I won’t make THIS mistake again:
As it turns out, the older, larger and more eager female blacks – clearly fed up with winter – threw caution to the wind during our recent warm front and began returning to their favored spawning grounds.
And who could blame them? Those were some fine days! But even as the sun warmed the waters in the coves of Cedar Creek to a balmy 59 degrees (yep), I continued to tinker with my new (to me) 2005 Ranger, all-the-while missing out on some early-season crappie fishing.
To be clear: I only know this because after finally putting my boat back in the water Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 20 (following a four-week dry-dock period), I motored over to one of my favorite springtime coves and spoke with Mike, my retired Army General friend who lives there.
Turns out, Mike had some news.
Two days before (that would be last Sunday, Feb. 18) in the late afternoon, he'd been throwing a ¼ ounce black & chartreuse jig off the end of his dock, and landed (to quote him): “Three REALLY nice black crappie.” In 90 minutes, he’d also landed a healthy young bass, and broke off on a bigger bass with that same jig.
Mike doesn’t spin fish tales.
About that time the cold front, and the rains, hit.
Fast forward to this afternoon: The water temp right now is 51.3 degrees. I know that because I hoped, in vain of course, that during a break in the rains, I might find a few of those big females toughing it out shallow. No chance.
They’re back in their staging areas – in 15-20 feet of water. I marked a few on brush piles, but couldn’t entice a hit in the two hours I spent on the lake this chilly afternoon. I suppose my heart wasn't really in it.
So, if you’ve read this far, you might be expecting what I promised: A “Cedar Creek Spawn Report.”
Here it is: They’re ready, and you should be, too.
I, for one, won’t wait for the Dogwood tree in my front yard to bloom … or for the next full moon … or for my cat to quit whining that it’s too cold to go outside. I’ll wait for just one thing: Sunshine and a warming trend, however brief.
Because when that comes, they’ll be back.