Kasi & Crappies

Speaking with Kyle Schoenherr the other day it was surprising to find that a significant number of his clients are novice anglers. Because of his reputation as one of the best crappie anglers in the country one might assume more experienced anglers might be his clients as they search for tips to polish their skills.

On further thought it is probably great that so many novice crappie anglers are entering the sport with an eye to learning it right from the beginning just as my pal Kasi is doing today.

As a rising young executive in business, Kasi McBride does not have a lot of spare time for the outdoor activities she so much enjoys. Most of the time she is involved in boating with friends and an occasional canoe trip down one of Missouri’s picturesque rivers.

Recently she was lamenting a desire to go crappie fishing. Kyle Schoenherr, who is one of the top professional crappie anglers in the country agreed to take the two of us for a short trip out on Kinkaid Lake near Murphysboro, IL.  The trip had to be short because Kasi could not get off work until 4:30 p.m. and the sun goes down about 8:15 p.m. this time of year.  Couple that with the fact that it is an hour drive from her work to the boat ramp.

Kyle operates All Seasons Guide Service (618-314-2967) and had another party booked for earlier in the day. As we start out he laments that the fishing bite was light today.

The heat seems to drive the fish down to cooler water and the bright sunlight has them staying under the milfoil. Kyle points out that the milfoil and other vegetation prevent his electronics from finding fish.  However he has waypoints marked on the electronics for structure such as boulders and tree stumps.

Kyle explains that the crappie like to relate to the stumps and other wood. In summer the weeds protect the fish from the bright sunlight and yet they still relate to the stumps.  In the post spawn period they leave the shallows for deeper water.

Kyle explains that he gets quite a few charters from novice anglers who, like Kasi, want to learn how. He says the main consideration is to keep the approach simple and uncomplicated.  It is important or the client to have fun.  Kasi is having a ball.

Kyle explains the rig for today is a simple slip bobber that suspends a lip hooked minnow a few feet below the weeds in this location. Long BnM poles are used to aid in dipping the rig into holes in the weed cover.

Kasi catches 7 crappie and two bass. But, the two bass are only about 3 inches in length.  I catch a couple of crappie including the largest of the trip.  Kyle out shined us both with an unknown number of fish.  There were just too many to count.

It is a great time to be on the lake. The temperatures are high with no wind but the boat ride from location to location is a pleasant way to spend a summer evening.  We must do this again one day.

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