Bridge the gap for Lake Greenwood’s winter crappie

Guide Daniel Skipper concentrates on bridge pilings for December crappie at Lake Greenwood.

Playing the bridge game is key to loading a stringer with crappie on Lake Greenwood once winter weather sends water temperatures on a downward trend, according to guide Daniel Skipper of Waterloo, S.C.

“The concrete in the bridge pilings warms up during the day when the sun is shining, and that warms the adjacent water, making it more attractive to the fish,” Skipper said, adding that the bridge and pilings also provide shade, giving the fish some relief from the glare of the overhead sun. “Some fish will be up in the water column sunning, and some will be deeper.”

Skipper said the best way to find what depth fish are holding is to mark concentrations of fish with his boat’s electronics.

“You can catch them tight-lining minnows or jigging Slabtail jigs vertically at the depths where the fish are located,” said Skipper (864-430-0488). “I generally like the smaller minnows for bait, because it seems the bait they are feeding on in the winter is pretty small.

“I like a 1/16-ounce jig and sometimes, a 1/32-ounce jig. Sometimes, I’ll also double-rig jigs.”

Skipper said crappie seem to prefer a dark-colored jig tail in dark or muddier water; on days when the sun is shining, a clear jig with glitter seems to work best.

Skipper said the crappie catch on Greenwood is variable. A 4-inch fish might be followed by a 21/2-pound slab.

“Some years, there will be a good hatch of crappie, and some years it might be slower, but usually you can catch a good mess of eating fish just about any time,” Skipper said. “The minimum size limit is 8 inches, and the daily limit is 20 fish per person. On a good trip you can expect to catch from 25 to 40 fish.

“You just have to move around until you find where the big concentrations are located.”

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