Jordan Lake is one of the best Crappie lakes in the USA. There are both White and Black Crappie available and they grow big in these waters. The predominant forage in the lake are minnows and Threadfin Shad. The fishing is very good all year round in this lake. January - February the fish are found in and around the channels near the many bridges. Some of the best bridges are the ones on Hwy. 64, Beaver Creek Road and the two on Farrington Road. The fish will typically be at the 28-35 foot depth during these months.
March starts the migration toward the shallow spawning grounds. Depending on the weather, they could move as early as the middle of the month. During March, it is best to try the deep bite first and then if they are not there or reluctant to bite, move toward the mouths of coves and work toward the backs. You may find them in several different places during this transitional month. Keep an eye out for a lot of boats in an area. They are a good indicator of the type of area the Crappie are using that day. Once the water temperature reaches 60 degrees, they will start moving shallow quickly. Look for the Dogwood trees to be blooming about the time this happens.
April is probably the easiest month of the year to catch a lot of good sized Crappie with minimal effort on this lake. Most of the fish are shallow by the 1st of the month. Good places to start are the coves and cuts inside one of the many creeks on the lake. Some creeks to pay special attention to are Beaver, Bush, Parkers, Stinking and White Oak.
May is a month on the move again for these fish. By the first or second week, they are heading out to their Summer time haunts. They will school up well on different structure such as roadbeds, brushpiles and fish attractors. Some good roadbeds can be found on the both sides of the lake. The various fish attractors are always worth a try as well.
June - September the fish are locked on to their deeper homes but not as deep as you might think. The thermocline in Jordan Lake is relatively shallow during the warmer months. Most of the fish in the lake will be no deeper than 20 feet and in most cases, 15-18 feet are the magic numbers. Brushpiles are really the places to be during the hot months. The tops of fallen trees that lay in deep water also hold fish. The three best times to fish are morning, evening and night time. These months are very conducive to night fishing around the bridges and other structure and cover on the lake. Watch for the boats and you will see the areas the fish are holding.
October - December are months that the Crappie are fat and happy. The cooler water has them closer to their preferred body temperatures and food is plentiful. During these months you may have to move around more than the others to locate the fish. Good places to start are the mouths of major creeks, working your way in til you find them. The shad they eat are on the move, and so are the Crappie. The later in December, the deeper and more grouped up around the bridges they are going to get.
Gear and Tackle
When the Crappie are deep, long rods with sensitive tips are a good choice, but any lightweight rod will work. Pair the rod with an ultralight reel and 6 pounds monofilament and you are in business. Lures work very well (try a small white rooster tail in the Spring when they are shallow) but I prefer to use live bait. For deep water fishing, a 1/8 ounce weight about 24 inches above a #2 - #4 hook does the trick. If the fish are shallow, 4-6 foot ultralight rods with an ultralight reel full of 6 pound test will work everytime. I usually use a small float with a few #7 splitshots and find that the minnow should be 3-4 feet deep for the most bites. Fine tune that to match the area you are in. Night fishing done over 15 feet or deeper of water in the summer time let's you use both methods at once. A few rods down and a float rig with no weight thrown just to the edge of the light will usually catch the biggest Crappie of the night. Just rig a hook about 2 feet under the float and then hook the minnow through the back just under the dorsal fin. Don't hit the spine or you won't get a bite. Make sure it is wiggling good.
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