Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
How to catch Late Winter Crappie for Valentine’s Day!

How to catch Late Winter Crappie for Valentine’s Day!


IN ONE OF THE CREEKS THAT
FEEDS LAKE TEXOMA. AND IT IS WINTERTIME, IN FACT,
IT’S FEBRUARY 14, VALENTINE’S DAY AS A
MATTER OF FACT. AND NOTHING SAYS I LOVE YOU,
FELLAS, LIKE BRINGING YOUR WIFE HOME A NICE FRESH MESS
OF CRAPPIE FILLETS. YOU’RE WELCOME. NOW MOST PEOPLE DON’T THINK
ABOUT CREEK FISHING FOR CRAPPIES IN THE WINTERTIME AND THE
LAKE TEMPERATURE IS STILL QUITE LOW RIGHT NOW. IT’S ABOUT 43 DEGREES
IN LAKE TEXOMA. AND CRAPPIE USUALLY DON’T SPAWN
HERE IN OKLAHOMA MEANING RUN UP THE CREEK TO REPRODUCE UNTIL
THE WATER TEMPERATURE’S IN THE MID TO UPPER 50s. BUT A LOT OF TIMES CRAPPIE WILL
FIND A HOLE IN THE CREEK WHERE IT’S GOT PLENTY OF DEPTH AND
MOST IMPORTANTLY LOTS OF BAIT FISH WHERE THEY’LL BASICALLY
CONGREGATE OR STAGE WAITING FOR THE CONDITIONS TO BE OPTIMAL
FOR THAT REPRODUCTIVE RUN UP THE CREEK, SO IT’S A GOOD
TIME WHILE THEY’RE IN THERE FEEDING AND GETTING THEIR FAT
AND ENERGY RESERVES BUILT UP TO CATCH A FEW. THAT’S WHAT WE’RE GOING
TO TRY TO DO TODAY. NOW I’LL BE THE FIRST TO ADMIT
THAT I’M A CATFISHERMAN BY TRADE. USED TO 11-FOOT SURF RODS AND
FOUR-OUNCE BELL SINKERS AND 30-POUND TEST LINES SO I
PROBABLY LACK THE FINESSE TO BE A GOOD CRAPPIE FISHERMAN. I’M CERTAINLY NO EXPERT,
BUT WILLING TO GIVE IT MY BEST SHOT TODAY. EVERYBODY ENJOYS
CATCHING CRAPPIE AND PARTICULARLY EATING THEM. I’M NO EXCEPTION TO THAT RULE.>>TOP SECRET. ♪ ♪>>I GOT A FISH ON THE STRING.>>HOPEFULLY HE DOESN’T TELL
HIS BUDDIES WHAT HAPPENED. ♪ ♪ HEY, DAVE, YOU
WANT ONE OF THESE?>>I’M GOING TO TRY
A LITTLE BIT LONGER. IF YOU CATCH ANOTHER ONE,
THAT MIGHT GET INTERESTING. YEAH, ANY OF THE LAKES HERE
IN OKLAHOMA, IN FACT THE VAST MAJORITY OF THEM DO HOLD CRAPPIE
AND ALL CRAPPIE WILL OF COURSE SPAWN IN THE SPRING AND IF THERE
ARE CREEKS, WHICH THERE ARE IN 99 PERCENT OF THE CASES THAT
FEED THESE LAKES OR EVEN RIVERS, THEY WILL GO UP THE RIVER OR
CREEK A CERTAIN DISTANCE TILL THEY FIND A SUITABLE PLACE TO
STAGE AND LIKE I SAID, THAT USUALLY ENTAILS HAVING DEEP
ENOUGH WATER WHERE THEY WON’T FREEZE OUT BECAUSE IT IS STILL
WINTERTIME, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY HAVING LOTS OF BAIT FISH LIKE
LITTLE SHAD AND MINNOWS THAT THEY CAN FEED ON AND REALLY
FATTEN UP BECAUSE IT’S AN ENERGY EXHAUSTIVE TRIP TO REPRODUCE AND
MAKE THAT NEXT GENERATION OF CRAPPIES SO THEY’RE NOT MOVING
A WHOLE LOT AT THAT POINT. OF COURSE THERE ARE CRAPPIE
THAT STILL STAY IN THE LAKE AND THEY’LL SPAWN ALONG THE ROCKS
AND SO FORTH, BUT THOSE THAT DO LIKE TO RUN UP THE CREEKS, YOU
CAN OFTEN FIND THEM IN HOLES THAT HAVE SOME DEPTH AND
HAVE SOME PREY FISH IN THE DEAD OF WINTERTIME. WHERE’D YOU CATCH
THAT ONE, ZACH?>>JUST A DARK COLOR. CURLY. THAT FIRST ONE WAS
ON THE OTHER KIND. ♪ ♪ WHAT HAVE YOU GOT, DAVE?>>LITTLE CRAPPIE. ♪ ♪>>YEAH, THAT’S
BIG ENOUGH TO EAT. NICE ONE. THAT WAS A DARK ONE, TOO. ♪ ♪ IT ONLY TOOK 250
THROWS BUT WE GOT IT. ♪ ♪ I MADE MY OWN ORIGINAL
STRINGER HERE, TODD. IF YOU’VE EVER SEEN
ONE LIKE IT OR NOT. I CUT THE EYELET OFF THE BOTTOM. IF YOU GET — NOT THAT I’M GOING
TO HAVE TROUBLE WITH IT TODAY, BUT IF YOU GET A LOT OF FISH,
YOU’VE GOT TO TAKE THEM OFF ONE BY ONE, YOU KNOW. JUST TOOK A LITTLE PIECE OF
HALF-INCH PIPE, FLAT WALL PIPE AND DRILLED THREE HOLES IN IT
AND WRAPPED MY STRINGER THROUGH THERE THREE TIMES AND BACK
OVER ITSELF ON THE BOTTOM. WHEN YOU GET READY TO TAKE THEM
OFF, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS UNLATCH YOUR STRINGER AND TAKE
YOUR PIPE OFF AND THEY ALL SLIDE RIGHT OFF THE STRINGER. THAT WAS FUN. I’M GOING OLD SCHOOL TODAY. AS YOU CAN SEE, I’VE GOT MY
1970s MODEL ZIPCO 606 SPOOLED WITH 12-POUND TESS LINE,
BECAUSE THAT’S THE LIGHTEST I HAD AT HOME. I’VE GOT AN OLD MEDIUM LIGHT
TWO-PIECE ROD HERE, BUT IT KEPT FLYING APART ON ME
SO I PUT A LITTLE JB WELD ON THERE AND PROBLEM SOLVED. THAT’LL PROBABLY BE WHY I
WON’T CATCH A FISH TODAY, BUT I’M GOING TO GIVE IT A TRY. GOING TO BE USING THAT
EIGHTH-OUNCE JIG HEAD THERE. THIS ONE’S KIND OF A GREEN AND
YELLOW, CHARTREUSE AND YELLOW. I’VE GOT A LITTLE GRAB BAG
I’M GOING TO START WITH A DARK JIG BODY, TRY IT FIRST. LET’S SEE WHAT I HAVE HERE. THINK I’M GOING TO TRY ONE
OF THESE DARK COLORED TRICOLOR SWIRL TAILS. IT’S ABOUT A TWO-INCH TWIRL TAIL
GRUB BASICALLY, AND IT’S GOT A BROWN AND A LIGHT PURPLE
BODY AND A CHARTREUSE TAIL. THAT’LL BE THE FIRST THING I
TRY AND WE’VE GOT LOTS OF OTHER COLORS AND SUPPLIES WE CAN TRY
IF THAT DOESN’T WORK AND CRAPPIE ARE FINICKY SO IT MAY TAKE A
WHILE TO GET HONED IN ON THEM. ♪ ♪ CAREFUL. IF THAT’S NOT A SLAB,
I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS. HOLD THAT THING UP HERE. SOME PEOPLE FISH THEIR WHOLE
LIFE FOR A SLAB LIKE THAT, ZACH. OR, FIVE MINUTES. ♪ ♪>>WE’RE GOING FOR
QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY.>>I’M NOT BILL DANCING HIM. HE’S A NICE CRAPPIE. HOW’S THAT FOR SAVING THE DAY? CAME OFF AT THE BANK. ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. THAT’S A NICE SLAB
CRAPPIE RIGHT THERE. WE’LL TAKE HIM. BUT THEY’RE IN HERE. THEY JUST HAVEN’T BEEN TURNED
ONTO THE BITE BUT JUST THE LAST FIVE MINUTES
WE’VE CAUGHT TWO NICE ONES, AND THAT’S CRAPPIE FOR YOU. FINICKY, BUT THEY’RE LIABLE TO
COME ON WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT SO YOU HAVE TO STAY WITH IT AND
CHANGE UP YOUR GEAR AND YOUR JIGS QUITE A BIT JUST TO FIND
OUT WHAT THEY’RE AFTER AND RIGHT NOW THEY’RE HITTING DARK
COLORED CURLY TAIL JIGS SO SEE IF WE CAN CATCH
ANOTHER ONE. IS THATPOMOXIS ANNULARIS? IS THAT RIGHT?POMOXIS ANNULARIS,
SCIENTIFIC NAME. NOW, WHITE CRAPPIE, THEY HAVE,
IF I’M NOT MISTAKEN, FIVE TO SIX OF THOSE SPINY DORSAL SPINES,
THE ONES THAT STICK YA, AND THE BLACK CRAPPIE HAVE
SEVEN OR EIGHT. THAT’S HOW YOU TELL THEM APART. THESE HAVE THE VERTICAL
BANDING THERE WITH KIND OF SOME GREEN BLOTCHES. BUT MOST OF WHAT YOU’LL CATCH
IS WHITE CRAPPIE, BUT THERE ARE BLACK CRAPPIE AROUND TOO AND
IT’D BE NICE TO GET INTO ONE OF THOSE AS WELL. BETTER STRING HIM UP. HE ALMOST GOT AWAY ONCE. ♪ ♪ THERE’S ONE. ♪ ♪ WHITE CURLY TAIL COMING THROUGH. ♪ ♪ YEAH, THAT’S A BEAUTY. ♪ ♪ BACK TO WHITE NOW, ZACH.>>BACK TO WHITE.>>YEAH, THAT WAS PURE WHITE. ♪ ♪>>NOT MOVING IT STILL?>>YEAH, BUT NOT MUCH. NOT GETTING AGGRESSIVE AT ALL. ♪ ♪ THAT’S A WRAP. WELL, WE DIDN’T SLAM BUT GOT
ENOUGH FOR SUPPER, DIDN’T WE?>>YEP.>>I’M SATISFIED.>>A FEW GOOD EATINGS SIZE FISH.

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