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ROD & GUN CLUB


Crappie Fishing on Lake Thurmond is Alive and Well


by BILL MCDONALD


BEST TIMES FOR catching these great eating fish is December thru March. The fish go shallow to spawn usually in February and March. That’s when most of the big ones can be caught. I usually keep only fish that are over 11 inches long and the real big ones are released. Last year Bob Vose was fishing with me and caught a 3lb 6oz crappie. It was the


biggest crappie I have seen come out of the lake. After weighing, it was released to spawn again. Most of my keepers weigh between ¾ and 2 pounds.


The type of fishing I do is called spider rigging or pushing baits. I have ten 16 foot poles sticking out of the front of my pontoon boat. A ½ oz. weight holds down a minnow tipped 1/16 oz. jig. Favorite colors are dark (blue, green or purple) for


16• February 2017 • SavannahShorelines.com


dark days and fluorescent (chartreuse) for sunny days. My trolling motor just keeps me moving along at ½ to 1 mph. A depth finder is necessary because you are looking for depth and always looking for pods of bait fish. In the early season I fish over water 15 to 25 feet deep as the season progresses I usually move to 6 to 12 feet deep. I’m kind of different from the other trollers as I usually keep my jigs 3 to 5 feet from


the surface. Crappies eyes are positioned to always look up and therefore feed on minnows above them. When a rod tip dips, I just lift it up out of the rod holder and hope it’s a crappie to be scooped up by my 8 foot long net. Lots of times it’s those crazy hybrids and stripers. Boy can they mess up the other 9 lines in the water. All those are released back to bite on someone else’s line.


Another technique to catch


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