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St. Patrick's Day Panfish Bonanza in North Carolina

This weekend started with a pretty good Crappie trip on the Little River in northeast North Carolina on Saturday.....The fish were shallow and water temperatures were 51 degrees.....Knowing the eastern division of the North Carolina "Fishers Of  Men" National Bass Tournament trail were fishing the Pasquotank River Saturday, I decided to let them have that river for the day.....But one of the teams had made the 20 mile run to fish Little River and I happened to run in to them....They mentioned that they had started on a creek off the Pasquotank and caught several large Crappie shallow on bass jigs....I made a mental note and they added that the water temperature was 54 degrees in that creek......They rushed on by as tourney anglers often do and I was picking up for the day.......

  Decisions, decisions, decisions......as I woke up early Sunday morning contemplating whether to go back to the location I caught fish Saturday or head for the creek on the Pasquotank......My friend from Virginia was going to come down and fish with me but a forecast of rain and gusty winds mid morning discouraged him, so just like Saturday, I was to go it alone....I pondered a few more minutes while watching our local forecast on the Weather Channel and decided to go look for the fish on the Pasquotank River.......I had no sooner made the run to this location and got a 1/32 ounce chartreuse Jig head threaded with a 1" Gulp Chartreuse Shad minnow tipped with a live shiner in the water when the first Crappie hit.....Somewhat relieved, just a few minutes go by and another nice crappie takes the offering......I notice the water temperature is 54 degrees and the banks drop off rather quickly but the fish are tucked in to three to four feet of water. I go a little further in the creek and I'm pleasantly surprised by a nice gill taking the Crappie offering.....I'm now standing in my boat because I also recognize surface strikes in my vicinity also.....I send the bait tight to some old weeds and one Crappie after another until I had caught 18 in the first half hour......I changed over to a Crappie Streamer that Tooty had sent me to experiment and it didn't disappoint.....several more Crappie and still very overcast and chilly...Having caught a few gills on minnows, I decide I was going to fish a cricket tipped Cotton Candy micro jig next and the gills responded, so too did the Crappie....I caught 19 more Crappie for a total of 42 for the trip and added 17 more gills which gave me 19 northern strain Bluegill.......One 14" bass allowed me to take a picture too.......It was now 10:15 and knowing I had 20 Crappie to clean from yesterday's trip , I headed back to downtown Elizabeth City to pick up......All fish today were released since I had a nice mess at home already and the gills need to do their work shallow anyway! My friend couldn't believe he had missed such a productive trip and we discussed how our experience with Crappie during and after a cold front was always good provided you could get out and fish.....The moral of this story......listen to anglers conversations for clues.....in this case we only chatted about a minute and they gave me a key clue..........Now I'm excited because I have several creeks holding Crappie shallow and the gills may also be waking up too..........

Big fish was 13" today.....solid Crappie..

Active fish today..

And some decent Bluegill too....

Happy St. Patty's Day Everyone!

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Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on March 20, 2013 at 8:27am

Thanks Patricia, always trust your fishing instincts and always listen for clues.....Good luck when you're able to get back out fishing. 

Comment by Patricia Ramirez on March 20, 2013 at 5:40am
Nice job, I hope to have your wisdom to find them next fishing trip.
Comment by DAVID L EITUTIS on March 17, 2013 at 2:23pm

Watch your mail box next week buddy, small assortment of streamers on the way.....

Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on March 17, 2013 at 2:20pm

You had included a yellow one in there Tooty and it was the closest to Chartreuse so I put it on and caught several fish on it....

Comment by DAVID L EITUTIS on March 17, 2013 at 2:16pm

HEY BUDDY GLAD YOU HAD AGREAT DAY AND LLLLLLLLLOTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO FOR YA !! What color streamer did you get some crappies on? Pink or Blue & White?

Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on March 17, 2013 at 1:26pm

Thanks Jim and Dick.......hope it gets there soon for you Jim........just a few degrees from last week to today and it was the difference......

Comment by Jim Gronaw on March 17, 2013 at 12:32pm

Excellent late winter catch! If it would only warm up just a bit up here!

Comment by dick tabbert on March 17, 2013 at 12:15pm

Great job buddy

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