Subject: 2016 Spring Fish 'N Fest, Holiday Gift Cards, Wintertime is Crappie Time
More Fish...More Fun...More Great Info from The Nuts & Bolts of Fishing
A Crappie Day On Lake Lanier
Across the southeast, the water temp's are dropping on our major lakes and reservoirs. And that means it's time to break out the super light rods and fill a bucket with some of the tastiest treats you will ever eat...crappie.
This time of year, crappie are congregating on open water structure. Once you locate the brush piles, tree tops or man-made fish attractors, you can usually start hauling in some real slabs.
Last week, Buck and I had the pleasure to fish with Dan Saknini, a Lake Lanier crappie aficionado. Dan has spent years targeting them on lakes across the southeast, and he has a sixth sense about where to find them under a variety of conditions. We started off under cloudy skies fishing a few docks, and caught a few...but not in the numbers Dan was accustomed to catching. So we moved out to open water and found the brush piles that Dan knew held fish.
Using his Lowrance DownScan, it was easy to see fish around the structure; in this case a downed tree. Sometimes the fish would be hanging in the midst of the tree branches, and other times you would see them stacked up just beside the tree. In every case, we also saw a lot of bait nearby. When we found structure that looked promising, it was a matter of dropping a marker and casting a jig.
We used Bobby Garland Mo' Glo tails on a 1/24th oz Davis jig with 2 lb class line. The technique was to pitch the jig just beyond the marker, let it sink and begin a slow retrieve with slight twitches to impart a little action. Then hang on. Usually, we caught a fish on the first cast.
This time of year, you could catch a dozen or more fish on each brush pile. And yes, to insure your day will be as productive as ours, there are a few things you should consider before heading out on the water.
1. Re-spool with new line. If the line on your reel is more than a couple months old...change it. You're casting really light line with really light jigs. Mono will develop a memory, especially on the smaller reels you will be using for this kind of fishing. And that memory translates into coils. It's like casting a slinky. Fresh line gives you longer, more accurate casts.
2. Keep your tackle light. A 6 to 7 rod with a lot of flex that's rated for 2 to 4 lb line is all you need. The flex lets you set the hook but not tear the hook from the fish's mouth. Remember, a nick name for crappie is paper-mouth.
3. In cold weather, slow down your presentation. Fish are cold-blooded and they will slow down as the water cools. The bite will be subtle, so stay in contact with your lure, and watch your line where it enters the water. If the line does anything unusual, set the hook!
4. As with any sport, practice makes perfect. Learn to cast these light jigs with accuracy in your yard. And do your homework. Locate some of the 'Fish Attractors' that have been placed on the lakes and fish those until you locate spots on your own. The attractors are usually marked on Hot Spots Maps and they're imbedded on Navionics electronic charts with the Hot Spots feature.
Crappie fishing on a cold winter's day is a sure-fire way to satisfy your fishing appetite and put some really tasty filets on the table too.
So call up a buddy, load up the ultralights and go have a Great Crappie Day on a lake near you. See you on the water!
Just because the weather is cold, you can still catch whoppers in both fresh and saltwater. We've got the gear you need in the Nuts & Bolts Online Store. Click Here to Shop Now
The Nuts & Bolts 2016 Spring Fling.
It's time to start making your plans for the next Nuts & Bolts Fish 'N Fest. And this May we will return to Apalachicola Florida and Bay City Lodge.
This year, we've scheduled the event a few weeks earlier in the spring, May 19th to May 22nd. That's the weekend before Memorial Day. Hopefully this will coincide with the cobia run as well as amberjack, grouper and maybe even snapper season. Plus we should still have comfortable, spring-like weather for catching speckled trout, redfish and more!
Jimmy and Ella Mosconis will be our hosts again at Bay City Lodge, and we will have all our evening functions, including the freshest seafood at restaurant on the premises.
If you've never been to Bay City, you're in for a real treat. All the amenities are right there including boat launch, docks, fuel, ice, bait, cleaning stations, and wonderful accommodations. We will have their staff of professional guides for charter fishing. And we will try to have an offshore trip on the Fishing Xpress in Port St. Joe on the agenda as well.
We're still working through the logistics and getting the website page loaded. But you can go ahead and make your room reservations at Bay City Lodge now. Give them a call during office hours of 7am - 5pm at 850-653-9294. Online registration and sign up forms for nighttime events and charter fishing will be open right after the first of the year.
More info to come in future newsletters.
December 19th - Planer Board Stripers
Learn how to make your small boat fish like a much larger boat using planer boards. Capt. Mack Farr and Capt. Cefus McRae share their tips for catching striped bass in the southeast using live bait 'n boards. And of course this trolling technique can be equally effective in saltwater areas too. Catch 'em from the couch this Saturday and Sunday morning on FOX.
And you can watch past episodes anytime in the Nuts & Bolts Video Library .
GIFT CARDS NOW AVAILABLE!
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You could win a fishing adventure of a lifetime!
Enter the Weekend Warrior Getaway Giveaway Contest for an opportunity to win a fantastic fishing trip with Capt. Cefus and one of the Nuts & Bolts Pro's. Just go to the Entry Page on the Nuts & Bolts of Fishing website for all the details.