Feb 13, 2009

Good forage is critical

Yesterday I got a hot tip about the crappie bite being on at the Woodford Ditch. It got me all worked into a tizzy, and I hurriedly threw together some crappie size minnow-looking flies. I admit they're kind of sloppy, but I was just trying to get something done in a hurry. I tied these 5 in about 30 minutes.

So I got to work 1.5 hours early, and borrowed an extra hour from Wednesday to be on the shore at 3:30 (sun sets about 5:30 this time of year). In the process I got a few coworkers excited too, so they joined me. We threw jigs, floated minnows under bobbers and I flailed away. No crappies to be found! The water had risen a great deal overnight and that must have changed their mood. After an hour Colton had to go do something important, so myself and Scott picked a new spot. He spotted some shag jumping, we got there and tossed in minnows. I started with the fly rod and he threw white crappie jigs. Before too long he caught a fish, from where I was it looked like a crappie. After coming closer to snap a pic I found it wasn't a crappie at all. He had accidentally steered this post to a topic that history has proven to be a big draw for Lunker Hunt; I'm still not sure why I get so many shad snagging search engine hits, but believe me it happens.

He'd snagged a gizzard shad (this is becoming a pattern for me, see here and here). What followed was a bad fishing trip salvaged by shad. I'm sure you've been there before; when you decide you'll take any fish over no fish.

We decided to focus on catching shad, and we did it all with normal twister tail grubs - on spinning gear.

And I made a personal best. I snagged the biggest of the night and my biggest shad of all time.

Scott threw the first two back, so they aren't pictured. Once we realized what was happening, we started to keep them with the intent of ultimately taking this picture. Scott's size nine is shown for size comparison. Five of these are mine (including the two large ones on the far left) and the rest are Scott's.


  1. I know one thing for sure is at first it did not seem that cold but I am still freezing a probably will be all weekend. It was fun and nothing beats throwing a jig in winter. I think this trip will hold me off for another month or so. Then it is off to the secret fish hole for some early bass fishing.

  2. Somebody call the wambulance!

    I haven't gotten my fill yet, but I'm going to drop the fly rod for a while. At least until "normal" fishing season in mid April. I need to avoid getting discouraged with it.

  3. I hope you saved them as cut bait for a 20 pounder at Powerton next weekend!

  4. nice shad brother. a lot more fruitful than my winter trout exploits. and, seemingly warmer? i am often knee deep in icey water.

    man, all i've caught in my two trips out this year are a cold and dead car battery.

  5. Yes, my waders will not be making an appearance for another month at least.


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