Crappie Spring-Time!

Spring has finally sprung.  After more than 100 inches of snow here at my new place in South East MetroWest, we’ve had a good stretch of days in the 60’s and even a few days that hit 70 degrees.

Last week I got out on our local body of water for the first time.  Now, I referred to my old local body of water by the term “little lake”.  I won’t be fishing that much anymore, if at all. This new, deeper, and slightly larger body of water, I’m going to refer to as the Big Pond.  It’s right nearby and takes me 10 minutes to get to by foot, 4 by bike, and 3 by car.

The first time I got out last week, last Tuesday, the south half of the Big Pond was still covered in ice.  I have had 0 time on this body of water, and was surprised to get to 20 feet of water pretty quickly from launch.  I marked some fish on the finder, but couldn’t get a nibble on my black ghost or small white zonker.  The depth finder read 43 degrees at the water surface, which is usually 2-4 degrees warmer since the transmitter is inside the hull of my yak.  So roughly 40 degrees- cold for mid-April!  After 30 minutes I had to quit, but not after getting to hang out with a huge flock of swallows picking some kind of hatch off the surface of the water.

However, last night I went out full of anticipation.  When I put my yak in the water around 5:30PM, the water surface reading was 72 degrees!!!  Now, take that for what it’s worth because 2 feet down I’m sure the water isn’t even 60 yet.

I spent 15 minutes zig-zagging around trying to find a drop off or ledge that would take me from about 3ft to 8ft or deeper.  I knew if I could find something like that I’d have a shot at some pickerel and crappie, and maybe a bass or two (although I don’t really even think bass until May).  I found just such a rapid transition, and fished the shallow side.  Within 3 casts with my black ghost (but w/red not yellow) I had my first freshwater fish to hand; a feisty little crappie.
Finally, a fish that put a substantial bow in the 4wt.
I fished for about 90 minutes and didn’t cover that much ground, and found fish in structure between 3 and 6ft.  Nothing that large, but after a long winter, I was happy to just have a bend in the 6wt.  I did spend about 15 minutes fishing a bigger zonker pattern hoping to pick up a pickerel (there are rumors of 5lb+ pickerel in this body of water).  However, I didn’t even get a nibble on it.  So back to a black ghost (w/yellow this time).

By sunset I had caught about 10 crappie (didn’t keep track) and ½ dozen sunnies, all within a 5 minute jaunt from the launch.  2 crappie in particular were fat, big, saucer sized fish that put a solid bend in the 4wt.  It was a beautiful night, and I love these early season days when no one is around and I have the whole place to myself.  Can’t wait to get back out tonight again, hope the rain holds off.
Here’s to a long spring, summer, and fall!