Posted by Kerry Grissett on April 18, 2005 at 20:38:56:
I found my first bedding shellcracker on Wheeler while bank fishing today. They were mostly in about 1 foot of water and I was sight fishing. That is, I could spot not only the actual beds, but the male shellcracker on them and defending them. Nothing worked well except red worms.
Witnessed one bed where a female had come in and the pair went around in circles together spawning. Unfortunately for the male, after the female left, I caught him. He wouldn't hit in the middle of the actual spawning. None of the fish I caught today were really big. Maybe 8 ounces tops. I was catching them for a friend so I didn't keep any myself and threw back quite a few that were really too small. However, her grandson caught one yesterday that went about 1.5 to 1.75 pounds.
These little boogers are really aggressive! I saw one male, about 8 ounces, chasing off a gar that was probably 3 or 4 pounds! And the gar DID RUN!!!
I won't be specific about the area I was catching them in because it isn't capable of sustaining high volumes of traffic. However, it was water well off of the main river channel in the Decatur area and does not have much flow without rain. Not stagnant, but not moving much either which allows it to heat up a little quicker. That should be enough to give you some ideas about other areas that might have bedding shellcracker right now as well.
Good luck and good fishin'
Sorry I don't have a temp gauge anymore, so I didn't get accurate water temps in the area. However, by hand dipping, I would estimate the shallow water was about 62 to 65 degrees or so.
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