Categorized | Opinion

Crappie, Catfish and Snows

By Josh McGowan

Jason Aycock and Chris Stephens with a 30-plus pound blue catfish.

Jason Aycock and Chris Stephens with a 30-plus pound blue catfish.

My dear friend the groundhog, as accurate a weatherperson as any I’ve encountered, appears to be missing his mark.

Not to be outdone, this past Sunday the weather prediction from both Accuweather and The Weather Channel showed 3-6 mph winds from the northeast. I pondered the difficulties of predicting anything nowadays, especially Mother Nature’s whims, and decided not to say anything negative about the weather folks, while being bashed unmercilessly by three foot waves in a 15 mph gust blowing directly from the southeast…

But alas, the saying is “a bad day of fishing beats a good day of working”. I do wonder though, if the author of that quote has ever attempted to push 16 hooks through a stump field in 15 mph winds, I suppose we’ll never know. My personal report comes from Reelfoot, and is going to be moderately vague due to the Bass Pro Shop’s CrappieMaster’s tournament coming up this Saturday. Chippy and I descended on the lake early this morning and really didn’t find much until the wind layed around 10:30. We managed to scratch out a pretty good mess with some big females. We were pushing minnows and/or jigs in 2-20 feet of water. Sorry, I told you it would be vague! The big question for us tournament folks is how much rain will fall over the next week, and how hard will the wind blow on Saturday. Given a great day to fish with a few nice days preempting the tourney, I’d expect record weights, but with this coming week’s forecast it doesn’t look good. The thing about tournaments though, is you just never can tell!

The Wappapello Crappie Club held there February tournament this past week, and once again it’s evident how much the 9 inch limit has helped that lake. The winning, 7-fish stringer was brought in by Sam and Reid Brotherton, with 10.49 pounders! That’s a great stringer on any lake outside of Mississippi. I talked to Dave Maddox, owner/operator of Slabber Dave’s tackle shop at “Wap”, and he’s been catching fish slow-trolling minnows on the south end of the lake, 5-7 feet deep.

Kentucky Lake is turning out some good fish, and according to my buddies over at Kick’n Bass guide service, the 9 3/4 inch crappie that we had to throw back last year are now 11-13 inch slabs! The best fishing is long-lining over the flats right now. The best bass fishing was with jerk baits and slow rolling crankbaits along the points and mouths of the bays.

Chris Stephens, my resident catfishing pro, was out on the mighty Mississippi with Jason Aycock and Mike Cooper and they hammered the catfish. Chris said they were fishing in 30+ foot of water behind rock dikes with skipjack. They fished a few dikes with minimal luck, but once they found the right one, it was fast and furious for an hour. They caught 20 blue catfish, with several between 15 and 35 lbs.

My waterfowling buddies are hammering the snow geese in the Missouri bootheel. They’ve been setting up in ground blinds and putting out more decoys than I ever want to think about using! With 1,100 flags, and a slough of mechanical whatnots, it’s quite a display, which is probably why so many geese have been falling victim to the mamoth spread! If you want to book a trip with the Boden’s, give them a call at 573-318-4097

Josh M. Gowan, Outdoors Writer, Crappie Angler Magazine 573-579-0212

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March 2013
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