We had a plan for catching them wherever we happened to find them; out in the main lake on staging breaks, up in the shallows in case the sudden warm spell had them moving early, or out of the wind in the river.
We hit the water about 10:00 am and starting putting plans in action. First stop, deep brush piles off the main lake river channel edges. No body home. Next stop breaks and ledges in 12-18 feet of water right off the spawning banks where we had experienced some pre-spawn success in years past. Again, no body home. Not to be deterred, we moved on to some shallow water at the mouth of some known spawning coves. Although this time we did mark some fish with the sonar in 6-9 feet of water, we couldn’t get any takers. Now it is time to get serious. Nick & I decided to split off and try working the real shallow banks while Jeff and Matt stayed in the boat to keep working the fish they had been marking. Within just minutes of dropping a minnow over some shallow brush just off of the boat dock, I had our first Fall River crappie. 15 more minutes and Nick & I now had 6 crappie in the bucket. Jeff & Matt did pick up a few fish deeper, but were not matching our pace, so they joined us on the dock and helped add another half dozen before the bite stopped. We assumed that the crappie would be back again by evening so we packed up and headed up river.
We worked over every laydown and brush pile we could find but could only manage a handful of fish the rest of the afternoon, and that included a trip way up river to the ‘riffles’. Unfortunately, our timing was just a little too early as neither the white bass nor crappie had started moving up yet in any numbers. We finished the day with a nice pile of 18 keepers and felt good about our efforts. Sometimes you just can’t beat being in the right place at the right time. Tomorrow though, we would find ‘the right place’….