Grab your pole and head to the fishin’ hole. That’s the advice of Rod King, a veteran crappie fisherman from Durham.
“Nearly all the lakes have had poor crappie fishing this spring — until now,” said Rod King, who has dozens of crappie tournament trophies in his home, most of them won at Falls of Neuse Lake. “But now fish are starting to move into the backs of the creeks.”
Jordan Lake is probably in front in the race to be declared the piedmont’s top crappie venue.
“People have been catching lots of white crappie,” King said. “They were starting to wonder what’d happened to the black crappie. Jordan has both kinds.”
White crappie that are focused upon spawning, he said, have been slammin’ and jammin’ in Jordan’s woody shoreline structure for two weeks.
“Black crappie – although I don’t know for sure but a lot of people believe – already have spawned for the most part, although there are a few still moving to shallow water,” he said.
Fishing in both Jordan and Falls of the Neuse has been hot the past two weeks.
“A lot of people are catching fish fast-trolling for fish coming out, and others still are catching some on the bottom that are going in by tight-lining on the bottom,” he said.
Most anglers fishing wooden structure are using bobbers and live minnows on hooks with a split-shot above them, or threading live minnows on tiny jigheads, fishing them under corks around blowdowns.
“White crappie like to hang around wood or bushes,” said King, who prefers to target fish with artificial lures, trolling black or chartreuse 1/32-ounce jigs with black or chartreuse curlytails.
“I think chartreuse has been a really good color,” King said, “but I’ll sometimes put a minnow on; that depends on the water color.”
In clear water, he trolls jigs, and when the water’s stained, he prefers jigs and live crappie minnows.
Most crappie weigh from ½ and 1¾ pounds. King’s best slab of the spring was a 2.1-pounder he caught at Jordan Lake.