Tag Archive: crappie

Crappie is a type of fish that has many fans due to its good taste

Fly fishing therapy at the annual shad run on the St. Johns river

By Kevin Eastman

Interesting story on my little 2 hp Yamaha I use on the boat. I know I haven’t used the motor in at least two years, maybe longer. I pulled it out a few weeks ago. The gas tank was full of non leaded gas that has had marine stabilizer in it. I didn’t really think it would run well but I put it in a tank and gave it a pull. The little bugger started on the first pull. I used that tank for my trip below and it never gave me one problem. I was pretty surprised.

Now for the fishing.
This week I decided I needed to make the two hour trip from St. Augustine to the upper St. Johns River for the annual Shad run. Actually upriver is south for the St. Johns, as it is one of a handful of rivers that runs from south to north in the US. The Shad migrate from the ocean to the headwaters of the St. Johns to breed each year. They are fun to catch on light fly gear and are tenacious fighters. I decided I didn’t want to bother hauling my skiff and the hassle of packing everything so I popped the W500 in the back of my Ridgeline, threw the motor in along with some fly gear and was on my for a little fly fishing therapy, launching at the Jolly Gator Fish camp.
I didn’t exactly kill them but caught a couple to satisfy my itch. I also hooked two of the larger Crappie, and Bream (Sunfish to you Yankees) that I have ever landed. So, not a stellar day but at least fish were had. The area is very unique. The river meanders through a large expanse of grass and marsh lands that are used for grazing horses and cows. Plenty of wildlife from herons, egrets, white pelicans, otters, gators, wild pigs, and other creatures. The river also contains quite a variety of fish to catch, including hybrid striper bass. I usually get one trip in a year for the Shad run, though this year I may need one more to see if I can do a little better in the catching department.




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‘Tis the season (and a dancing bass story)

By Jill Toler

‘Tis the season for crazy weather and what an awesome December day we had in my neck of the woods (in North Carolina). Although the sky was overcast with clouds that looked as though they were about to rain down on our heads, the temperature was warm and the wind was very light.

I had taken the day off from work so, Fishing Buddy and I decided to visit upper Broad Creek to search for anything willing to eat a fly. My first hook up was with a camera shy, dancing bass that two stepped across the water and then proceeded to do a backwards somersault before diving straight down towards the log from whence he came. He came up again and shook my sinking spider loose from his lip. I kinda felt like he deserved to get loose after all of that.

It would be a while before I hooked up again; when I did it was three in a row. Three beautiful, fat bream. The first one wiggled away before I could take it’s picture, the other two were very accommodating.

Fishing Buddy caught a couple of little stripers and a crappie. Fishing has been very slow lately in our little creek but, hopefully the stripers and trout will be moving in soon. I’m ready when they do.

I have also completed a project for safely transporting my Wavewalk during low light or night time conditions. I purchased an inexpensive boat trailer light kit to make a marker set for the end of the kayak. I use a red flag for day time transporting since the Wavewalk extends more than 4 feet from the end of the bed of the Ranger. There are some places I want to travel to and fish and I will either be on the road very early or very late. Marker lights are required in North Carolina so I decided to make me a set just for my kayak using the boat trailer lights. I attached them to a piece of aluminum bar and extended the ground wire to attach to a light post using a ring terminal. The lights are self grounding so they have to be attached to metal. I used zip ties to attach the aluminum bar that held the lights to a piece of pool noodle. That balanced the lights and created a soft attachment point for the kayak. The pin plug goes right into the plug receiver on the back of the truck. I used them for the first time this evening and they worked great. The lights work as tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals. I use a couple of bungee cords to attach the light bar to the kayak so they sit at the end up high and very visible.

I have attached some pictures.

I hope everyone has a great holiday season and a very Happy New Year. Prayerfully, 2016 will include ALOT of kayak fishing for me.








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Oh crappie, that’s not a bass

By Jill Toler

Took the day off of work because the weather forecast was amazing and I really wanted to spend some quality time with my gilled friends. I went back to my roots. By roots I mean Lee’s Landing; the first place I went kayak fishing.

I made it to the ramp before Fishing Buddy and was unloaded and paddling around when she arrived. We headed to the area we fished the first time and tried to entice a bite with poppers on floating lines. It was not going so well because the water temperature had dropped due to some north west winds a couple of cold nights. I figured the fish were holding deep so it was off with the popper and on with a white bead head wooly bugger.
It took a while but I finally got hooked up. The fish headed for the deep and I figured that I had a bass, but what to my wondering eyes should appear…a crappie. A very large crappie. That was the first crappie on the fly for me and I was stoked.

I caught a pumpkinseed and another small crappie before deciding to try out a new area. I paddled around looking for some timber and decided on a small cove that had a few trees on the bank. I tossed the wooly bugger toward the bank and stripped it back with a short strip, strip, pause cadence. On the third strip, strip, pause I hooked up and again thought I had a bass. Not even close. This time I caught a chain pickerel. It got off just as I was lifting it up; no photo op for him.

I still had not caught a bass, so I went in search of more timber and structure. I paddled around a bend and knew that I had found bass paradise. I only had a few minutes to fish so I chose very carefully the spot to cast my fly. This particular area was deeper and littered with downed trees. Long cast to location X, let wooly fall, short strip, and FISH ON! A very nice largemouth hit wooly on the drop and went to pulling me toward paradise. Grabbed the net, scooped him up, and took his picture. CHEEEZ!

When I got back to the ramp there were a couple of fellas fishing from the dock. As I was approaching I saw Fishing Buddy chatting and thought maybe it was someone we knew. I got closer and realized that I did not know them but they were looking at me with curious looks. When I slid up on the bank to exit my kayak I heard one of the guys say, “well that is a different boat”. I spent about 15-20 minutes talking with them about my Wavewalk and explaining all the awesomeness.

It was a great day of fishing and I can’t wait to go again. I just might venture out on my own next time. I have attached some pictures.







scenic-view-Nov-2015 (2)



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New rigging and fish pics

By Ray Schwertner

Here are some rigging pictures (latest) of my boat. Note how the console with the seat can be easily lifted out and replaced in one of three forward or rearward positions. You can mount your stuff on it. The “u” brackets made this possible.

I show the pivot up and down transducer in the rear and the screen on the front motor console/step combination.

The PVC rod holders work great especially for bass fishing where you need them handy, but not in the way. A lot easier to reach than the rear mount standard holders..which are still used on occasion to hold the anchor or a rod. (When you put a rod in it, it can get hung on tree limbs or sometimes it would hit it with my casting rod.

I discarded the anchor trolley from my early days. You can see a wind up cleat on the console that goes to a pulley. If I need to adjust for wind direction, I just hang the rope over a cleat on the from, or back or side.

I think you could offer a drop in console with a seat option and maybe place to mount other items the user may want.

The trolley really works great… as you can see it fits inside the saddle space. You just raise up the W, push it under to catch the first or second rib, then raise it a little more an push it forward to get the second upright positioned on a rib further to the front. I tried to use a flexible design that you could fold, but to hard and too unstable. As you can see my trolley is fixed and strong enough to support the weight of the W and it accessories.

I think a customized trolley similar to this design would be a great accessory for you to sell, in addition to the console and maybe and electric motor mount. I just don’t get the folks who are powered up with gas outboard. But to each his own…

Finally the rope I am holding just comes out of a hole I drilled to keep it off the deck… My hooks have a way of finding the ropes that are nearby. That causes a lot of lost fishing time.

This fish are two black crappie. One other one got off before I got him welcomed aboard. Caught them on a 3/8 oz lipless crank bait called “Diamond Dust” from Academy spots. Usually a good bass lure but I have been catching crappie like these recently.




Black Crappie



DIY horizontal rod holder



DIY horizontal rod holder


Seat backrest in upward position


Seat backrest folded down



Front mount for trolling motor


Rigged fishing kayak with front mounted trolling motor – top front view


Front mounted trolling motor


Tackle box on deck


Tackle box on deck



Fish finder transducer in high position


Fish finder transducer in low position












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