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Drifting Live Bait/ Float Fishing Live bait from shore ,two different lakes

  In this case drifting medium large Herring over structure at a 26-30 foot bottom produced 12 fish ,10 Crappie between 13-15", a 19,1/2" Pickerel and a 11,1/2" Perch . Number 4 Aberdeen Hook , #5 or #7 shot and 6# test . Greg and I worked the wind drift and this spot on a spot  for about 4 and 1/2 hours they were biting but tight to cover and only caught with the drift ,not on the the troll back up to the start of another drift .A dozen Herring produced 12 fish . Both live and dead herring worked .Dead herring we twitched a bit with the rod tip .Live Herring were left to their own enticement .

Gear I've used twice now on these good sized Crappie : Berkeley Bionix 6' Medium action Rod rated 4-12 # test. It's 100% graphite and has a  nice sensitive tip for the cold water  light tap of most  November Crappie bites . Granted it not like the whip tips of other Crappie rods but this rod tames these fellows while still feeling a good shake from them plus if I get a big Bass it'll do the job . It works great on the Pickerel I'm catching in the same lake .The matched reel is a Daiwa SS Tournament Series 'Whisker S1300 ' .This is my preferred Smallmouth Bass Combo but it 's serving as an excellent Live bait rod for Drifting and Trolling for these very fine Crappie I've recently located . The shot placed 8" up the line has been something like #3/0, #7, #5 . I didn't change the #4 Aberdeen hook even though the shiners I used this time are quite a bit smaller that the Herring ,brother Greg and I used the first outing.

 An Aberdeen # 6 used with a fathead or small shiner caught some Crappie from shore using a Betts Mr. Crappie twist on twist off slip float : http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/161333763304?ul_noapp=true&chn=ps&... Nice size and design and it's easy to twist it off and go with split shot /bait/hook method which sometimes is preferable.

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   11/29/15 Third Time out to the Bluff  and the vertical traveling Crappies .Got 4 Crappie and one Perch .Fished Blue cloudless skies noon-2:30 pm . Using one shot and shiner caught one 12 " Crappie.Using 2 split shot caught three Crappie ,one was 15" and an11,1/2" Yellow Perch . Cold day ! Shiners got down to the fish .Nothing on the fathead I was hoping a big Bluegill would grab.

   12/4/15 Float fishing Shiners and Fatheads from shore, about 15 fish .All Crappie about 5" except one at 12".  Fatheads caught all the fish except for a few that came on a small tube jig/tipped with crawler chunk and one dink Bass on a medium /small shiner. Two best fish of the day 16" ,2#6oz LMBass and skinny 12' Crappie . Both took a floated  fathead .   

  12/6/15 Back out to the Crappie Honey hole drifting Shiners. 45 degree water temp. Seven  Crappie between12-13,1/2" . Some were farther away from the Bluff which I found was where the Perch were . Now have a line on Yellow Perch near my Crappie haunt .Caught three along with my seven Crappie ,biggest Perch was 13.1/4"
  12/10/15 With buddy Steve O' Bringer  ;26-30' rowing around with live shiners. 9 Fish 5 Crappie ,2 Pickerel , 2 LM Bass  . Best Crappie: 15" , Best Pickerel 21", Best Bass 3.3#

It's looking like this ;October through December ,medium  Large Herring  for Big Crappie and good sized Perch progressing to November; smaller bait medium large Shiners for Crappie and Perch to December 1,1/4"Fatheads for smaller Crappie and 3"shiners for  Bass .

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4 Crappie ,1 Pickerel released .This kept for the pan .

Herring are becoming unavailable now so the timing is right in mid October to obtain them before they are not available . Fatheads and Shiners will have to do if you cant find the Herring at your local Bait Shop.

sometimes;; just the right drift ;; pays off big dividends !   congrats on figuring them out fast John !

Thanks Carl , we tried anchoring and throwing worms and worm tipped spoons at the spot they were hitting .but that produced nothing . Picky but cooperative. Taste great too!

Went back out to this spot in a 10' row boat and drifted Shiners,.Was a slow bite to start but it picked up and became good ! 6or 7 Crappie between 1.3 -2 lbs .Same size between 12,1/2" -15" .Fat bellied head shakers . Got snagged once .I am thinking there are a few submerged logs out about 4 boat lengths away from  that bluff these Fish are relating too. Saw a weasel on the bluff and I'm wondering if he smelled the fish I was catching and that's why he came over .

  Only Shiners were available not Herring or Fatheads.

Excellent pattern John!

and congrats on some excellent fish
Thanks for sharing

Yes I feel lucky to have found these fish !Will be sure to ice fish this location this season .

John;; my money is on you ; pulling these out thru the ice !  good luck to ya buddy !!

Thanks Carl!  I'll be sure to have my flasher unit with me . I think if these fish can be located thru the ice I'll be able to get them to hit spoons tipped with shiner heads or tails. The big Crappie at my home lake were all over that bait a few years ago thru the ice . If I use tip ups on this spot with live bait I'll have to get to the trap quickly before they take me into the snags I know are down there . That's one BIG advantage of getting them on a hand held rod .If you're off in the distance jigging another hole sometimes by the time you get to the tip up they got you in a snag and ya can't get them out .

 John;; Im just now getting into using spoons for blue gill;; first one I made up; even with the wrong hook I caught several blue gills;; on a very heavy over cast day.  changed the hook at home; next time out; tried a better hook;; beautiful sunny day;; not one single hit; nudge; or even a bump !!  any suggestions ??   you guys fishing the hard water;; my congrats to ya;;  Ill stay inside a nice warm house tho;; LOL

Better late than never to Musky Mods party of spoon chucking there Carl . Works great on Gills on steep banks in the fall when ones lake isn't poisoned by excessive Copper Phosphate .Yea ,I'm still rippin' pissed about the current state of my home lake . I 'm going out there again later to see if I can catch anything besides 5" Crappie and White Perch .

you have a perfect right to be miffed about a home lake getting screwed up !!  I would be to;; and guarantee some body thats connected to the foul up would be hearing about it !!   I watched Bill;s u tube videos on using them;2 videos hour long each !!

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