Earlier this week I had the opportunity to go fishing with longtime friend Mark Ross and his father Charles. We had been trying to plan an outing for quite some time but could never get our schedules and the weather to cooperate at the same time. That finally ended with a beautiful day on the water this week. The weather could not have been scripted any better; mid-70’s air temperature with almost no wind. Charles is a Topeka resident, so we choose to meet up at Melvern reservoir which was pretty equidistant for all of us. Mark and Charles have been fishing together for many, many years (see related article by Marc Murrell) so believe me the pressure was on – I had to bring my A-game today! We started out fishing a good brush pile that I had not visited yet this year and found the crappie waiting for us! We quickly went through several dozen minnows on just that first pile. Mark claimed the ‘heaviest’ (although ugliest) catch from this pile when he removed this zebra mussel coated limb. I sure hated to see this – they were much thicker than I’ve seen them before.
The keeper ratio was not too good though so we went searching for some larger fish. Our next stop was back where I had done well on the last Melvern trip. The brush piles were in 14-16 feet of water and the crappie were taking minnows just as fast as we could drop them down. You gotta love this post spawn feeding pattern they are in! We still had to wade through lots of small fish (we estimated 4 or 5 short fish for every keeper) but started to find some of the 12-13” crappie that Melvern is known for finally. All totaled we managed to land over 30 legal keepers that afternoon.
With enough fish to make several meals for the Ross boys, we decided to go try fishing the flats for some walleyes and that’s when the story turned sour. My boat engine which had been running like a top all year started sputtering and quit. It appears to be a fuel supply issue and will comfirm and update later. We used the trolling motor to get back out to the main lake where we found another boater. A huge “Thank You” to “crappieslinger”, a fellow crappie.com member for generously towing us back to the ramp. I owe you one for sure! We were pretty fortunate to end such an awesome trip with just a minor setback and I’m certainly looking forward to our next outing!