To say it has been a long summer is an understatement. and long year for fishing as a matter of fact. I have been excited to see some changes in the past two weeks. The crappie finally seem to be doing something similar to a normal fall pattern. We have caught some really nice healthy crappie out of deep brush piles vertical jigging. This is my personal favorite way to catch them. The bites have come very slow, and its critical to be there in the first two hours of the morning with the unusually high temps this October. However, the quality of the fish we have been catching has been much better than what I have seen all year. I predict as this cool front rolls through the area the bite should improve dramatically. I am also hearing that the bass fishing has been as good as it has been all year. Most of the reports that I have gotten are typical for early fall, top water baits on shallow flats have produced the best. I have not seen nor heard much in the way of white bass and catfish as of late, but I am hearing that bluegill can be caught on flats in about 8' of water and they are good quality fish. I am looking forward to fishing much more as the days grow cooler and the fall bite heats up.
Crappie: I have been catching good size and decent numbers in 18-24' of water. On calm days I have been fishing 1/16 oz Jenko Slasher Head Jigs with a Jenko Paddle Fry bait. Pepper Dew, Chart. Lime, and Lucky Leprechaun have been my best colors. On Windy days I am fishing a 3/16 to 1/4 oz head and Fry Daddy baits in the same colors. All vertical jigging over brush piles or stake beds. To do my vertical jigging I use an 11' Jenko Hypersense rod, 6lb Gama hi vis line.
Bass: Bass are being taken in 1-5' of water on topwater baits. Whopper Ploppers, Pencil Poppers and spook style baits are producing the best. Main lake flats have been the most productive areas.