Search for Giant Crappie
Where: Candlewood Lake, CT
Target species: Giant crappies and Bass
Tactic: Small jigs under a float, hair jigs and soft swimbaits on light gear
Conditions: Post cold front, unstable weather
Candlewood Lake in CT, is an outstanding big fish lake, especially in the spring when water temps are still cold. So far this season the fishing has been crazy good with lots of big fish being caught.
So I invited my good friend and fellow pro staff member Kevin Dahlke to come down from MA to see what we could do. The plan was to locate and target crappies over 2lbs, with fish over 3lbs not out of the question and there were sure to be some 5 or 6 lb smallies mixed in.
The water temp was in the upper 50's and low 60's. Of course the day Kevin came down, so did a major cold front which pretty much killed my game plan. We fished shallow coves and caught some smaller fish using 1/16th and 1/32nd oz Northland Fire Fly jigs under a Rocket bobber tipped with soft plastics and fathead minnows.
This was good for one quality crappie that came in at 16 inches and 2.28lbs. Hair jigs, marabou jigs and the new Northland Tackle Core Swimbait put a few bass in the boat.
We did keep some smaller crappies for an upcoming fish fry but anything of size got released.
Sometimes NOT catching fish teaches you more than actually hooking them, this was one of those trips, so in our eyes it was a success and we now know what we SHOULD have done.
The cold front moved the fish back out to the deeper break line and the lure size was key, but hindsight they say is 20/20. I was just too stubborn to change.
There really is no such thing as a bad day of fishing and spending time on the water with a good friend is priceless. Listen to what the fish are telling you and DON'T be afraid to make changes!