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Lake life

53: Nick’s Magic Number

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

Part 2 of a 3 part series

Nick Young believes that one thing above all others triggers crappie movements. Temperature. And his magic number is 53 degrees.

“You’ll get all kinds of opinions on this, but I think when the water temperature gets to about 53 degrees, that is when almost all the shad are going to move into the deeper water in the channel,” he says. “And 90 percent of the crappie in the lake are going to follow. There will always be some fish that stay on flats, or go to other deep holes. But the majority will be around those big balls of shad that you see on your electronics.”

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Nick Young

As Nick said in part 1 of this series, the crappie have already been biting fairly good in deeper water. The water temperature was around 57-58 last week before the sub-freezing nights hit. The water temp now is nearing the magic number, if not already there in some places.

“The good thing about that is we are getting here fairly early,” Nick said. “Last year we really didn’t have this kind of cold weather, especially early, and it kept the fish scattered. Barring any major warm spells, the bite is shaping up to be better this winter than last winter. We are already noticing a lot more good fish. We have been catching 30-40 a day and we have a lot of one and one and a quarter pounders. Moving forward, anglers should really focus on the channel.”

That’s a bigger average than most anglers saw early last year. If those conditions persist it’s “fixing to happen” for crappie anglers, Nick says.

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Staying on the fish helped Nick and clients catch about 30 of these recently

He does make one more important point here. When the fish are in the channel, you need a good electronic unit to maximize your fishing time. You can just stay in the deep water and catch some, but if you can study and watch the schools of shad below you — and the crappie — you can stay on them all the time, therefore catching more fish.

Crappie fishermen are usually a friendly lot. If you are new to the sport and need some tips, don’t hesitate to ask others you see on the lake catching fish. Most will share information and some will even give you a bait like they are catching fish on. Make every trip a learning experience. And remember no matter what, fishing is for fun, so keep it that way and enjoy your time on the water.

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: Confidence and the Crowds

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