There was a man back in the old days who supposedly said “Go west, young man” but he wasn’t talking about fishing. He was praising all of the good things that could happen in the new land.
Now I’m saying go west for crappie. I am hearing story after story from people who are fishing in Hagerman Refuge and Big Mineral and Mill Creek and catching them. I’m also hearing from people who have been fishing Highport that the bite is slow-to-none in it.
With the lake rising and more rain expected, fishing in Hagerman should only get better as more water opens up more creeks. It doesn’t take much depth now to catch crappie. People using waders and a long crappie pole are just dobbing minnows or jigs in and around any brush in the water and catching fish.
Just be careful if wading — there might be a drop-off or some other obstacle under the water.
Over on my side of the lake the crappie haven’t moved in hardly at all. This dismal report could be all wrong by the end of this week.
With the temp of the water at 55 now, this rain is also raising the lake and with warmer water running in it’s time for crappie to come pick out one of my brush piles and move in. It hasn’t happened yet.
Tuesday I helped a friend put up wall board. After we got that done, and before I went back to the house to see how Susan was, I went down to our ramp and went fishing in a borrowed boathouse. I had my phone and if she would have needed me, I could have been home in nothing flat.
It didn’t take long before I caught my first crappie, a little, short dumb one. It was a while before I got my second fish and he barely made 10 inches. Not keeping them, I let it go. I caught No. 3 and he wasn’t a keeper either. That was it — no more bites or fish. I went on to the house.
Wednesday I drove Susan to Sherman and back to the house. I commenced to pulling weeds and grass out of flower beds and cutting out little trees. I went fishing again. I got one maybe bite and that was it. With the storms coming I thought it might make the fish turn on; wrong again.
When I can, I’m going to take the advice of the man who said go west and go to Mill Creek. When I was a kid growing up this was the time of year granddad took us to Mill Creek, or to Flowing Wells.
Not only could you fish from the bank with long cane poles, Flowing Wells had an iron fishing float we could use and fish for 50 cents each. Those days you could get three or four dozen minnows for $1. Today you need a bank loan for three or four dozen minnows.
Grandmother’s fried egg and bacon sandwich along with a Dr Pepper was like being in heaven. If I was fishing, I had to make like a statue and not move or I would get my ear twisted. If I didn’t want to fish, I could run around chasing butterflies. Those days, before I got into serious fishing, were a lot more enjoyable and fun.
Today my grandkids, some younger than I was back then, run around with a smart phone and could care less about going fishing. I have trouble getting my jitter bug open, much less using a lot of things it will do. I use it to call and receive calls — no texting — and take pictures. That’s all I need a cell phone for. Time marches on.
Get you some fast food or make it at home and try to get the family to leave their phones at home and get in the great outdoors. Snakes are out now but if bank walking, just watching where you are walking will likely not get you hurt. Looks like it’s going to be a great spring so get out of the house and enjoy the wildflowers that are starting to show and spend some time together.