Opening Cast

Dan DannenmuellerAnother summer has passed and fall is upon us. The tree colors are changing and so are the temperatures. These changes cause the crappie’s appetites to spike. Food is on their minds to prepare for the coming winter temperatures. This is an exciting time of the year to fish for crappie.

This year there has been more food for the fish than past years. Various sizes of shad and minnows abound. I am seeing thicker crappie with lots of stored up fat all over the country. But, that will not stop the crappie from performing their normal fall feed and hence growing even more in weight and length.

Cooler water temperatures mean the fish can freely roam their body of water without fearing a lack of food or oxygen. You can bet they will be near some kind of structure, especially brush piles in slightly deeper water or ledges where schools of food abound.

This is where electronics play a part. No matter the brand, use side and down views to see the depth and locations where food and schools of crappie coexist. I like to use my Garmin electronics in clear view and down vu. The new Panoptix is second to none for locating and seeing fish swim live in the water column.

Use a Color C-Lector to determine the color best match to water clarity and to the depth the fish are relating to. It works.

If you live in the North, the end of October is a good time to be thinking about servicing your outboard. I have just gotten my Yamaha Sho serviced and inspected to ensure everything is lubricated, water pump is functioning correctly and if stored have the cylinders fogged and the gas treated. Check fuel filters to ensure they are clean and replace lower unit lube to keep all gears immersed.

Be sure to check out our how-to articles and videos in this fall edition to help you locate and catch those big slab crappie.


Dan Dannenmueller, Publisher