Watch the weather to catch crappie

By Don Ingram
   Crappie fishing in the October is as easy as watching the weather. Watch the weather and pick and choose the best days to search for crappie.
   By following a few simple tips, an angler can eliminate unproductive water and catch fish under several conditions.
   The best days are the ones where the weather has been stable for four or five straight days.
   Before hitting the water, a couple of things must be considered.
   What is the water temperature? Is the water level rising, dropping, or stable?
   Weather conditions position fish is certain areas. Under low light conditions, look for fish to be shallower in the water column and farther from the cover. Bright skies and sun typically move fish deeper. Cold fronts move crappie tighter to cover. Crappie are creatures of habit and tend to react a certain way to each condition.
   Anglers that learn how crappie react to certain changes can increase their chances of catching fish.
   During October, look for treetops, stumps, and brush piles on the flats close to the old river and creek channels.
   Crappie will position on cover near river and creek channels as water levels drop. The best areas are the ones with the most cover or structure.
   Because crappie will tend to suspend more during this time of year, the best technique to use is a floater rigged with a small crappie jig or minnow.
   Once you have located an area and cover to fish, start by setting the floater at a certain depth and fish around the cover.
   I start with several 7’0 G-Loomis spinning rods and Shimano spinning reels with floaters rigged at different depths until I identify the depth range the majority of crappie are holding. I use P-Line braided line because when I become hung in the cover I can pull and straighten the hook and save the bait.
   Once the depth range has been identified, concentrate on that range to maximize your time and increase your chances of catching more crappie.
   Jig color seems to be more important in the October than any other time of the year. Experiment with different color jigs until you determine which color produces the most bites.
   By watching the weather and following a few simple rules about how crappie react to certain conditions, you can increase your chances of having a successful day on the water.

Don Ingram publishes an outdoor article entitled “Outdoors with Don Ingram” that is printed in various publications throughout Kentucky. He is a two-time All-American qualifier. Don has been very successful competing in tournaments in Kentucky and Tennessee. He has appeared on numerous outdoor television programs like, “Kentucky Afield,” Walmart’s “Great Outdoors,” and “Outdoors with Dave Shuffett,” aired on the Outdoor Life Network and the Outdoor Channel. Don is a Pro Staffer for the following companies: Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Shimano G-Loomis Rods, Bandit Bait Company, Prowler Soft Plastics, Mustad, Optima Batteries, Lunker Lure, and P-Line.

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