Water temps on the north end are bouncing around 60-63. The south end 65-66. The lake is about a foot below summer pool and stained to clear north to south.
I have put away the white bass gear to concentrate on crappie for the remainder of the year. Whites really like warm weather so it is hard to put many in the boat.
Crappie however love cooler weather and they are really putting on the feed bag. Every fish you catch just has shad poop running out of them they are just gorging.
I have the three seat system in my boat so only taking two clients for the rest of the year. This however allows us to creep up on stumps, Georgia cubes, porcupines and hit edges of big brush piles very precise.
We are pushing into structure trying to get under all those pesky 9in. crappie to get to the bigger fish. If you pendulum to the structure the small ones are all over you.
We are using a 12ft. BnM Diamond rod with 15lb. Suffix braid in Hi-Vis. The reel is basically a line keeper since we are not casting. I then go down to a quarter ounce trolling sinker that has a barrel swivel on each end. Then a foot or so of 15lb. Fluorocarbon with a 1/32oz. Hair jig or a 3/32oz. Deep Ledge Jig on a loop knot and a Brushpile Jigs plastic in clear to chartreuse depending on cloud cover. Like I said we are pushing into cover staying right on the bottom.
I am also rigging rods with 8lb. Suffix tied right to a 1/4oz. Deep Ledge Jig on a look knot “Always” and a Brushpile plastic shad style bait. The biggest you can get. Crappie in the fall are forced to eat very large Gizzard Shad so I use big baits in the fall and early winter.
The best structure I have found are natural stumps in the 6-14ft. range followed by the shorter Georgia Cubes since they can go in shallower water, then the Porcupines they hold big fish but usually only one, and lastly thick brush. Problem is all the small fish so I probe around the edges and use my Livescope to spot larger fish and then put a jig on their nose.
We are going through about a hundred fish a day and been getting three limits pretty often. My system of putting everyone on the nose in a sit down seat gives everyone a better chance not just the guide. Very comfortable just need to get used to bringing in a big crappie on a light action 12ft. rod that bends everywhere. I routinely see fish in and out of the boat before they get the hang of swinging them in.
I only have October 22,23,24,31. November 1,2 still available for the rest of the year. They won’t last long so I would get a date set up especially since the crappie fishing will do nothing but get better as that water temperature creeps into the fifties and lower. Give me a call at 217-840-1221 soon!!!!