This is the time of the year when fishing takes time and patience and preferably NO WIND! We can bundle up and take the cold…but, this unusually windy winter can be brutal. Those are the days that give you time to service your equipment. I’ll clean and respool my Shimano reels. My favorite fishing lines are Excalibur 8lb test and when I’m using braided line its Power Pro 10lb test that has the same diameter equivalent to a 2lb mono line. I’ve tried a lot of different lines but, these work the best for me.
It is also a good time to check your life vests for any rips or tears and replace them as needed. Then something that can get overlooked is your boat trailer. The fluctuating temperatures can definitely effect the air pressure in your tires. So, be sure and check those to make sure they are properly inflated. Also check the wheel bearings and grease as needed. The last thing you need is a tire rolling off your trailer while going to or from a day of fishing!
One more important thing to check is your fire extinguisher. Be sure it is fully charged. Then give your horn a honk because if it is not working, you’ll need a whistle to be legal.
February is still a deep water fishing month and don’t think just because of “No minimum length law” is still in effect this month that you won’t catch big crappie. In fact there are some monster crappie being caught right now. Typically what I’m finding is that bigger baits are catching bigger fish. If you stop and think about it, there are no samller baitfish right now until the new hatches of early spring. So, the fish are feeding on larger baitfish (you’ve probably noticed this when cleaning your crappie.) So, I’ve “UP SIZED” my baits by throwing 1 1/2″ to 2″ bodies like Pradco grubs, Storm’s “Wild Eye Curly Tail Minnows” or Wave Worm’s “tiki drops” Pearl white and shad colors are working great. To add to the surprise, these baits are also catching some nice black bass and yellow bass!
As far as depths, they have been holding in 30 to 45 foot depths on main lake points. Except during a new moon or full moon feeding period. These crappie can be found in 16 to 24 foot.
To be very honest, if you don’t have good electronics especially this time of year, it can be really tough finding fish. Hands down Lowrance is as good as it gets! So, if it’s time to upgrade, buy the most vertical pixels you can afford. Because the first key to catching deep water crappie is FINDING THEM.
Don’t let the fact that it is winter keep you from going out and enjoying some of the best fishing of the year.