Fun with crappie.......

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by IveofIone, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. IveofIone Active Member

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    I have a vast resource of crappie just 15 minutes from home. It makes for a pleasant evening to go up to the lake and catch a few for a good meal. Earlier this week I went up and caught 20 which I turned into fillets. These were dipped in batter and fried in Crisco then served with hash browns and some good ales. Just excellent table fare.

    Later in the week I wanted to try something different so I went up and got another dozen fish and filleted them but left the skin on one side. After rinsing them off I put them in a quart of cold water with one heaping tablespoon of both sugar and salt. I chilled them in the fridge for 2 hours then put them on a rack to dry. They were covered with waxed paper and placed back in the fridge overnight. During that time a nice pellicle formed on the fish and they firmed up nicely.

    Onto the grill. I turned one burner on the grill to low and placed a foil packet with apple chips in it atop the burner. The fish went on the cool side of the grill. In a couple of hours at low temp the fish were done and incredibly delicious. I tasted one then quickly ate half of them before remembering I needed to take another picture of the finished product. These are a rare treat. You eat them like artichokes by just scraping the meat off of the skin with your teeth. It's a lot of work for a little meat but like filet mignon it is not how much meat it is but how good.

    And like I said-I have a lot of these things at my disposal so why not?

    If you have an abundance of any panfish try this out, You'll wish you had a 5# bag of these things after you taste one!

    Ive
  2. Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Posts: 2,158
    out of state now
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    Crappie are, indeed, a great treat. I don't own a tube or 'toon but would buy one in an instant if I knew where there was good crappie water near the house. There's nothing wrong with catch and keep with crappy as long as you eat them, and who wouldn't eat them, especially if they are large enough to filet? The only thing missing are some cheese grits and cole slaw or maybe some hush puppies.
  3. NewFlyerAndy Guest

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    gotta add some sweet iced tea to that list Karl.,.....how could you forget the tea?
  4. Dr Bob Member

    Posts: 188
    Woodinville, WA
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    You folks are killing me! That brings back memories when I was a kid growing up out east. There was a lake about 1/2 mile from my house that had mainly bass and crappie. I use to catch them on simple bucktail streamers.

    IveofIone, since you live in "crappie land" could you suggest some lakes for me to fish? I don't want your special lakes or spots just some suggestions "from the master" so to speak. You can PM me if you wish.

    Thanks.

    Dr Bob
  5. IveofIone Active Member

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    Bob, the little lake I fish-Lake Leo-in Pend Oreille county is hardly a secret. Indeed, it is not crappieland but a once splendid cutthroat lake that has fallen on hard times. Ten years ago I was catching beautiful cutts there and some nice brook trout that were 1-2 pounds. Then some bar room biologist got the idea that panfish might be nice I guess and the lake has been punk for trout ever since. The crappies have proliferated to the point of being very plentiful. I am simply making lemonade out of lemons.

    They are not large like they are in some basin waters but are of a size that someone skilled with a fillet knife can get some decent sized fillets from them. A batch of 20 fish is easy to catch and 40 of those fillets makes a really nice meal. The nearby Pend Oreille river has some nice crappie in it, some over 14''. It is rather problematic to fish though as you really need to fish from a boat or a dock to do well. But the last hour before dark on the river can be just magic as the big fish move toward the shore and feed on the fry. They take flies readily just under the surface.

    I think that there are a number of guys on this board that live much closer to good crappie fishing than I do. Perhaps they can chime in with their suggestions about where to find them. It shouldn't be a secret as they are a species that needs to be harvested on a regular basis. I think most of the crappies over here and particularly those in the river die of old age rather than from an encounter with a cast iron skillet.

    What about it-where is your best crappie water?

    Ive
  6. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,227
    Ellensburg, WA
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    It is no secret but there are some guys I work with that regularly fish Moses and Potholes at night and catch monster fish. I'm not even going to say how big because people will call me a liar. But I saw them in the fridge at work. Same issue as PO...need a boat of some kind and not be afraid of the dark.
  7. IveofIone Active Member

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    Crappies get pretty damned big in the right conditions. I have caught them up to 18'' at Crow Butte on the Columbia River and during this year's Fling I saw some in excess of 16'' at Whitestone Lake-a lake you all drive by on the way to Chopaka.

    Ive
  8. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,047
    Seattle, WA, USA.
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    I fish Lake Owyhee, SE Oregon, in mid to late May, and at times in it's not unusual to catch crappie in successive casts. We take along homemade pico de gallo, and batter and fry the little fillets at lake side and have a big fish taco/cerveza dinner extravaganza. It's incredibly easy and awesome.

    The ubiquitous chartreuse and white clouser, size 6 or 8, works like a champ for me. I'll get multiple strikes on the same retrieve (assumes I don't hook up the firs time). Plus, the odd largemouth or smallmouth eat it, too.
  9. Krystoff Member

    Posts: 236
    Woodinville, WA
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    Amy wetside lakes in King or south Snohomish counties that have a plethora of the little buggers? I would like to take my 2 and 4 year old out and catch some.
  10. NewFlyerAndy Guest

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    Krystoff - try Cassidy they have some decent crappie populations, never mind the locals who have managed to depopulate the bigger ones. As far as the Best crappie water I ever fished? Catawba River NC. We could catch 20-30 2.5lb plus crappie all day and all night. Around here? Dunno, I've had mixed success at Cassidy and my biggest West Coast crappie came from Potholes. If anyone could point me in the direction of some other local Say Snohomish area river or lake crappie it would be a great time with my son as well.
  11. Dr Bob Member

    Posts: 188
    Woodinville, WA
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    Thanks IveofIone. Sorry to hear of the decline of trout in the lake. Based on your photos, not bad "lemonade" from those lemons in terms of a crappie feed.

    For the west siders looking for something for the kids to catch, when my kids were at that stage it was easy to find bluegill and perch in most of the lakes. You may have to resort to bait fishing, but anything to get the kids interested.

    I with NewFlyAndy on Cassidy crappie. I heard about them but never caught one. I have caught lots of perch and a few bass there.

    Dr Bob
  12. Richard Torres Active Member

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    Mill Creek
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    Lakes Ballinger, Cottage, Chain, Devils (Lost?), and Panther have crappie populations...
    How good the fishing is for them I don't know...