Warm December Fishing For Crappie and Bass
A Warm December Day
My family celebrates the birth of our Savior on Christmas morning with a big breakfast and gift exchange. Bobbie and Joe Jones are the hosts. Their fixings include biscuits and gravy, homemade cinnamon rolls, waffles, and fresh fruit. The warm December day had me thinking about fishing.
At home, that afternoon, I began sneezing and my nose became stuffy. It was either a cold coming on or I was allergic to something. The family Colts pizza party was declined and I retired early after taking two NyQuil and handfuls of vitamins. I had plans to go east with Larry Lawson to fish, Monday morning. If I still felt ill, I would travel west to Dr. Steve Wright at Lapel.
Monday morning, I felt great, made some breakfast, and got my gear organized. We drove to a pond, near Liberty. This little lake has some big crappies.
What a warm windy day with a high temperature of 64 degrees. This environment could cure what ails one, by itself.
The immediate order was to find the fish. It had rained all night probably raising the water temperature 10 degrees. Using a light 1/32 oz. green jig loaded with a Junebug Charlie Brewer paddle tail crappie grub, we found our quarry in three feet of water.
A bobber above the jig should have been the ticket, but they didn’t want it that way.
I found a shallow sandbar with dead weeds on the surface. I had to move my offering pretty fast to keep it from gathering algae just two feet under the surface. At one point, I caught three crappies in a row. If I did not catch a fish on a retrieve, my jig got into the muck. I was constantly pulling the dark green globs off my hook.
Meanwhile, Larry switched to a pre-rigged plastic worm. He was catching bass and crappie. My largest crappie came on a five-inch bass tube jig. It measured 13 inches plus. Most of the slabs we kept were 12-13 inches. Only one fell below 11 inches. Larry once caught a 19-inch slab from this pond.
We had the shallow fish spooked so we broke for lunch.
On our return, the weather had begun to change. There was a chill in the air and the bite had slowed. I caught one on the flat and decided to move.
There was some buckbrush along the bank but there was no obvious opportunity to get my offering in the strike zone. Pine trees with low branches hugged the shoreline.
I slid down the bank on dried pine needles to the water edge. I employed the dock shooting technique I learned from James Laswell. With the jig between my thumb and index finger, I pulled back to put a bow in my Ozark rod. I let go and it shot like an arrow across the water.
When my grub neared the bush, crappie would nail it. This fun would have gone on longer had it not been for a bass taking a liking to my lure. I had him hanging above water in the bush. I could not reach the spot without getting wet. More pressure broke my line and my tackle was on the far side of the pond.
Larry had quite fishing to visit the ailing landowner and his wife. I did not bother to retie. We took photos and headed for home.
A bonus, in our bucket, was some nine-inch bluegills that were aggressive enough to get hooked on our crappie grubs.
I blame my congestion, two evenings before, on either a new hoodie I was wearing or the fact that I had not changed my furnace air filter since last June. Instead of going to Dr. Wright, I sent him some photos with a note. “The virus, I had, was fishing fever. I found the cure.”
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