By LOREN BROOKS
Bella Lloyd, age 8, the daughter of Ryan and Kera Lloyd of Ammon, Idaho, had a great day fishing on Christmas Day with her Grandpa at Stewart’s Point. Ron and his granddaughter were using anchovies, fishing from the bank when they caught these two stripers.
But for the past several weeks, bragging rights have gone to those fishermen who are catching crappie. Pat Brown has shown some monster crappie on Facebook. Last week, Rod and Alan caught eight crappie, near marker 18 using lures. Bud, Junior and Walter have picked up a few.
Doug and Dan picked up five crappie using downriggers, trolling with a small wiggle wart type lures. These were big crappie and border on being “citations” because of their size.
The common name (also spelled croppie or crappé), derives from the Canadian French crapet, which refers to many different fishes of the sunfish family. Other names for crappie are papermouths, strawberry bass, speckled bass or specks (especially in Michigan), speckled perch, crappie bass, calico bass, (throughout the Middle Atlantic states, and New England).
Both species of crappie as adults feed predominantly on smaller fish species, including the young of their own predators, which include the northern pike, muskellunge, and walleye. They have diverse diets, however, including zooplankton, insects, and crustaceans.
By day, crappie tend to be less active and will concentrate around weed beds or submerged objects, such as logs and boulders.
They feed during dawn and dusk, by moving into open water or approaching the shore.
While fishing in Oklahoma, it’s a favorite pasttime to fish at night in lakes, where a causeway is built out into the water, and a round house with lights is built at the end of the causeway, providing lots of action when fishing for crappie.
I saw a mess of crappie in a photo provided to me by Art and Ardeen Caldwell, who have been fishing here for years. Their crappie were “citation” size crappie they caught on anchovies up near Sand Island or Rocky Point, as Paul calls it.
I think most people will agree that crappie are up on the top of the list of good eating fish. They are my favorite for sure.