My doctor, for 30 or so years, is always after me to eat more fish. My jaws would likely lock up if I tried to eat a black bass or smallmouth. They are much more fun to catch and release than fillet and eat.


I don’t eat stripers if one falls into my hands either. Now there is an exception to this statement. In cold winter water if I catch one over 10 pounds I’ll likely clean it and throw out most of it along with the red meat. I cut what’s left it into finger-size pieces and cook it in crab and shrimp boil.


Take it out, put it on ice and then in the freezer for a while to chill. Susan makes our own sauce and we eat it with crackers. It’s good.


Now back to fishing. My pets have started showing up in shallow water. I’m talking about the best eating in the lake — crappie. This is the time of year everyone who can hold a fishing pole and stand on the bank can likely catch them a dinner. Fish around any kind of brush in the water. I like to use a Blakemore Road Runner head with about any 1 to 2-inch plastics.


If you are casting from the bank a Thill Slip Bobber cork and Thill Bobber stops are my choice or similar other corks and stops. This time of year, crappie are likely to be very shallow. With a sliding cork and bobber stop you can set the depth you want and not get hung up as bad. You have two options. Rig a small weight and crappie hook on your line below the cork and fish with minnows.


I personally prefer to fish with a 1/16 or 1/8 oz. Blakemore Roadrunner head with some kind of plastic bait and a Crappie Nibble. I have always said while the Road Runner will catch every kind of fish in the lake, it also has a habit of getting anything else that’s handy. This year they have introduced a Weedless Blakemore Road Runner Head in 1/8-1/16 oz size. Now to be fair there isn’t anything with hooks, weedless or not, that has never hung up.


There is another option for those who don’t like to fish either of the two ways I’ve talked about above. There is a large selection of plastic crappie hard crank baits. They work also but the open hooks are also grabbers.


Those people with boats of about any kind should look for any trees or brush or timber of any kind out in the lake away from the bank. Ease up and tie to them if you can and fish cork or vertical with a jig in and around the brush. Also when you go in small coves with boathouses, expect to find brush around some of them. The lake level dropping is going to make a lot more fishing area accessible.


Main thing: go fishing if they let us get out of the house — it’s that time of year. Keep six feet away from your fellow fishermen.


Charlie and I went fishing Tuesday. He had done a lot of work on it and for an old fireman he did a great job. It doesn’t look like the same boat inside now. We were in it and I was still having to sit in the back seat. We fished for bass; I had been told that they were on beds. Well the water in Little Mineral has dirtied up some and I don’t know how they could have seen a bedding fish.


We fished for three hours and never saw a bed or had a bite much less catch a fish. But it was a nice day to be out.


I’m staying in the house as much as I can but I have a place to fish where no one can contaminate me. I’m not catching many crappie but enough to keep Susan and me eating fish. Dr. Millman would be proud of me. Don’t take the chance of getting this virus. Mask up and wash your hands. It’s no laughing matter.