After yesterday’s Toronto adventure, I am not going to lie; when Jeff called this morning to see if I wanted to join him at Adam for a trip to Melvern to chase some crappie and blue cats, I almost cried. Yes, I do want to go, but I am so tired and beaten up from yesterday the couch was just screaming my name. But how can you turn down a trip Melvern?
So I manned up and we got to the lake about 2:30. First thing we did was try and find some shad for the set lines we wanted to put out for blue cats. I am not going to lie – to it took us 2 hours to get enough shad to fill 5 set lines. We looked everywhere and couldn’t find a thing, and the ones we did find were so small you couldn’t net them. I don’t know if the zebra mussels are just destroying the shad population or it’s a late hatch, but we couldn’t find any shad and the fish we did catch today were very skinny. But I digress.
Once we had a hand full of shad the plan was to put some pop-up set lines on the deep breaks and ledges just outside of the brush piles we were going to fish for crappie, that way as soon as one of the lines tipped up we could run over and rescue our shad.
We started in Turkey Creek working over some piles and watching our set lines. We did ok, finding a lot of crappie on the piles, but they were small and the set lines were getting no action whatsoever. So after an hour in Turkey Creek we went out to one of our favorite main lake brush piles. On our way into the piles we dropped off two “prospecting” set lines to see if anyone was home. Once those were strategically placed we went to a brush pile that started in about 12 ft of water on the inside of a ledge and went all the way out to 17 ft of water on the deep edge. It was loaded with keeper crappie and soon we were in the thick of them. Jeff had the hot hand, using a drop shot method going all the way to the bottom of the brush pile. Jeff pulled out several 13+ inch crappie. Adam and I both stayed steady behind himm working the top and outside edge of the piles. But the big boys where right down in the middle of the pile, just a crank off the bottom.
After about an hour of smacking the crappie around, we noticed one of our set line strike indicator was acting funny. We ran over to check it out and it was completely smashed up. Something had broken the PVC pipe in the middle and all but ripped the foam off the PVC… what the heck. We have caught 50+ lb blue cats at LOZ on these and never seen anything like this before. We quickly replaced that line with another and were back on the crappie. After Jeff boated a few more 14 inchers we saw the other jug go down. We quick ran over to check it and pulled up a great 15 lb blue cat. We had hoped to float for cats but with the lack of shad this was truly a fun and excited bonus.
As the dust cleared we ended the evening with 42 keeper crappie and 2 nice blue cats. Not bad for forcing myself to get up off the couch.
(make sure you read the regulations for each lake you fish. Melvern does not allow float line fishing. We are using set lines that are anchored to the bottom of the lake but have strike indicators so you know when a fish hits your shad)