Move with the fish for D’Arbonne crappie

Earlier in the year, crappie on Lake D’Arbonne moved from the 30-foot channels to the 12- to 15-foot flats, then into the shallows to spawn. To catch fish after the spawn, you just need to follow the fish right back out.

“It’s just early-season fishing in reverse. They go back out to the same spots that they came in from,” said Pro-Built Jigs and Jenko Rods pro staffer Ken Myers, an expert on D’Arbonne crappie. “April is a great month for crappie. The fish are not as aggressive right after the spawn, but to catch them now, you simply follow the fish back out.

“The big females have moved right back out on the flats and hang near creek channels or stump fields like they did two months ago before the spawn,” Myers said. “The males are almost all moved off the shallow nests and they are headed back out on the flats as well.

“The biggest difference is the water is a bit warmer and has a little less oxygen, so they are hanging about 5 to 6 feet deep instead of just a couple of feet off the bottom.”

Find the fish by using your electronics, but also by experimenting with depths.

Myers and his fishing partner Mark Taylor fish mostly with shiners, but he likes to use them on colored jig heads, just like plastic-bodied lures. His favorite color jigheads on D’Arbonne are pink and orange.

Top plastic colors are blue thunder, blue chartreuse, bluegrass and Cajun cricket. He also likes to match poles to how fast he is fishing. For slower speeds, he recommends the Jenko Slab City rod. When he fishes above .5 mph spider rigging or holding two poles, his choice is the Spider Troll pole.

Flats are areas off the channel with consistent depths. They are easy to find all the way from the spillway to Terrel Island to above the Highway 33 bridge.

Once the fish settle in on the flats, they usually stay there until the weather starts getting really hot. Many people think that once the spawn is over, fishing is over, but that isn’t the case. After a couple of weeks to recover from the rigors of the spawn, fish are eager to find shad and feed to build back up for the long hot summer.

About Kinny Haddox 592 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.