Usually this time of year i like to target southern Ontario’s big game.
Such as our great lakes Steelhead, Lake Erie Channel Catfish and the Detroit River Walleye, just to name a few. However this time of year there is a much smaller and very tasty panfish that I must pursue every spring shortly after ice out. And I’m talking about our delectable Black Crappie. The Pomoxis nigromaculatus is a member of the Sunfish family that can be sometimes hard to find. However shortly after ice out these fascinating members of the panfish family seek out the warmer parts of the lakes and rivers and the Kawartha lakes have some of the finest Black Crappie fishing for miles.
This time of year I like to look for the shallow protected bays, quiet canals, estuary’s, harbours and inlets where the water will be warming up first. Once you have located the Crappie you can use a wide variety of baits to catch them, such as tiny tube jigs and almost any small plastic. Or even the good old hook and minnow !
On Sunday we encountered about 30 other anglers and it looked like everyone was using something different for bait. However everyone was following the same rules for ice out Crappie, and using the same rig, which was a tiny float fished only 1 to 2 feet of 4 to 6 lb test line above the tiny bait of their choice.
And everyone was consistently catching quality Crappie ! My good friend Jake Thomas and I had caught almost 100 Crappie averaging 8 to 9 inches and up to 12 and a half inches in only a few hours of fishing ! So needles to say, it was another great day on the water with great friends. If you would like to book a guided trip to try your hand at some of these beautiful Black Crappie, or learn how to catch some of our other fine southern Ontario species, don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail at. email@example.com Or come up and visit me at Red Pine Wilderness Lodge this summer for some fantastic Walleye, Pike, Trout and Bass fishing. See you on the water soon !
Ryan Edenborough. (Fishing Guide)