Fall Kayak Crappie Fishing
After a long season of awesome Yarpin (Kayak Carpin), the water cooled and the carp and catfish stopped biting the way they had all year. I stubbornly went a few more times then I should have because I had such a great year. It was time to switch gears. Jc Crappie of JCs Castaway and Aurora Lure Company said “You need to change what you’re doing and stop being so stubborn!”
So I switched species to crappie and we made a plan to get some. Crappies we know will bite in colder conditions so we just had to prepare. Before we did anything we made sure we were safe in our yaks. We had our pfds, safety equipment, proper layers of clothing, and dry suits from Mythic Gear. The saying is dress to swim and rig to flip.
We used an arsenal of baits. I wanted to catch some numbers so I had to be prepared. These fish at this lake are bigger than most ponds in our area. The lake is catch and release, this has kept most of the poachers away and the fish have grown to 7-12 inches. I know dozens of crappie ponds but most have small fish not much bigger than your hand. A 9-12 inch fish is huge for the suburbs of Chicago. Had these fish all been tiny, ice jigs with plastics and tiny minnows would be all I needed. Since these fish were larger this allowed us to use full size crappie baits. We used cranks from Aurora Lures, Tubes, Lake Fork Shads, Large Minnows, Crawlers, Crappie thunders. I used all light or ultra light rods with 4-8 lb line. About half of my fish came on a double minnow rig under a Thill float. I caught several on a white crappie thunder as well.
I also did something a bit different, since we were drifting slowly across the lake and not anchored I brought a straight line ice rod with a 1/16 ounce silver cicada. This worked magically! I caught crappie, gills, and a bass on it. It was a breeze to use while watching my floats drag behind my kayak. I went two mornings in a row and I ended up with at least 4 dozen hook-ups. Jc had a great time as well. I will definitely fish vertical from my yak more often.
So it’s not too late to go out. Dress warm and don’t be stubborn as I was and switch species and spots when you should. I hope you all have some Great Fall Crappie Angling Adventures!!