Fishing Creek Lake is a relatively small reservoir between Lakes Wylie and Lake Wateree on the Catawba River. In fact, some fishermen don't even know it exists, but crappie fishermen who know their stuff certainly know and keep up with the fishing on this lake during April and May.

Guide Buster Rush said Fishing Creek is one of his favorite lakes for crappie, and that the fishing has turned on and is excellent right now.

"The lake has been recently producing limits of crappie consistently," Rush said. "Based on normal crappie action at Fishing Creek, the water temperature is typically a little cooler than Lake Wateree, so the action should remain good right though the middle of May at the least, sometimes even longer."  

Rush (803-432-5010) said his preferred method for taking crappie from this lake is to troll mini-jigs, but he takes it a step further than simply trolling with an electric motor from a small boat.


"I will use a pontoon boat and actually use the big motor running in reverse to back-troll," Rush said. "To keep the speed right, I'll put out a 6-foot wind sock to slow the speed of the boat. My targeted speed is between 0.8 and 1.1 miles per hour, and right now, the best depth to troll is the 12- to 15-foot range. I will experiment daily to adjust the speed and depth for that specific day, but that is the range I use, and it works most of the time."


Backtrolling enables Rush to troll multiple rods. He prefers a 1/16th-ounce jighead and his grub bodies will run the gamut of colors.


"I'll experiment with lots of color patterns until I find what's best on a particular day," Rush said. "Overall this spring, there have been some basic color patterns that have produced best, and those have been an AWD bait called "The Possum" – which is light brown on one side with a yellowish color on the other side and a chartreuse tail. Another good color has been a darker brown/gray with a chartreuse tail. Also, Popsicle, a tri-color blue/pink/white, has been productive. But those colors are merely a starting point, there are lots of productive color patterns fishermen use to catch crappie."


As for specific crappie hotspots, Rush said it's a daily experiment of checking several different potential areas.


"Fishing Creek has a lot of underwater woody cover that's great for crappie," he said. "Points, pockets, flats near drops and ledges that fall into the channel are key areas. I mostly fish the lower end of the lake, and when I find a productive pattern, I fish that until the action stops, then repeat the searching process. I have seen that the mornings have been more productive than the afternoons recently, so I'd plan a crappie trip to Fishing Creek for early in the day."