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Fishing Buddy
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About Sam

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    Stippled Darter

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    Fishing, vegetable gardening, woodworking.

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  1. Sam

    Crappie, 10-7

    It's the high water levels on Bull Shoals that have driven us to Stockton the past few years. I'd much rather fish Upper Bull Shoals for crappie and walleyes like I used to - one big reason is that K Dock is 35 miles from my house and any place I can launch on Stockton is 70+ miles, plus I have to drive through Springfield traffic to get there. But the past few years the Corps has kept Bull Shoals 30-40 feet higher than normal and I can't catch a crappie when they're out in the woods somewhere. My trolling places for 18"+ Bull Shoals walleyes have mostly been under 50+ feet of water, so
  2. My partner and I have been crappie fishing once or twice a week all this year, but I think it's about over for now. We had the strangest trip out of State Park on Wednesday, 10-7. We caught the most crappie ever, I'd guess we caught and released 90 to 100 crappie between us - and almost all of them were less than 10" long. We brought 5 keepers home, total, and they were about 10 1/2". Our many, many short fish were both black and white crappie and lots of them measured 9 7/8" - from there down to as little as 7". We're using minnows and ultra-light tackle on brushpiles, of course,
  3. 66.5 F. out of State Park.
  4. Sam


    Looks like you had fun! We did too - partner and I went out of State Park on Friday and while we mostly fished for crappie, I've got to report on the success of an idea I had. Apparently I have devised a successful, combination, (wait for it) white bass / walleye rig! LOL Lately when we're crappie fishing, white bass have been occasionally feeding on top. I keep a pole rigged up with a Roostertail, but it's just small bunches of bass coming up - often just a LITTLE further away than I can cast. They haven't been staying up long either, and they're gone by the time we can get the boat
  5. Fishing is funny, isn't it - things can change in a hurry and every day is different. Friday, the same day you're reporting on, we fished a half day for crappie and walleye in another part of the lake and did OK. 16 good-size keeper crappie, 2 walleyes with 1 keeper, 2 white bass, 2 BIG catfish, and as many short crappie as we cared to catch and release - lots and lots of those. We were slow-trolling the flats with minnows, and we remarked on the way home how it was strange that we didn't catch any black bass at all. Drowning minnows in Stockton, we nearly always catch and release a bu
  6. 🙂No problem, you got it! We've only kept/killed one keeper largemouth this year, and that was several months ago. That fish was gill-hooked and bleeding bad, so it wasn't going to make it anyway. Surprisingly, we've also caught (and carefully released) TWO "Meanmouth" bass this year, one 16.5" and one 17.5", both from the area of those two islands where the two lake arms come together. Both were caught on light crappie poles and 4 lb. line, so that was fun. Those are impressive-looking fish with the weird markings and green stripes on their cheeks, and they both took us around the
  7. THANK YOU bassnut, for bringing me up to date. From my post above you can see I've felt for some time that the length limit for Kentucky bass should be 12", but I had no idea they'd already changed that on Stockton Lake. My partner and I target crappie and walleyes, and for us other species are incidental, occasional catches. We always release smallmouths of all sizes, and my partner won't take home and clean anything but crappie and walleyes. I'm not such a purist, and I keep the occasional legal-size bass, white bass, or catfish for fish tacos. My family and I do like fish tacos - s
  8. I sure agree about lowering the Spotted (Kentucky) Bass length limit to 12". I've read that most Spotted Bass never reach 15 inches in length before they die of natural causes, and it seems like a fish should at least reach "keeper" status during its' lifespan and not end up wasted as turtle food. I discussed this once with a Conservation Dept. biologist who agreed that this length limit should be lowered so someone eventually gets to keep the fish, but he said there's a lot of opposition to that from resort operators, guides, and so forth who want tourists to be able to catch and release a
  9. Straw hat, I think I know why that is. We've quit fishing brush piles in less than 15 feet of water lately because we've found they're full of short black crappie with no keepers. The few keeper crappie we're catching are whites coming from brush piles near 20 feet deep, and even then they're mixed in with mostly short fish. We're having to hit a lot of brush piles, too - one or two legal fish off a spot if we're lucky, then we have to move on.
  10. We're still catching crappie, just not as good as a month ago. It's a finesse deal - brush piles in 15-20 feet of water, small crappie tubes on 1/16 oz. #4 hook jig heads, 4 lb. flourocarbon line, drop down to the bottom and work 'em up SLOW. We use real sensitive rods and the bite is very light. If it feels just a little funny, or heavy, or maybe a slight tap, SET THE HOOK. That's either a bite or a stick that will hang you up good - there's no way to tell so either way, set the hook. Lots of hang-ups, breaking off, and re-tying practice for sure! Partner and I got 11 nice keeper cr
  11. 15 to 18 feet deep off rocky points and banks. We were doing real good on crappie trolling that way up until a couple of weeks ago, but now that''s really dropped off. We're still catching some walleyes, but many more short fish than keepers. We're hoping crappie will get back on the brush piles soon, but they're not there yet.
  12. Great pictures! We've been slow-trolling minnows on 1/16 oz. jigheads for crappie and walleyes, and of course fishing that way we catch a fair sampling of everything else too. The bass have been especially active this year - lots of smallies in the spring and early summer, and now largemouths. We haven't seen any spotted bass lately, they must be out in deeper water. We have caught three Meanmouths this year in the 17 inch or so range, and those are sure spectacular-looking fish that fight like crazy. We're not looking for bass, but when we get ahold of an occasional big bass on 4
  13. Absolutely, and I would never be rude to store employees either. My wife and I have been ordering take-out meals weekly from two of our favorite small restaurants ever since this mess started - trying to help them stay in business. My beef is with people in power who are using this pandemic to gain more power, acting on the premise of "never let a good crisis go to waste". Small retailers, and maybe some big ones, are caught up in this just like us. My folks were of the "greatest generation" that got through the Depression, WWII, and quite a few mutations of flu and cold viruses that w
  14. One of our local small businesses has put up a large (and in my opinion rude) sign up in front, "NO MASK, NO ENTRY!" That's their right of course, but maybe someone should tape an additional note to it, "NO CUSTOMERS, NO INCOME!". Just sayin'. I understand that retailers are caught in a bad spot now and keeping inventory up with suppliers all disrupted is going to be impossible. My wife and I are doing MUCH less shopping now because of the miserable experience of being herded in one door, out the other, masks, social distancing, etc. I suspect that the legal departments of major retai
  15. Because of what I read here we put in at the North ramp on Thursday, we've just never gone around there and we always used the South ramp before. I like it better than the South ramp, it's away from the campground and all that civilization. There were only two other rigs in the parking lot when we got there, so no problem parking. When we left at noon, though, the lot was pretty full. All the years we've used the South ramp I always wondered who the heck thought it was a good idea to put concrete curbs on the ramp between the launch lanes. Much of last year and this year up until a co
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