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Odds and Ends

straw hat

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Just a quick note on a few things we have observed since 4/3. 

NO flowering dogwood this year. I have not seen one flowering dogwood on my trips around Stockton this year. I have seen a lot of dogwood fully leafed out. 

Been seeing huge schools of baby shad the last two weeks. About one week ago. The whole surface at CC (Greenfield) was covered with them. Also seen a lot of them around Harley, Birch Branch and Price branch. Most were 1 1/2 to 2". I don't remember seeing so many baby shad this early in the year before. The shad must have spawned in February.  lol

In the last two weeks we have been fishing pea gravel spawning banks for crappie until around 9 AM, then going to steep channel drop of banks and back to spawning areas around 4 PM to finish off the day. We have not caught even one crappie on spawning banks. All of our crappie have come off the channel drops at 10 to 15'. All were p[ost spawn crappie even in early April. I must have slept through the crappie spawn.

With the water temperature reading at 70F the wife and I decided to try for some spawning cats on the rock riprap at Greenfield yesterday and believe it or not they were there. Loaded fat with eggs at around 5 to 8' deep. What?!! Catfish ready to spawn in mid April? I have never seen that before. 

Has anyone else noticed these types of strange patterns or am I just getting too old and senile?


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I think you are right. It would make sense that with water levels lower the water would warm faster and things would spawn earlier but I have never seen the water this warm this early before. but of course at my age my memory is sure not what it use to be. 🥴

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Just going back through my records (posts on here. :lol:) I didn't have a boat until June of 2017 so no data prior to that.

2018, caught fish on beds 5/7 and 5/8, the next week they were gone. Water temps were low 60s.

2019, no bed fish but we were flooded out badly towards the end of May.

2020, hardly fished, lakes were a zoo, peak Rona lockdown. Caught fish on beds at Pomme on 4/22. Stockton was a dink fest.

2021, also dink fest. Fished more for walleye than crappie that spring, noted water temps at 66* at the dam on 5/2.

2022, flooded out but caught fish on beds under marooned docks and in the bushes on Pomme on 5/9.

2023, haven't been to Stockton in the last couple weeks but caught fish on Pomme last week that were spawning or just about to.

As you can see I have always had a lot better luck fishing the spawn on Pomme.


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We think alike. i went back through the records I keep at home over the years. Most spawners were caught April 8 to 14th though. One year I did limit out on spawners on March 27th and like you suggested it was a low water year and it warmed quicker.  It is funny how things differ because my records indicate water temperature usually 46 to 52 degrees from April 1st to April 8th and then not reaching that 70F level until around May 1st (which is where it is at now) BUT I measure the water temperature at a 5' depth. That will make some difference. 

I guess the shad must have spawned real early too. I have never seen such huge schools of 2" shad this early before. They just cover the surface of the lake on calm days. I would think that these young will be too big for crappie to eat in 4 to 6 weeks.

Thanks for sharing your perspective with me. I appreciate it.

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Yea, Waterman2, I am amazed at the number of shad. 

I got my 70F reading at Greenfield last Thursday but mid 60's the same day mid-lake areas. 


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  • 3 weeks later...

The dogwoods flowered in abundance this year. They were definitely flowering a little earlier though. There are just a few left with flowers. Most have leafed out. There was just a few flowers left on the big grove that leads into Stockton State park Marina yesterday. 

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You are right. My tree in Willard was done blooming about 3 weeks ago but I noticed my neighbors down the street started to bloom 2 days ago. On a trip through Springfield on Wed I saw dogwoods in full bloom and just 50 ft or so away some that were completely leafed out and I had seen that tree bloom weeks earlier. Very strange. 

Thanks for the info.

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