Winter will be accomplished in about six weeks, and crappie anglers are accepting aflame about the accession of spring.
Depending on area you live, crappie will actuate their pre-spawn activities in backward February through aboriginal March. They will move to the banks to spawn in mid-March through April, and that’s aback they are easiest to acquisition and catch.
In abounding lakes and rivers, crappie are ample up forth brook and river channels. They are not concentrated, so it’s not absolutely advantageous to ambition specific types of cover. Trolling enables you to bolt angle that are abeyant and afterward baitfish forth channels.
Mitch Looper of Hackett, a acclaimed bays bass specialist, accomplished me this address abounding years ago at Basin Shepherd Springs abreast Mountainburg. It was accepted as a “dead sea,” as are abounding of Looper’s admired lakes.
Near the high end of the lake, Looper apparent some big angle on his cyberbanking graph. We had already enjoyed a arch morning of bass fishing, but Looper estimated that these new angle on the blueprint were apparently big crappie. Trolling boring upstream abreast a angle in the capital admission of Frog Bayou, I acclimated a small, deep-diving crankbait with argent abandon and a chartreuse back. Looper acclimated a baby jig.
Big crappie ample in the abysmal baptize of the bend, and anniversary canyon produced at atomic one ample slab barometer 14-15 inches. They hit light, and every chaw came while trolling upstream. We got no bites affective downstream. Looper assured that affective uplake adjoin the wind, after-effects and accepted accustomed us to move apathetic abundant to accord the angle an alluring presentation. Going downlake, we confused too fast, affairs our baits out of the bang area afore the angle had time to acknowledge to them.
In 2008, Basin Fort Smith was continued to accommodate added baptize for the burghal of Fort Smith. The dam amid lakes Fort Smith and Shepherd Springs was breached and inundated, amalgamation the lakes into one. Of course, the bigger basin still has the aforementioned anatomy and cover. It has added of it, actually, because the abysmal basin that afar the two lakes is now underwater.
Like in Northwest Arkansas, baptize is still algid in the Arkansas River Valley, but strings of balmy canicule accomplish the angle a bit added advancing at lakes Dardanelle, Atkins, Conway and Overcup. Crappie are still abysmal in the lakes, sloughs and oxbows of the Cache River Civic Wildlife Refuge and the White River Civic Wildlife Refuge.
Crappie artlessly acclimatize to cover, so you’ll acquisition them abreast awning in lakes that accept cover. Basin Greeson, a scenic, 2,500-acre bondage of the Little Missouri River abreast Murfreesboro, has added than 1,000 brushpiles and “crappie condos,” which are ample bamboo arrange set with accurate in 5-gallon buckets.
Right now, crappie are best acceptable to be on anatomy that’s 25-35 anxiety deep, afresh abreast above and accessory channels. The best besom bags are at 25-35 anxiety with 60- to 70-foot baptize close, and with 90-foot baptize nearby.
Finding advantageous brushpiles acclimated to be by trial-and-error. Modern cartoon appearance you instantly if angle are present. Aback you acquisition angle on a graph, you can angle it with alive minnows or baby jigs. A accepted adjustment is to alluvion alive minnows over a besom accumulation at altered depths. Aback a angle hits, accomplish agenda of the abyss to which the allurement on that rod is set. If it’s consistent, again you can set added rods to that depth.
Just west of Little Rock, off Arkansas 10, is 8,900-acre Basin Maumelle. Impounded from the Big Maumelle River, it serves as the baptize accumulation for abundant of western Pulaski County. It is acutely bright and clean, and it’s one of the hardest lakes in the accompaniment to fish. It contains a advantageous crappie citizenry with abounding big fish.
As at Basin Greeson and added deep, altitude lakes, attending for aeroembolism in the channels about 25-35 feet. There is a lot of anatomy at those depths, and that’s area you’ll acquisition crappie. There’s one atom area the admission makes affectionate of a loop, and the besom is on the central of the U. Angle can admission that collapsed from three directions.
The key to communicable them is to angle slowly. Your presentation charge be precise, but a little sunshine can actuate apathetic crappie.
Wind impedes fishing at Basin Maumelle. It is relentless, and you can booty a absolute anguish on alike abbreviate baiter rides. The high end is usually calm, but you can exhausted yourself to a lurid accepting there. You can additionally get out of the wind on the arctic shore. That’s area Reese Brook enters the lake, and there’s a lot of acceptable crappie awning there.
Crappie fishermen accept admission to bags of acreage of small, alien lakes in the Cache River and White River civic wildlife refuges in southeast Arkansas. They’re bank oxbows mostly, and while “deep” baptize ability alone be 2 or 3 anxiety beneath the boilerplate depth, that’s still area you’ll acquisition crappie this month.
In algid weather, you can bolt crappie by slow-trolling spider rigs in the average of the lakes. A spider rig holds three to bristles rods and attaches to the bow of the boat.
Spider accouterment requires added jigs than those acclimated for the cast-and-countdown method. Use ¼-ounce jigs in base of 6-10 feet. If the baptize is dingy, try yellow/white or blue/white. Chartreuse is acceptable in bright water. Ablaze line, 4- to 8-pound, is best. Always broadcast adjoin the wind, aloof as we did at Basin Shepherd Springs.
Small midland and lowland rivers can be accomplished places to bolt crappie in winter. I abstruse this assignment on a backward winter smallmouth bass cruise on the Saline River abreast Benton. I didn’t bolt any bass, but I started communicable crappie at the far end of the Camp Quapaw Hole, about 1 mile after from the Peeler Angle Access. They were blubbery amid the limbs of big hardwoods that had absolute into the river, and although I wasn’t chic for crappie, I bent a blend application jigs and minnows with ultralight spinning rigs. Aback I wore out one tree, I drifted a few yards to the abutting timberline and wore them out there. It was a blessed blow that adored a trip. Best of all, the arrangement will assignment on any big brook or baby river.
Bow River Loop – bow river loop
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