Isn’t that Crappie?

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Crappie fishing can’t be any better!

Another evening living in Pendleton, Oregon what to do?  How about some  crappie fishing at McKay Reservoir? 

When I’m not working as a broker for Sykes Real Estate or running Rapid Print, my printing business, I’m fishing! Catching crappie isn’t tough if you know what to do.

To catch a  lot of crappie you don’t need to be professional fisherman,  have a $20,000 boat,  or a $300 fishing pole and reel.  I’ll give you the run down of supplies.  I will also give you some pointers to catch crappie in Pendleton’s McKay Reservoir.  The fishing tackle and technique will work for most crappie fishing in Oregon.  Let’s get going!

Here’s what you need!

5ft Light Rod & Reel Combo I Got at Wal-Mart for $30

4-6 lb test line is all you are going to need for most lake fishing.

So you have a rod and reel now for the good stuff!

The most inportant thing you are going to need is bait and I find crappie jigs are the way to go.
The picture below is of my own crappie jigs. I used an Oregon quarter to show the relative size.   I’ve seen people fish with line wrapped around a beer can, but they always had a jig attached to the hook.

Jig Bodies $2-$4 for 25 at Bi-Mart

Crappie jigs come in different colors and sizes, but these are the jigs that I have had the most luck on.  The ultimate jig color is a white glow in the dark, but I haven’t used those in a while since the local mini-mart stopped carrying them.  If you can find those, snatch them up!  If  you notice the jigs are not that big and the simple answer to that is, crappie aren’t that big.  If I’m looking for a meal, I will catch five, 10-12 inch crappie, but there is no limit on size or quantity, so it’s up to you.  Here is a link to ODFW fishing website for fishing regulation!

Other supplies that I use!

A jig head with hook attached, swivel and bobber.  Again, I wanted to show the relative size of the fishing supplies.

Jig Head $2-$3 for 10 Swivel $2-$3 for 15 and Bobber $2-$3 for 10

The jig head with hook goes into the body of the jig. A swivel is used to keep your line from twisting and the bobber is used to keep your bait off the lake bottom.  I usually attach a bobber on the fishing line  1-2 feet above my jig or bait, right in the sweet spot.   I let the fishing tools do all the work.  I like to to relax when I fish for crappie.

How to apply jig head to body of the jig then tie to fishing line!

How to insert jig head in to the body of the jig

Push the pointy end of the hook through the end of the jig body, keep pushing until the hook comes out near the end of the skirt “the wavy pink arms in these pictures.”   Make sure you secure the jig into the body all the way or it will come off.  I’ve had that happen and wondered why I wasn’t catching anything.  After you have inserted the jig head into the body of the jig, next is tying your line to the jig.  For this I use one of the most common sport fishing knots.

The Clinch Knot

The Clinch Knot

This knot is used by most sport fishermen to attach a swivel or jig to their line.  This knot is strong and won’t slip, but it does take some practice.  I have tied this knot 1,000′s of times and if done right, you wont have to worry about your knot coming undone.   Here is step by step instruction to The Clinch Knot hit play and try it out for yourself.  There are many knots you can learn that will help you fish, but will help in everyday life also.

So, you have learned what to use, now you need some technique!

If you are unfamiliar of how to cast, learning how to cast is best done by learning from someone else, but if you’re the independent type, try your backyard.  If you want to get ready for your upcoming crappie fishing event, but don’t know how to cast, get familiar with casting in your back yard.  You can practice alone and you also get the benefit of straightening your line.  Most fishing line is coiled around a spool which bends the line.  When fishing line is bent for a long period of time it forms a memory of the spool it was coiled around.  The line will come off the spool in coils.  Some fishermen straighten their line by stretching it all the way out and pulling on it to get the bends out.

Fishing Line

So, you have all your gear, you know how to tie a fishing knot and learned how to cast.  Now it’s time to hit the lake!

Crappie fishing is best done in the morning or in the evening, and because I am a night owl, I prefer the evening.  During the summer months at McKay reservoir and I assume most places, there is a time of the evening between 7-9 that the fish start to feed, you will know this because  THE BITE IS ON!  This could last a 1/2 hour or go two full hours depending on water temp, how much food the fish are already eating, but they will hit your jig over and over.

Finding a good spot and going for it!

You will need to find a spot that looks good.  Look for a tree near by for shade and make sure the water is deep enough for fish to swim down out of the sunlight.  I fish two different ways.  One way is to use a bobber. Set the bobber 1-2 feet above your jig, throw it in and let it sit.  Once you see that bobber go under, FISH ON!  The other way is to jig the bottom.  This doesn’t require a bobber, but you will have to be more active.  The technique is to let the jig sink to the bottom of the lake and when it hits, pull your pole up, then let is sink back to the bottom again.  Up down, up down, this simulates a swimming food source.  This takes some practice and a touch to know when to set the hook. You should try it in a shallow part of the lake to see what it looks like.  Those are the only two I use and I have great success, easy huh?

Whelp, that’s it! I think it’s your turn, now that you know what to do!

As you can see I just started!

Good luck and maybe I’ll do another post on filleting your crappie.  They are so good battered and fried in a little oil.

I live in Pendleton, Oregon and this is what I do for fun!

Visit my website www.pendletonproperties.net Looking for a home in Pendleton or Oregon in general.  Call me and I will email you all the information on the house you are interested in.  Chris Sykes, Sykes Real Estate (541)215-2274

8 responses to “Isn’t that Crappie?

  1. Always enjoy reading “how-to” articles on fishing and hunting. This one is a great antidote to those glossy commercial outdoorsman magazines that would have readers believe they need to fork over exorbitant amounts of dough to enjoy a nice afternoon outdoors communing with nature.

    • Thank you! Fishing is one of those things, if you know what to use and how to do it, you can catch some fish. I enjoy fishing even if I don’t catch anything and you are right, it is about communing with yourself and nature and getting away from the technology. I really like to share things I enjoy with other people and until now, it was just with my friends. Thanks for taking your time to comment, very cool!

  2. Thanks for coming by my blog, and subscribing. That is so cool! We have a huge crappie lake here, too. (Lake Eufaula, OK) I don’t fish, but I love to eat crappie! Way better than catfish, in my humble opinion. Fun article about how to fish for them. :)

    • Hi Beth, Thank you! I don’t think I have eaten catfish. We have catfish here, but I guess they haven’t caught on yet. I like crappie because it’s flaky, tender, light and if you get the right batter, forgetaboutit. My friends and I also fish for Bass in the rivers in Eastern Oregon. I’ll be googeling that lake after this :) Thanks for taking the time to comment, means a lot to me.

      Chris

  3. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the poop on crappie fishing! Good post. I’ve fished for crappies in some private reservoirs in Lake County (CA). They’re not huge, but they’re good eatin’. I like that your post makes crappie fishing sound both easy and fun, and like just about anyone can do it. I’m livin’ proof of that! ;)

    RPRT Photo

  4. Hi Chris,
    Living in Arizona, I don’t get away to go fishing enough, but used to live in Washington State and did some fine fishing up there. I love to sit with a pole and just be out in nature. I enjoyed your post, and your writing style. It almost felt like you were right here talking to me. Also, I learned a new knotting technique. Thanks!

    • You made my day, thank you so much. Now, you just reaffirmed my post in the best way, “I love to sit with a pole and just be out in nature.” We would probably have some good conversations lol. I have only been to Arizona once and it was hotter than… well you know. Thanks. Chris

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