|Rowan's friend's White Crappie|
Thus, we made the drive south across the border, knowing we would probably have to do a lot of searching to find any fish at this new spot. Upon arriving, we quickly realized the holes we wanted to fish weren't frozen because of the crazy warm winter we've been having. We fished off a pier for a little bit but didn't get any bites, and then headed out on the ice.
In the distance, we spotted a bunch of cones on the ice so went to investigate. Turns out, someone had attempted bringing a camper trailer on the soft ice and paid the price by sending it to the bottom of the lake. On the plus said, it was located in a nice deeper hole and I figured it could make for some good structure.
Unfortunately, fishing around the trailer didn't really pay off and we only caught a couple small Pumpkinseed after a couple of hours. Having given up on the deeper water, we started making our way back to the access to fish another area entirely. On the way, I saw the outline of a Crappie-shaped fish frozen in the ice. I dug it out and, after a quick dorsal spine count, realized it was the target species! We excitedly drilled a bunch of fresh holes in the vicinity to start searching for fish.
|Dead White Crappie|
Soon enough, we realized that the spot was beautifully located on a weed edge, and I started seeing marks on the graph. The first fish that came to hand was a pretty decent P-seed:
The marks seemed to disappear after that first fish so we started drilling more holes until we had essentially turned the area into Swiss cheese. It took a while, but, as the sun started to dip closer to the horizon, the marks started showing up again. My friend kicked off the evening bite with a nice Largemouth! Not to be outdone, I pulled up a decent chunk shortly after :)
Then, the Crappie started rolling in. The marks were fast and furious; they crushed the jigs almost as quick as we could get them down. My heartbeat rose with every Crappie that came to the hole, only to be disappointed each time upon noticing the lack of a White Crappie's characteristic stripes. Nevertheless, they were still really nice fish and I was having a ton of fun with them. We also both caught a couple more Largies between all the Pomoxis fun.
As the sun got even closer to the horizon, the Crappie seemed to move off and were replaced by Bluegill. The 'gills were somehow even more aggressive than the Crappie and I must've caught almost 20 in a row from 2 holes until it really started getting dark. They weren't huge, but some of the nicer ones approached the 8" mark.
|A small Bluegill|
Determined to put in my best effort to catch the target White Crappie, I kept weeding through the Sunfish in hopes that one more Crappie might show up. Eventually, soon before we had to head back to the car, I hooked into something that felt like it was from the desired genus. As it neared the hole, I saw it was indeed a Crappie... another Black Crappie.
As it got darker we had to call it and ended the day White Crappie-less. That being said, it was still a great day and we caught a slew of slab Crappie, some nice Largemouth, and bonus Sunfish to keep the action hot.