The afternoon came for me and my buddy to hit the water again, this time we had a singular focus “Crappies or Bust!”

A few of the smaller crappies

We hit the water way later then we wanted to we only had a few hours to fish. When we pulled into the spot we saw that we were not the only ones in the spot. We slowed down a bit to ask how they were doing. They said they had about 20 in the box. So we were hopeful we would get on some fish quick this afternoon.

It didn’t take us long to get one crappie in the boat. It was about 8 or 9 inches long, then nothing. For some time we checked other areas and other structure. We only managed 4 or 5 that made it into the box. The sun was fastly falling now so we began to work our way back to the dock. We stopped off by the boat that we saw fishing the area. We stopped and chatted for a bit asked a few questions. Then the younger of the two guys opens his cooler to show us a fish. The fish was around 12 or 13 inches. After doing a little more digging and asking them about their day we parted ways.

On the way back in I started processing what they told us. By the time we hit our dock I knew what we would have to do to catch fish the next morning. The guys told us a very key bit of info. We they 1st showed up that day the bit was really good but it slowed after an hour or so. The time frame fit and matched what we saw just the weekend before. They were also fishing a much more natural approach, so a trip on over to the local bait shop was in order before pushing off from the dock.

After a nice dinner with the girlfriend and one of her friends it was back home to do some re-rigging for tomorrow trip.

Some of our 12 inch cookie cutter crappies

The morning met us with some very strong winds and high seas. The old bath tub that is Lake Erie was having a mighty fine fit that morning. But wasn’t too big that couldn’t fish. After the wet boat ride we got to our area and started fishing some new pieces of structure. We quickly saw on my buddies Lowrance that the water temps were too cold in those areas. So we fired up the gas motor and started searching out some warmer temps. The best we could find was a maybe a whole degree different from the spot we started at. But that’s all it took.

Unlike last weekend the fish seemed to be holding very tight to the cover and structure. There was a few time we just let the boat get pushed into the cover by the wind and fish right at our feet’s from the boat.

As the sun rose up higher in the sky the water temps began to also rise. So we started checking some other areas, many times just blindly casting to a bare bank. When we caught a fish, we would stop for a few minutes and cast around that area. Once the spot seemed to go cold we moved on. We continued this checking likely spots as we moved around looking for signs of the “Glory Hole”(sorry gold rush humor). Then we came upon some cover that we have casted to in the past only to pull small gills off of it. I made a long cast to the outer edge as we got close. My bobber and shiner combo instantly started to move across the surface in the classic crappie slide fashion and slowly started to sink. I made a soft sweep hookset and the weight at the other end was good! After a few bumps with some sticks on the way out the crappie was free of the cover and in the boat.

Nothing Like the floor of the boat covered in crappie slim!

I quickly re-baited and set the float and minnow combo back into the outer cover. The bobber quickly repeated the scene that happened just moments before. It was two nice crappies in the 11 to 12 inch range back to back. We quickly set up shop on that location and started methodically picking apart the entire hiding place in the cover. We started with the outer edges then worked into the thicker parts of the cover. The fish just kept coming. It is a good day when you have to yell “NET” when crappie fishing. We quickly filled the livewell full 12 inch crappies.

After about three hours of total fishing that morning we decided to call quiets. The livewell was full of fish and we were running a little low on minnow and jigheads. Losing jigheads is just part of the game when your fish crappies in timber. So it was back to the dock for us. We were all smiles on the way back in. Even Lake Erie was in a good mood, it had laid down for our boat ride back dockside. We snapped some pics and did a quick fish count. I then loaded them up into a cooler in the back of my truck. I was going to have them cleaned down at Mathews. I like to help out the mom and pop shops around me so I give them all some of my business when I can.

The cooler over flowing with crappie goodness!

When I brought the cooler into the shop to get them weighted and cleaned one of the owners yelled back to the young man that does the fish cleaning for them. He face said it all, and his eyes grew when he saw our catch from that day. The owner also told me we were not the only ones that are on some crappies that day, but he said we did have the nicest ones he had seen or heard of.

After few minutes chatting it up I headed home to get the sweet smell of crappie slim off me. Then it was a quick dinner then back to the shop to pick up those fresh sweet crappie filets. It is amazing how come this time of the year so many people miss out on this fall fishing on Lake Erie. I’m not just talking crappies but also Perch, Catfish and Walleye. This time of the year can be really good for all three.

Nothing like net size crappie!

I hope to get out and chase these crappies a few more times before the icy chill of winter sets in on this spot, cause then I will have to wait until we get enough ice to chase them again. So if you’re sitting at home wishing you where fishing but think it’s too cold or to nasty get off your butt put on that rain gear and go fish. Cause just like you and I they have to eat