Crappies in the fog and winds
The day started out at 38 degrees and very foggy, wind was almost nonexistent and the fish finder was reading 56 degrees for the current water temperature, but getting up to 60 degrees by day’s end.
Kevin made the trip down from Massachusetts to fish with fellow Staff member Michael on CT's largest natural lake, Bantam Lake which is 947 acres, with an average depth of 16 FOW with 26 FOW being the deepest.
Because of the fog, the decision was made to start on the first adjacent point that featured a sharp drop next to a large flat that is near to the boat ramp. There were fish scattered in small groups along this drop, but the key was to locating that one little "sweet spot" along the edge of the drop, which was a very small area with a few large boulders.
These few select rocks were in about 6 FOW and just off to the deeper side of the rocks, the depths would immediately drop-off into the 11 or 12 FOW range. Watching the Vexilar FLX28, as you would swing over this defined edge, the crappies were holding tight to the edge wall.
Every pass that you would go over it, you would see them on the screen and then almost immediately, you would have a fish on. In the morning these fish were in smaller pods and a bit more scattered, but when we returned later in the afternoon, their schools were bigger and the size of the fish had drastically increased.
But, the conditions in the afternoon versus the morning on this area, the morning was dead calm and afternoon there were 1.5 foot whitecaps. With the movement of the water in the afternoon, we had figured that the baitfish were being pushed up against this drop wall and this in turn was bringing the better crappie in for an afternoon feed.
Once the fog lifted, it was time to check out a few other deep points and humps that were bordered by 20+ FOW that would top out at about 5 FOW. The fish seemed to be in the 12-16 foot zone and VERY tight to this cover.
Boat control was key, but with the wind, this was difficult at best, so precision anchoring was the ticket. By having the boat anchor in such a position, it would sway over these hump structures and when you were in between these two humps, that saddle was where the fish were hanging. There was a good mixture of crappie with better sized bluegill as well and you could almost pick when you were going to get that bite as we would swing.
The baits that were working the best were the slow flutter of the Clam Outdoors: Leech Flutter Spoon
that accounted for some nice fish in the shallower areas, while the Clam Outdoors: Time Bomb Spoon being tipped with a Maki Plastics "Maki" seemed to shine for some deeper fish. Most of the bigger fish however came on the biggest of the Clam Outdoors: Caviar Jig line up tipped with a Maki Plastics Mino XL or Jamie XL.
The weather conditions were constantly changing throughout the day, and for us, not for the better, but by adapting to those changes and locating that "spot on the spot", this kept fish coming topside.
Fall can be a magical time to fish as long as you are willing to battle the elements and don't be afraid to switch tactics as needed and you will be rewarded with some great fishing.