Late January fishing at Clinton

Not sure if it’s just me or not but the last few weeks of cold weather have the walls at home closing in causing a bit of must-fish-soon-itis.  Most of the local lakes have been iced in with the exception of the power plant lakes.  We have made a few trips down to La Cygne Lake having had fun catching a variety of species but the heart wants what it wants and dang-it, it wants some winter time crappie fishing.  The “thump” is a must.  With a brief burst of warm weather the lakes were back open and now it was a matter of getting Mother Nature and the work schedule to line up and allow us a chance to get back on the lake.  Scouring the weather forecast we found a day with acceptable wind speeds and temperature. Turns out they were off about 10 degrees on the high but what’s new right??  Based on recent fishing reports Eric and I decided we would make a run at Clinton Lake which is not a lake we fish very often.  Arriving at the lake we found many boat trailers in the parking lot.  Lots of boats on the water is usually a good sign the winter bite is on.  Following the reported successful pattern we began by searching channel ledges for fish.  Eric had a few GPS way points to check out and as luck would have it no other boats were near them.  We spent a few minutes scouting the area with the sounder and found what we hoped would be crappie.  Eric tossed out the blaze orange marker buoy used as a reference hoping to mark the hot spot.  The trolling motor now deployed we quickly raced for our rods.  Eric eased up to the mark buoy and as the fish finder filled with marks it took only seconds before the crappie started coming to the surface.  Below you can see with the crappie monkey off the ole back the smiles quickly return.


We moved up and down the little stretch of channel edge catching several good size white bass and crappie along the way.  No light bite today!!  We would run our jigs down to the bottom and up a crank or 2 and the fish would just hammer it.  The bite lasted us a while but I think Mother Nature decided we had our fill and soon after the wind picked up and the temperatures dropped back down below freezing and dragged the bite down along with it.  We were 6 fish away from our daily crappie limit and decided we would have to tough it out for the cause.  We spent time searching locations out of the wind but failed to locate anything productive.  With less than an hour of daylight left we went back out into the frigid wind and found another spot along the channel worthy of a go.  We fought through the freezing rod guides and bitter cold wind but we managed to round up those last 6 fish.  Once we had our limit we knew it was time to head to the ramp.  Even with the weather challenges, winter fishing can yield some of the best results of the year.  We had a great time out on the water and you can bet we are already planning our next trip over to Clinton.

Jan Crappie



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