Larry's Short Stories

Trolling for Crappie

We kept 25 fish in total, 16 crappie and nine bluegill.  (Photo by Greg Kreutzer)
We kept 25 fish in total, 16 crappie and nine bluegill. (Photo by Greg Kreutzer)

September is not normally a month that I give much thought to fishing. Dove season opens on the first, the weather begins to cool down and fall officially arrives during the third week of the month. The ducks and geese get stirred up, the leaves begin to turn, and I start thinking about hunting season. Still, there’s always a lingering interest in fishing – especially when I’m around good water, the weather is right, there’s an opportunity to fish a nice lake and someone wants to go along – well, that’s what it takes to get me to go fishing in September.

We bought this old, run down farm a couple years earlier and the contractor was just finishing up some long overdue maintenance on the dam and overflow of the lake. I was there checking on the progress. It’s a beautiful, inviting 15 acre piece of clear water — irregularly shaped, with a few scattered trees along the edge – one of the nicest parts of the farm, we thought. Greg, the contractor (and friend), suggested that we go fishing on Sunday afternoon, and that we invite Brenda.

We trolled with two different jigs on each line; color is often important, so we were paying attention to which color they were hitting.
We trolled with two different jigs on each line; color is often important, so we were paying attention to which color they were hitting.

It was a beautiful fall day, not a cloud in the sky, with a high of 74 degrees and a faint breeze. We launched the boat, engaged the trolling motor and headed for deep water. Crappie was our target species and we knew they would be near the dam, but weren’t sure exactly where. That’s what a trolling motor is for.

Trolling is an interesting and pretty lazy way to fish for crappie; we cast out a short distance from the boat, hung our rods over the edge and waited for the bite. Bite they did; we made a mental note of the location and worked our way back and forth through the crappie zone for the next hour or so. Outside the zone, as we made our turns, we caught a few bluegill and a couple of largemouth bass, but inside the zone it was all crappie. All three of us were supposed to be fishing, but the action was fast enough that Greg never got to wet a line. He served as boat captain and guide; while Brenda and I did the fishing.

It was a wonderful, but short afternoon of crappie fishing in September and we left with great memories and a plastic bag full of prime fillets.

It always feels good to see the stringer loading up with fish.
It always feels good to see the stringer loading up with fish.
Larry's Short Stories