Friday, February 15, 2013

Night Bite Crappies. A Feeding Frenzy!

  The night bite Tuesday  was one for the books to say the least. I was joined by my good friend Scott around 5pm to head out to a new spot I don't typically fish during the ice season. I usually don't fish this particular area due to a shanty town set-up there always. So we figured a week night would be the best time to give it a try. This particular spot is an old gravel road bed with wooden cribs scattered throughout serving as an excellent fish structure.

  As we arrived to the area we drilled a hole and instantly started marking fish. Scott and I looked at each other and said this must be the spot. We continued drilling, set-up the shack, and then started fishing. In my previous post I showed an image of the gold tungsten teardrop jig we have been using. This was the jig of choice for the evening tipped with waxies and a new bait we have been experimenting with. Due to the fact that the lake we are fishing does not allow live minnows for use we had to come up with an alternative. I am on the fence over the issue, but in the long run it helps prevent the spread of disease and unwanted species getting into the lake. With that being said I think we have found an alternative, Gulp 1" smelt minnows.
 The big key to using these on the small teardrop jigs is to cut 1/4" off the head side of the minnow. This combined with the tungsten jig presents a horizontal and more natural presentation. Gulp baits have become the new alternative to live bait. They perform as well as live bait, but last that much longer in my opinion.

  The evening seemed to start off slow. The first 30-45 mins. we only caught 2 small fish. 1 gill and 1- 6" crappie. It had me boggled from the stories I have heard over time at this particular location. Then all of the sudden it was like someone flipped a switch and it was game on.

Nice crappies started biting, and plenty of them. At first they started hitting the wax worm and then slowly turned over to only wanting to feast on the gulp minnow. Fish where marking all over the water column. I managed to catch fish anywhere between 4' below the ice to 8" off the bottom in 14' of water. Crappies are suspending and schooling fish, but this was unlike anything I have experienced in the past when catching crappies through the ice. My depth finder kept lighting up like a Christmas tree.

 Although this is a horrible pic there are some faint marks on the screen which are hard to see. I need to get my good camera out and charged. This went on all night even while we where packing up our gear to head in. We limited out in a matter of 3 hours. We where able to be picky with the size of fish we kept being that we caught so many. We average 10" fish all throughout the night. We caught 60+ fish during this outing between the 2 of us in three hours. Biggest of the night was 12" with a bunch of 11 1/2- 11 3/4" thrown in the middle.

  Now it is time for a fish fry! It was an amazing evening on the hard water and I can't wait to get out and give it another go. Next time out I will have the good camera in hand and get some more and better quality pics for you all. Tight lines!


  1. Good lookin haul! Gonna have to try those Gulp Minnows!

    1. Give em a go my friend. I have used some other styles during the open water and have had much success as well