We’ve got this crappie thing down.
Sometimes walleyes can be one of the most frustrating species to target. They’re finicky, so if the weather isn’t right or the wind isn’t right or the sun isn’t…blah blah blah. At least that’s been my experience. There are guys that seem to beat those odds at times and of course you might have that hot spot that produces no matter what.
We grew up casting for bass and northerns. While watching a meaty largemouth dance across the still surface of a late summer evening may be a heart pounding experience, they aren’t always the most desirable table fare.
I’ve eaten my share of those fish, but usually when it’s time to fill the frying pan most will target the king of the kitchen: the walleye. But when the going get’s tough, the tough go crappie fishing.
Every Memorial Day weekend, it’s become tradition to trek to my parents place and fill up ziplock after ziplock of bite-size fish filets. Their lake used to be a big muskie destination, but has turned into a better crappie spot. You may not see 14″ fish come out, but play your cards right and you’ll easily fill a bucket of the tasty little buggers.
Day 1 on this year’s excursion will go down as one of the best. The rain held off and the fish held on. We attracted a few of the other weekend residents and created a small assembly line of boats. Young and old got into the act and bent poles were everywhere. That’s the beauty of panfishing-lots of action.
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s tough for me to get too excited about bluegills and sunnies, but something about catching crappies in the spring works for me. It might be the group I’m fishing with, it might be the old stomping grounds that we’re on and it just might be the fact that we caught our limit within a few hours.
Cleaning over 100 fish may not have been my favorite part, but even that becomes part of the annual rite. An old Oak Ridge Boys cassette that has been around for the better part of 30 years made it’s way into a tape deck. Yes, I said “cassette” and “tape deck”. Google it.
A couple nearby muskie fishermen also gave us a little show, boating one of the rarer fish in the lake. He was happy.
We need to honor the meaning of Memorial Day, while enjoying the opportunities we’re afforded because of those who sacrificed. The weekend isn’t over yet, so hopefully you’ll get to enjoy it with family like I have been. Then be thankful for those that made it possible.