Jeff & I grabbed four dozen minnows to spend Sunday afternoon chasing some crappie over at nearby Hillsdale reservoir. The wind was unexpectedly very light this afternoon which made for perfect conditions to go crappie ‘hunting’. I rigged my 10’ crappie pole with just a 1/8” oz. plain jig head tipped with a minnow and Jeff used a Kentucky style rig with two hooks/minnows to go target the bigger crappie isolated in the trees. We would pull up to some isolated trees and use the trolling motor to hover closes enough to dip our minnows down near the base of the trees or stumps. During the warm summer months many of the lake’s crappie will scatter and act a bit like territorial bass – usually just a couple of fish hanging out at each spot. Typically though, this is where you can find some of the ‘bigger’ crappie in the lake. Of course, boat control is a key element and can be made very difficult when the wind is howling so today was just perfect. We were quickly rewarded with three keeper crappie from the first two trees we fished; and the pattern continued pretty consistently for the next three hours until the wind completely died off. When the wind died, so did the hot bite. Not every tree produced a keeper, but overall the action was steady. The best results came from isolated tree lines in 7-12 feet of water.
Twenty-eight good crappie inhabited the livewell by the time we ran out of minnows. With just an hour or so of daylight remaining we switched tactics and tried trolling the points for walleye and/or white bass. We picked up a dozen or so whites and a few small walleye, but I think the lack of wind didn’t have the bait fish stacked up and consequently the predators were not congregated either. All in all, another great evening on the water and another beautiful Kansas sunset!