I went to the lake over my lunch hour
again on Tuesday, December 14. I know
the colder temperatures are coming as
the small ponds are all skimmed over
with ice. There was even a little ice
on the sheltered places on the main
lake. Still, it is better than staying
The sun was shining but the wind was
blowing about 10 mph from the northwest.
I decided that my best chance was to cast
directly into the wind and let the fly drop
as far as I could and then slowly retrieve
it. This was the same place that I had caught
the crappie casting left-handed. I thought
they might still be in the same area. This
time I was casting right handed to fight
with the wind.
I would cast the fly, a Marabou Miss (see
Ricks favorite crappie flies), with a bead
head on it out as far as I could. I had eight
feet of leader material on so I figured a 10
count would have the fly done about as far as
it would go. In any case it was a good place
to start retrieving the fly. I had moved the
fly about 5 feet when the end of the line went
under water. I sat the hook and had a crappie
on the line. This fish did not fight a lot.
I was able to bring it in fairly easily. When
I released the fish, it moved very slowly as
it headed for the deeper water.
Even to me this was a clue that I should retrieve
the fly very slowly as the fish were not going
to chase it. Back to the same place and doing
the same thing. This time the fly was about 15
feet from shore when I saw the line tick. I had
another crappie that was a carbon copy of the
When I released this fish, it lay on its side
right against the shore. I tried to move the
fish and it did nothing. I reached down and got
a hold of the fish and moved it back and forth
a few times. I then pushed it toward the deeper
water. This fish wobbled some before it headed
toward deeper water.
I was thinking about quitting because the fish
were so lethargic going back into the water. At
this point a car drives up, the driver jumps out
and asks if I have been catching anything. When I
tell him yes, he wants to know if he can come and
try in the same general area. I told him to come
on if he wanted to keep them.
He came down with his bucket and rod and we went
back to casting. Each of my casts took a fairly
long time to retrieve as I was moving the fly so
slowly. I did manage to catch 13 crappie, two
bluegills and one small bass in the time that
I was out. I gave everything but the bass to
the other fellow. As I was leaving, he complained
that he had not been able to catch anything.
I told him he was retrieving to fast and too
high in the water column. He told me that if
I thought he was doing it wrong then I should
show him with his equipment. "The devil made
me do it."
I took his rod and cast out. I let the twister
tail drop for a long time and then slowly started
retrieving it. It had not moved far when it felt
heavy and I brought the crappie in. I told him
that if he did it that way he would catch fish,
but I needed to head back to work.
I think that these are the last fish of the year.
The main lake is skimmed over most of the way with
ice and with the cold air from Canada coming this
way it will be covered with ice by next week. The
small ponds are all covered and that means that
I will need to wait for breakup to do any more
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick