|Spread out — Using multiple baits for crappie fishing
830 Views - Posted: March 01 at 7:00 am
Any chef worth his salt understands the phrase mice en place, which means “everything in its place.”
This wisdom of order and placement also benefits crappie anglers seeking to cook up a hot day of slow trolling action.
We’ll save an in-depth bait analysis for later and focus here on the elements of deployment and presentation. Long-lining off the back of the boat might work in deeper, open-water scenarios, but the closer and more-controlled presentation of slow trolling — aka tight-lining — works best in most Louisiana crappie haunts.
|Habitat work can improve turkey hunting success
228 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
In Southeast Louisiana, hunter Mike Williams loads his Remington 870 12-guage with 3 ˝-inch magnum shells for longer shots in open areas and 3-inch magnums for dense areas with lots of cover.
But these days he finds he’s using more of the latter than he’d prefer.
The fix, he said, is a return to the prescribed burns that he recalls as common some 25 years ago. Not only is a clear shot to his liking, but the big-picture benefit of better turkey habitat would likely do wonders to boost the local populations that have struggled to recover since Hurricane Katrina.
|Tips to up your turkey hunting odds
259 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
Whether he’s on a private lease with his Horseshoe Hunting Club or vying for a good position on public lands near the Pearl River, Franklinton’s Mike Williams wants his back against a big tree, log or the roots of a fallen tree.
As for positioning, he wants a good view of what he calls the prettiest spot in the woods.
“An adult gobbler is looking for a place to show off with his strutting and gobbling,” he said. “Nine out of 10 times, it’s going to be the prettiest place that you know of in the woods. It’ll be fairly open with thickets close by so he can get back in a safe spot to get away from predators.
224 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
During his years of turkey watching, LDWF biologist Jimmy Stafford has seen a few memorable moments.
For example, albinos rarely reach adulthood because their lack of camouflage makes them easy targets for predators. Nevertheless, Stafford has seen full and partial albino adults walking the Louisiana woods.
And, even though, a clutch of 11 to 12 eggs is about average, he’s seen hens lay up to 22 in a single nest. Typically, hens cannot successfully incubate so many, but that doesn’t prevent sightings of massive poult gatherings.
|Tackle tips for crappie fishing
707 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
Notwithstanding his penchant for simplicity, Toledo Bend guide Jerry Thompson has given much thought to certain aspects of his terminal tackle and rigging.
Here’s a handful of his preferences:
Cork color — Choices range from the classic red/white to bright neons, but Thompson bases his selection more on ease of operation than aesthetics.
|Homemade crappie rig box
388 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
Bobby Murray loves a hot crappie bite, and he likes to be ready to maximize every opportunity he gets. Suffice it to say, he has plenty of tackle bags to carry all the hardware and baits he needs, but Murray has developed a simple but effective system for keeping key items at close reach.
Starting with a spinnerbait box, he inserts a fitted block of Styrofoam with holes cut for plastic craft tubes (available at Hobby Lobby and other craft stores). The tubes hold prerigged jigheads and baits of various configurations, along with spare heads, bobber stoppers and beads.
|Tandem-rigged baits serve targeted purposes
268 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
How quick are you on the follow-up cast? Can you reel up the first rod, grab a different one and drop a new bait at the point of a missed strike in, say, 10 seconds? A little less? No matter your speed — and assuming you can do it with accuracy — you simply won’t present a follow-up bait faster than a tandem rig.
|Other dynamic duos
248 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am
Hollow Body Frog and Buzz Toad: Similar to topwater hard baits, a Spro Bronzeye Frog or a Snagproof Ish’s PHAT Frog can bring out the beast in a bass, but the aggression doesn’t always equal a connection. When that happens, and follow-up tosses go ignored, try switching to a buzz toad like a Stanley Ribbit or a Wave Tiki Toad. For one thing, the toad’s kicking legs make for a more intrusive and irritating presence. Moreover, when you pause a toad, it sinks, so utilize those gaps in lily pads or let a toad descend off the edge of a weed mat and get ready to have your arms stretched.
|2014 Turkey Forecast
648 Views - Posted: February 01 at 7:00 am
Spying on mothers walking their children is considered inappropriate in most cultures — unless, of course, you’re eyeballing turkeys for the annual poult survey that gives interested parties a reasonable forecast for upcoming turkey seasons.
Those interested parties would be Louisiana hunters and the state’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, whose task it is to help ensure plenty of game for folks to shoot.
As the LDWF’s Wild Turkey and Resident Small Game Program Leader, Jimmy Stafford takes his poult counting very seriously. And based on relevant observations, he believes turkey hunters will enjoy a good level of opportunity this season.
|Sip-float slabs — Top fishing tips for wintertime crappie
1971 Views - Posted: February 01 at 7:00 am
In most activities, a slip-up is a bad thing. Botched snap that leads to a recovered fumble, dropping an easy fly ball, missing that breakaway slam dunk — all bad.
But for crappie fishermen, a slip-up can actually refer to a well-planned tactic for tempting those tasty schooling fish.
Bobby Murray knows this game well. He holds the first Bassmaster Classic title, but he also holds a lifetime interest in crappie fishing.
Tactics are many, but when the fish hold over structure like brush piles, Murray knows keeping a bait on fish’s radar is essential for consistency.
|The One-Two Punch
457 Views - Posted: February 01 at 7:00 am
It’s great when that first cast meets with aggressive reception, but often, it takes some dialing in to determine the fish’s preference. Notwithstanding the oft-proven merits of junk fishing, a handful of examples show us that certain lure pairings hold particularly strategic benefit. Like a boxer setting up his opponent with jabs and then sneaking in a body shot or a Major League pitcher throwing the changeup, there’s more to successful bass fishing than randomly grabbing lures and hoping for the best.
|Time to Troll
317 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am
A veteran long-liner, crappie tournament pro Mark Williams likes to mix things up and dial in what the fish want.
|Ups and downs
286 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am
Working single jigs over brush piles boasts a long history of crappie success, but consider this: For a hungry predatory, if one bait is good, then two is great and more is — well, you get the picture.
270 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am
Unlike those shoulder-straining full-size umbrella rigs designed for largemouth bass, the crappie versions won’t send you to the chiropractor after a weekend on the lake.
|Options and benefits
279 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am
Complementing the umbrella rig’s benefit of quantity, you also have an amplified element of experimentation.
266 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am
Similar to its bass-market counterparts, the multi-bait crappie rig has seen rapidly expanding creativity. Local models and homemade jobs are many, but here are a handful of commercial models: