Posted by Kerry Grissett on December 20, 2002 at 18:41:40:
I have been having varied and limited luck with the crappie on Wheeler lately, but it has still been better than I did on Guntersville this fall.
The usual water level fluctuations on Wheeler have played the usual havoc on any predictable pattern. So, I have been finding them in deep and shallow water. Around structure mainly, but also in open water around drop-offs. I have been using crappie sliders with a slow steady retrieve, with and without a cork and also bass assassins. The creme crawdad(shrimp) has produced its fair share under a cork also, but color and style of lure hasn't seemed to make as much difference as finding the fish and making the presentation they want. The presentation can vary from hour to hour and in some cases, it seems, from minute to minute!
Most of my crappie haven't been really big. Most are still 1/2 pound with a few 3/4 pounders. Occasionally I find a few over 1 pound, but they have been far and few...
With the rainfall coming in spurts lately and the wind going up and down, it has been hard for me to stay on the crappie, but they are there!
With Wheeler pulling current steadily, try cuts and creek mouths as the shad and crappie should both stack up in these areas. Average depth for me has been about 6 feet in anywhere from 6 to 20 feet of water, but I have also taken some from 5 foot waters fishing from 2 - 3 feet deep under a cork.
LURES: If you can find the crappie, just about any jig will work. I have been using crappie sliders, bass assassins and the creme crawdad(shrimp) in various colors with success on all of them. In other words, color doesn't seem to be the primary concern. Depth and presentation are the main things to concider. Sometimes they want a slow steady retrieve (crappie slider) and sometimes they want a jigged motion (anything).
Good luck and good fishin'
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