Back to the Basics

Adam & I each a free evening yesterday and ran over to Hillsdale for a quick outing.  From last weekend’s reports, the crappie were scattered, suspended, and difficult to pattern.  We couldn’t decide on a strategy to try, spider rigging open water fish, jig fishing brush piles, trolling, etc., and almost didn’t make it to the lake due to indecision!  So we grabbed one rod for each method and grabbed a small bucket of minnows.  A brief chat with a very nice gentleman at the boat ramp yielded a tip that some crappie were being caught up shallow already.  OK, let’s start shallow and see what happens.  The tip paid off as we found a nice main lake cove with good water clarity.  The crappie were into the minnows and the tactic that produced the best was the good ol’ bobber and minnow combination!  The same method we started crappie fishing with as kids.  Needless to say the fancy trolling rods and spider rigging gear got quickly pushed out the way.  Towards evening some of the male crappie moved even closer to the banks from the 5-6 foot depth, where the minnows had been working, up to the 3 foot depth where we picked up a number of fish on a jig suspended below a float.  Check out the pretty dark coloring of these pre-spawn male crappie:



We managed over 20 keepers before the bite shut off towards dusk.  – Eric

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