Crappie time on TVA Lakes

January 15, 2017 - Finding Carter

Captain Mike Carter shows a good crappie held during Lake Guntersville on a hop fished nearby a rivulet mouth. 

Cool continue and crappies go together, and that’s quite loyal on a TVA sequence right now according to Captain Mike Carter, who chases a juicy panfish from Dec into early Feb as a mangle from his common drum fishing routine.

“The cold continue unequivocally creates schools of crappie smoke-stack adult in some areas, and when we find one of these schools, there competence be 50 or a hundred fish in it,” says Carter.

Carter creates solid use of his depthfinder to locate these fish, mostly anticipating them around culvert outflows, rivulet mouths and small bays opening to a categorical lakes, quite in Guntersville. Bluff banks and bridges also reason fish in some tools of a lakes.

Catching them is comparatively elementary compared to rowdiness largemouth drum that see dozens of lures tossed their approach in a singular weekend.

“Not many people fish for crappie anywhere yet Weiss Lake, so these fish are not that tough to dope many of a time,” says Carter. “Plus, a ones that get bending don’t get expelled if they’re screw size.”

Carter catches many of his fish on small Bobby Garland jigs weighing only 1/32 of an ounce, with a 1.5 in. Baby Shad soothing cosmetic tail from a same company, mostly in shades of pearl and blue or pearl and pink. He pronounced heavier lures adult to 1/16 unit locate some fish in a areas he’s fishing, yet he thinks they tumble too quick to be primary producers.

“The large thing is to get it right in front of their nose,” says Carter. “A crappie won’t follow a captivate really far, yet if it comes tighten adequate to them, they customarily eat.”

Tiny jigs like this 1/32 unit denote are adequate to dope crappies many of a time, yet some anglers also do good with small live minnows. 

He throws a lures on 1000-size spinning reels and ultra-light movement rods, spooling with 6-pound-test mono.

“You substantially get a few some-more strikes with 4 bruise exam since a captivate falls some-more freely, yet we competence also mangle off that 2-pound crappie when we finally offshoot it,” says Carter. “Also, a 6-pound will straighten a offshoot on these small jigs a lot of a time, so we don’t remove as many lures.”

Carter says H2O issuing out of a blackwater creeks into a categorical lakes is customarily several degrees warmer than a open water, and he thinks this competence be one of a reasons a fish accumulate there during cold weather. During a outing Thursday, a open lake was about 49 degrees, a rivulet mouths around 52.

The pretence is to range out where a propagandize is located, afterwards expel somewhat upcurrent and let a upsurge pierce a captivate by them, says Carter. Stronger flows emanate a improved bite, yet too many will pierce a fish to some-more stable areas, he says.

He hardly moves a lure, instead simply holding adult tardy as a stream drifts it along in many spots, yet spasmodic he gives it a delayed lift and dump where stream is light.

When a crappie takes, there’s mostly only a slight “tick” on a line, or infrequently no denote during all solely a parsimonious line. That’s a time to start cranking–setting a offshoot is not a good devise since a soothing mouth of a crappie mostly tears out if too many vigour is exerted.

Crappies adult to a bruise can be carried aboard with a open of a rod, yet incomparable fish are best landed with a net or a lip-grip. Crappies to 2 pounds are not odd on a TVA chain, and Carter says he has guided clients to several of 3 and more.

The fish typically hang in 4 to 10 feet on a corner of drops down to 14 to 20 feet, says Carter, and they’re expected to stay put until early March, when they’ll start relocating into a seaside and adult a creeks and bays to find shoreline cover for spawning.

The extent on crappies is 30 per day, a distance extent 9 inches on many lakes. Visit for full regulations.

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