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“Channel” your inner crappie!

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Nick Young gives an update on Lake D’Arbonne’s winter crappie fishing

How about a three-part series of top crappie fishing tips from lakedarbonnelife.com and a Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 9.13.34 PMfellow named “Nick” for Christmas…

Part 1 of a 3 part series

Crappie on Lake D’Arbonne are in transition right now. A good number of crappie have been gathering in the channels and have been biting fairly well for a couple of weeks. But about half of the fish have still been roaming on 10-14 foot flats. The past week, though, things have started to change. For the better.

“The cold front that came through late last week lowered the water temperature several degrees,” Nick said. “That is driving a majority of the gizzard shad to the channels, seeking warmer more stable temperatures. Gizzard shad are the main fare of D’Arbonne crappie, but they can’t stand water below 50 degrees. In fact, at some point around 50 degrees, they will die. That’s why they seek the most stable and warm water they can find. This time of year, that’s in the middle of the channel.”

And when the shad move, the crappie move right behind them.

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Happy clients from a recent trip

“Most people think that colder water really turns on the fish, but the fact the crappie move to the channel in numbers doesn’t make them bite more. It just congregates them more and makes it easier to get on the fish and get bit,” Nick says. “White perch (I gotta like a guy that still calls white perch “white perch) like cold weather. They like cold water. They don’t have to move to the warmer water like the shad, but they are going to go where the food is. They are just following the baitfish. That triggers them, not the cold.”

The fact is, sometimes the coldest days of winter up in January and February does slow down the crappie a bit, but if you put a bait in front of them and they are hungry, they will bite. They just might not chase the bait as far or as often.

This time of year, be patient. One thing that separates crappie fishing from some other types of fishing is that this time of year you might fish awhile without a bite. Then if you hit a good school, you might catch six to ten fish or more in one spot. Be patient and do that again. After you’ve repeated that four times, you’ve got 24-40 fish in the boat. That’s a good trip for anybody. And if you are catching plenty of fish, don’t keep lots of little ones. Leave some for seed.

NOTE: Nick is owner and operator of D’Arbonne Lake Guide Service. You can call the 28-year-old expert fisherman at 318-243-8646 to book a trip and learn even more about catching crappie.

Tomorrow: The Magic number is…

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