HAVE A CRAPPIE DAY! Conditions will be anything but crappy as warm air settles in over the region. Remember that awful spring we had? Yeah…me neither! But with highs north of 90 today, it’ll be the start of a Memorial Day weekend for the memory books. Speaking of memorable, the shallows are coming alive with a rush of late-spring spawners, and we turn our eyes to crappies in today’s Three Things.
Featured Photo: A male crappie in dark spawning colors, caught off the edge of a small reedbed. Simonson Photo
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Sat 5/26 – Summer Starts NOW! – Hi 90, Lo 60. Wind L&V.
Tomorrow: Sun 5/27 – Chance for PM Thunder – Hi 87, Lo 64, Wind NE@11.
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 5:58AM Sunset: 9:23PM
Moonrise: 6:21PM Moonset 4:51AM
Overhead: 11:54PM Underfoot: 11:31AM
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous (92% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 6:00-7:00PM. Moonrise, mild temps and light winds will welcome you to summer fishing in today’s Edge Hour.
IN BED. Look for crappie beds in the shallows holding pencil reeds, or along cattail stands near shore. The dark-hued males will be easy to spot under sunny conditions, while the females will be a bit more ghost like in lighter green colors. A pair of polarized shades will help cut through the glare and pick out fish that are setting up for the spawn.
DABBLING. Use a telescopic crappie rod, a fly rod or a longer ultralight rod to precisely present jigs in the pockets where shallow crappies have set up. Employ a small jig (1/32 to 1/16-ounce) dressed with krystal flash, marabou or small hackles or slip on a crappie tube and present it from a couple different angles to entice a strike.
SELECTIVE. Those crappies on beds represent the next generation in the fishery about to be spawned, so practice catch-and-release, or harvest selectively to ensure plenty of the panfish for the future. While there’s a good chance you may catch a slab in the spawning mix, it’s important to respect the resource.