I have been fishing and traveling most of March and April. Wow…what a weather roller coaster ride it has been. Consistency, size and the locations of fish were affected.
Fishing at Lake Darbonne, Louisiana was anything but normal. So was Lake Washington and Grenada Lake in Mississippi. Record wind, rain and cold were experienced at each. Frosty mornings and torrential rains with periods of lightening kept things interesting. Then in April, I fished Lake Fork in Texas to meet again cold temperatures, strong winds and rising and falling water temperatures.
The very wide swings between record highs and lows have caused late spawns at all the lakes mentioned and I would venture to say at your lakes too. We have found fish at all water depths and most of the fish had not started the spawn.
During these trips, I have had the pleasure to see and talk with many fishermen. Some have mentioned they were worried that the crappie fishing in their lakes is not as good as in the past years. Many believe fishing pressure has decreased the numbers and sizes.
While this could be true to some extent, I believe the weather is the biggest factor to the number and size of fish. However fishing pressure, if not properly managed, can impact the fishery. Keep in mind that the number of poles, hooks etc. used is not really the cause of over fishing but rather the daily creel limits.
If you believe your fishery is being over fished and harvested, reach out to your state fish biologist to find out if they have conducted any recent studies for your lake or river. The studies should show the harvest rates, sizes and number of fish estimated in your fishery. If a recent study has not been completed, petition to request one.
In previous year editions of Crappie Now, we have had fish biologist articles and question and answers. If you would like to get copies of the previous year editions of our digital magazines on a thumb drive, go to our Crappienow.com website and purchase each previous year edition for $13.99 or all four years for $29.99 plus shipping and handling.
I am ready for the real spring to arrive and the swarms of Crappie in their spawning grounds! May each of you be blessed with large slabs!
God Bless and Good Fishing,