Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crappie Fishing 01-11-2009

The Titans lost so no more stupid "lucky" mustache and no football to watch on Sunday anymore this season!!!

So last Sunday I decided to head out to Percy Priest lake and do a little crappie fishing or Speck fishin' as my wife and her grandpa call it. It was a little chilly in the upper 20's that morning (well I thought it was until today, high of 25, brrrr) so I made a late start at about noon again. I put the Stratos in a strapped on my kick-ass Simpson race helmet that my wife's cousin sent me (man that things nice in the cold. Not sure how I fished all this time without a helmet.)

Well I ran out to the channel to try a stump covered dropoff at the outside edge of a big bend in the river. This is a great place. there is almost always fish on it this time of year and typically they aren't very deep. There's always a bunch of baitfish on it too. I have several stumps marked in my gps from fishing it over the years. During winter this is almost always my first spot to go to and sometimes I end up fishing it all day. This day was no different. I ended up staying there the whole afternoon. Right after I pulled up I trolled over to my first spot and caught a 12" keeper as soon as I got over the stump. The fish weren't biting real great but by going from gps point to gps point I would catch a fish or 2 at almost every one. And I never really thought that I should leave and check out another area.

I have to say that the new 2 blade Motorguide trolling motor propeller I just bought to replace my old beat up 3 blade, is much better. It's a ton more powerful. Not sure that I went above 2 power all day but the wind was only about 5-10 mph. I think the 2 blade prop may be the bee's knees in open water though. I also hear they have a new "weed prop" that's coming out this year. It should be another good addition.

It was a little cool when it was cloudy but the sun poked through a couple times and it fell good. I was catching most of my fish on a black and hot pink YUM Wooly Beavertail vertical jigged in about 12' of water. I did catch a few by casting a double jig rig up on the shallow side of the drop and slowly reeling it back. Caught one or two on a red/chart. Bearvertail and also a black/chart. Charlie Brewer Crappie Slider Grub too.

Ended up with an even dozen good keepers. Not too bad for a couple hours considering I haven't been crappie fishing at Percy Priest since spring. But I always considered this to be the best time of year to crappie fish and I can usually scratch up a few. Good to get out too! I took 'em home and cleaned them and we cooked half of them for supper. They were awesome! You just can't beat fried crappie that is freshly caught!

I'll probably doing quite a bit of crappie fishing in the near future because it's such a good time to do so. So look for more posts... hopefully it will warm up just a hair though so my wife can go with me. I just ordered her a custom crappie rod that is being built by Bunch Custom Rods as I type. It's a 7', one piece, solid purple blank with hot pink wraps, Fuji Alconite guides and a split cork handle. It should be bad ass. (too bad its purple I think I may like it.) Jeff does great work, I had him do some repairs for me a while back.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Old Hickory Lake, TN
Air temp: 60
Water Temp: 49
Conditions: Cloudy with scattered light rain

I was sitting around and watching the weather and trying to decide if it was done raining or what and decided screw it, I needed to go fishing. It was about 60 degrees and cloudy with little wind. So I headed 15 minutes down the road to Old Hickory and put the boat in. Started right up after not being out for a while! Made a real short run and decided to try throwing a crankbait along a decent bank with several docks on it. I went about 100 yards and BAM!!! My first fish of 2009. I was a little disappointed because #1 was a "yellow belly" stripe about 6 inches long. Oh well it was a fish. I continued down the bank alternating between a small unnamed crankbait, a #5 shad Rap and a suspending jerkbait. Didn't really throw the jerk much, the water was a little stained and I tend to do better on a jerk in clearer water. I didn't have another bite that rest of the way down the bank.
I noticed a large group of seagulls diving on shad across the creek from me so I idled over there and threw a Strike King Red Eye shad around all the baitfish that were up on a flat 6'-7' deep. I'd just chunk it out and reel it slowly back. That's when I caught #2. A real nice bluegill. Where are all the bass??? I fished that flat for a while without another taker, trying the jerkbait and the Redeye.
It was starting to rain a little and was getting noticeably colder so I cranked up and went to a rocky point I can usually catch one on any time of year. I worked it over dragging a 3/4 oz. football jig to no avail. (I'm still experimenting with that football jig, just can't decide if it's better than a c-rig or not. I can usually catch 'em on a C-rig but I think I catch bigger fish on a jig so it stands to reason if I fish a jig like a c-rig, then I ought to be able to catch good 'uns on the jig. But it just hasn't happened yet.) I'll get it though.
By this time it was about the foggiest in the day time I've seen in a long while. So I crank up and slowly run down river a ways and stop on another point to drag the jig across. It was very foggy but all the sudden a gust of wind blew through and all the fog just got pushed out. it was pretty cool to watch. Except it started raining pretty good about then and it was close to dark. i just decided to call it a day.

My outlook on the day: It was good to get out of the house and the boat needed to be ran so i guess it wasn't that bad. The fish didn't really cooperate but it happens.

Another thing I just have to get off my chest ond out of my head:
I just can't shake a bad performance I had in the last tournament I fished last year. I went to KY Lake to fish a 2-day fish-off by myself. Bubba (my T partner) had to work. I fished Friday and it was windy and rough so my practice wasn't too good but I found a few. Day one I weighed in 10 lbs and no one else really did all that well except for one other team that had 16lbs. So, even though I didn't have a real good sack it put me in second. My thinking with a 2 day tournament is you need to at least put yourself in position for day 2 and you have to have figured something out so you can move in for the kill on day 2. I had figured something out and felt good about it. I thought I could go right back and catch 'em on Sunday out of some grass on a frog. I left them biting on day one and caught 3 keepers in the last 30 minutes. I drew out #3 day 2, so I ran right back to the grass I caught my fish in on Sat. and bang, right away catch one about 3lbs on a frog. Then they go to missing the frog. They just wouldn't hit it to eat it. I worked that grass several times and maybe too long, but I had at least one hit on every pass. They were good fish too. I had to leave because I wasn't boating them... This is where I think I screwed up. I ran to a spot to throw a c-rig to try to catch a fish deeper. I fished it quickly in practice but I didn't catch any although I did miss one. That was dumb and I basically wasted an hour. I then ran back to my grass and missed one about 6lbs and another one or two... Looking back i should have:
A.) ran right past the deeper bank and into the next bay and throw a Red Eye shad or spinnerbait on the shallow flat in the back of the pocket. I caught some fish in there Friday but they were small and the wind wasn't blowing like it was then
B.) (and I think this is the biggest f up I made all weekend) I should've left the first grass earlier and ran down to the mouth of a creek I went in on Friday that was a very similar grass bed to what I had caught fish out of on Saturday. I couldn't fish this grass in practice because it was right in a 30mph wind and there was no way to fish it. I could've day 2 though. And i thought about it I just didn't do it. Not sure why. That's how it goes when you're on water that you don't fish often enough to know enough spots that you can adjust when things change. I ended up in 6th place weighing only one fish and one spot out of the money. Ok I suppose because I was fishing alone against teams but not what I should have had. With a limit I would have easily finished second but there really was no way to win. The leaders from day 1 had a 18lb sack the second day
I learned a lesson though about really paying attention to things even when you don't fish them. I knew that grass was there, I just didn't make the proper adjustment and it killed my finish.

2009 Fishing Blog...

...Coming Soon!!!