white crappie mo

White crappie caught on rainy day teaches one to fish under hardship.

Thunder and lightning punctuate the night time skies.  But, we are anxious to get out on the water and catch some crappie.  Rain or no rain the goal is to learn how to catch crappie in unfavorable conditions.  Getting up in the morning it is immediately apparent that the day’s fishing excursion is going to be a wet one.  Overcast skies and the rain were just a prologue.

The guide is a full time guide and tournament bass and crappie competitor.  He is accustomed to fishing in bad weather.  We load up the boat, put on our rain suits and head out.  Almost immediately it begins to lightly rain.  It continues virtually all day.  Weather reports say we are fishing in the edge of a spent hurricane coming up out of the gulf.

We are basically fishing in frontal conditions weather wise.  There is a cold front coming in from the northwest during the day.  It is a tough day for fishing.

After a short boat ride we pull into a cove with standing tree trunks and stumps readily visible.  The water is about 10 feet deep and we fish with jigs about a foot off the bottom.  We cast to the stumps and trunks and then jig the lures back to the boat with a slow retrieve.

The guide catches two good size crappies almost immediately.  They are placed in the live well for photos once the rain lets up.  The pressure to find a picture fish is off and now we can relax and get into serious fishing.

This trip was an introduction not only to the lake but also to weedless crappie jigs.  The jigs are 1/16th to 1/8th ounce weedless jigs.  They are similar to the bass jigs with a grub and live minnow added.

For the early part of the day I stick to my Road Runners and marabou jigs with seemingly few bites.  I find out that the bite is so light I may have missed bites and not known it.  Switching to one of the 1/8th ounce jigs yields a feel of a couple of hits.  I am too slow to react in order to catch a fish.  One needs to really focus on the task at hand to catch crappie with this set up.  We end the day with one black crappie and 14 white crappies.

Moving around in several coves and creek areas we find the fishing tough.  The rain falls in a kind of steady drizzle during most of the day.  It quits for a few minutes during which we take the opportunity for some photos.

Finally, we are so completely soaked under our rain suits that we call it a day and head back to the marina.  The excursion is a fun but 8 hours in the rain is a bit uncomfortable in the long run.


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