Thinking crappie yet?

IveofIone

Active Member
#1
I sure am. I only caught one crappie last year but it was a dandy. I know where they are now though and will be going back for some in April/May. Here are some fly rod jigs I like to use for them.
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Black and chartreuse has been my favorite color for decades now and just seems to produce when nothing else will. These are pretty small with 1/8th" tungsten beads and work quite well on an intermediate line or even a floater if the fish are shallow near the bank. In addition to these small jigs on a fly rod I'll often use a spinning rod and reel with standard tube jigs when I am greedy for a lot of fillets. The rod I use is a G Loomis 7.5' 4wt fly rod blank wrapped as a spinning rod. It is a wonderful crappie tool and I have caught carp on it up to around 11 #.

Right now with a foot of snow on the ground here on the tundra and temps from 10 to 25 deg I need something to look forward to so all of my crappie gear is getting inspected and upgraded where necessary. I hope to be on some basin lakes not too long after the lowland opener and target some big crappie that are lurking there.

Where are you guys and gals going for crappie this year? Care to share your favorite spots? I hope to get back to the Hutchinson-Shiner chain this spring, fish Twin Lakes near Coffeepot, Eloika down near Spokane and of course Lake Leo just a few miles from my home. In addition I have recon on a private lake owned by the cousin of one of my wife's quilting buddies. Tales of big crappie in that lake are intriguing. I saw a video of a game officer doing a tutorial on crappie fishing at Bonnie Lake. He was using jigs on a spinning rod but the area looked very productive for a fly rod. Maybe some of my Spokane buddies can give me some more info on this lake or better yet take me down there. I still intend to do a lot of trout fishing this year but some of my trips are going to be spiny ray specific. Should be a fun season.

Ive
 
#2
Silver lake in Spokane county. Where I also fish for tiger musky. I slay the crappie in there on pretty much anything real small, sight fishing for them off the boat. Those fish are very aggresive and if you put it in their face they will eat it most of the time. Had plenty of double digit days with a few bass and the occasional musky mixed in (on different gear of course).
 
#4
Ive, I had some luck getting into some crappie on Shiner/Hutchinson last year as well. I didn't specifically target them, they were mixed in with the gills and small bass. More often than not I have a crappie candy tied on my tippet.

I'd love to meet up in the spring to chase those slab bastards around. Love that place.
 

IveofIone

Active Member
#5
Dog-maybe we can do that. I love that place too. You never know what you are going to land next. Crappie, bluegill, bass, big perch, you just don't know. We were there one spring when the bluegill were on their beds and probably caught nearly 100 bluegills apiece on dry flies. It was an absolute ball and on the kick back I caught enough big crappie and bass for a good fish fry. Keep me posted on the timing and maybe I can make it out there for an overnighter or two.

Ive
 
#7
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Fish from a west side lake. There are a few crappie lakes but it usually requires some searching and the numbers aren't like the east side but we eat quite a few each summer. I tie a leech pattern with a black bead on a jig hook. Lots of fun once you locate them.


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IveofIone

Active Member
#8
so, do none of you eastside guys have any information on Bonnie? According to the WDFW it is one of the premier spiny ray lakes in the state and it is close to a major city.
 
#9
There will be an article in Washington-Oregon Game & Fish magazine on crappie and some good westside and eastside locations. It will be in the May or June issues. Check it out.
 

sean_k

Active Member
#12
Ive, I'm not sure "yet" clearly defines my thoughts on Crappie but rather "always" May be a better term for me.

Living on the wet side near Tacoma I fish many of the local waters for Crappie between, Federal Way and Enumclaw. I don't want to name any specific lakes, however all the lakes I fish are public and easily accessible within the areas I mentioned. Of course some lakes fish better than others, and some fish well on different months.

One thing I do different than most guys I see fishing for Crappie is that I fish poppers on top rather than sub-surface. Top water to me is a bit more exciting and can me more effective depending on the time of day and if there is overcast or not. Typically when the sky's are fully overcast poppers can be effective up until 11am, on sunny days I typically arrive on the lake and fishing around 0430 before the sun comes up, by 7am the top water bite is usually off during sunny days.

This year as I'll be permentally residing in Washington rather than Wa and Germany I hope to venture out to the east side and give some of those Crappie a shot. Like you I have watched the tutorial at Bonnie Lake and I was somewhat intrigued and will definitely find my self heading that direction for a week or two come May. I'll post a report once I go.

Lastly not to hijack your thread but if there's anyone interested in hitting up so,e west side crappie this year and would like to ride share and/or share locations for crappie shoot me a PM, I'm always up for so,e panfishing.
 
#13
Reminds me when my father used to tell me stories of my grandpa. We originally grew up in St Louis Missouri, and my Grandfather fished for Crappie so much that from what I understand that is what my Dad grew up eating as a child in Missouri. My Dad says its actually pretty good. He did say it is a boney fish.