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JUNGLE JIM 1

Cold water crappie

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Been fishing for stocker trout the last couple weeks and even though I've been catching them on a regular basis I wanted to try for something different Sunday so I decided to give crappie a shot at one of my favorite crappie lakes. I started at one of my favorite spots where I normally can catch some but after a half hour of nothing decided to move to a spot in the sun because it was chilly early. Southwest wind was blowing into this spot concentrating the shad there and it seemed to me that every fish in the lake was concentrated in that spot. I had my best day in years catching crappie, bluegill and even a couple nice bass. Probably caught over 20 crappie over 12-14" along with a bunch of smaller fish as well. If I missed a bite I'd keep it working and they would hit it again. Really wished I had brought a stringer because freezer didn't have any fish so went back early Monday with one. Flat calm day and for the first two hours caught 1 keeper and a bunch of dinks. The wind started blowing around 10:15 and that's when the big crappie started biting. I had ten 11-13 inchers on the stringer by 11am and released several in the 14+ inch range. Ten isn't a limit but that's all I want to clean. Ten fish stringer weighed 11.5 lbs. Between the two days I caught over 100 crappie, 40+ bluegill and 3 bass using 1/32-1/24 oz duck feather jigs fished 1.5 foot deep under a weighted float for casting distance. Pictures are from Sunday, once the bite started Monday I didn't even think of pictures until after it was time to go. IMG_1616.JPG IMG_1620.JPGIMG_1629.JPG

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It's one of those spots that when conditions are right it can be fantastic. Told one friend and he took his wife Sunday and they both caught their biggest crappie ever. He went there again on windy Wednesday and didn't get a bite. Interesting part was they were fishing a propeller style bait I tie and had given him some to try and they were all over that bait fished under a float with a slow and steady retrieve. I had never fished them under a float before but tried some on Monday and it worked. 1/24-1/16 dart heads with rabbit hair and middle picture is opposum hair. So they are good for something.IMG_0974.JPGIMG_0975.JPGIMG_0972.JPG

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These baits are my tied version of the Northland Whistler jigs. Just ordered a few hundred more propellers in a size in between the props shown above . The fly version is called a Pistol Pete.They are sold at some of our trout parks so the jig version should work there as well.

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I live in saint louis and there are several lakes that have good crappie fishing within 20 minutes of my home. I don't catch them every time I go but they are out there, including some big crappie over 2 lbs. but those are rare. Got one last year from a city lake that suffered two fish kills and wiped out all the game fish this year so have to look elsewhere now. 

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