Guide Freddie Sinclair said Jordan Lake, south of the Raleigh-Durham area, is holding steady as a good lake for crappie in November.
“You won’t catch large numbers of fish, but the fish that bite will be a good size,” said Sinclair (919-553-4547). “They’ll be gorging on forage to fatten up for the winter.”
This month, Sinclair tight-lines for crappie, employing eight rods in the bow and eight to 12 in the stern, the rods from 12 to 16 feet long, paired with spinning reels spooled with 6-pound monofilament.
Sinclair tight-lines using double-hook rigs. He fishes a live minnow with a No. 2 hook on the top line and a 1/16-ounce jig tipped with a minnow on the bottom line, occasionally switching to a 1/8-ounce jig to accommodate windy or deep-water conditions.
Water color dictates jig colors. For clear water, Sinclair likes orange, chartreuse and pink; in dingy water, red, blue and chartreuse. Black is also effective.
“In many instances, you can’t go wrong with a chartreuse jig since the water at Jordan is usually stained,” he said.
Egg sinkers ranging from 1/2-to 3/4-ounce are added under windy conditions.
Later in the month, Sinclair probes depths from 10 to 20 feet, moving at about .5 mph or slower, targeting irregular structure in the form of points, creek-channel edges and flats. Using his electronics, he searches for forage close to structure and sets his rods to cover different depths.
One community hot spot, according to Sinclair, is the US 64 bridge and causeway.
“If the water is high, I’ll go a little further into the creeks than usual, still looking for forage,” said Sinclair. “In early November, it’s not unusual to catch crappie in three to four feet of water.”
Sinclair said crappie move deeper when the water temperature is in the high 50s to the lower 60s.
An ideal day for crappie is one with little wind and some cloud cover, according to Sinclair. Other positives are slightly stained water and a stable lake level.
“Strong winds hinder crappie fishing,” he said. “Tight-lining requires boat control, and the wind makes that difficult.”