February Means Time
To Chase Walleye, Crappie
February is the month for boat shows around the Midwest, which takes some of our guide reporters for the Fishing Report to places around the country to pitch their trips or to look at new boats with other buyers. But when they’re home on weekends, they have planned their target. In Tom Reynolds’ case, he says he plans on spending his February chasing walleye and crappie. Right now at Norfork Lake, he says, anglers are catching both off brush piles using small jigs and spoons. Tom will be fishing up near Udall using live bait for walleye and long line trolling for crappie in the creeks off the main lake like Bennett’s, Pigeon Creek and Big Creek, he says. Lots of big crappie are caught trolling small jigs and minnows, Tom adds.
Shane Goodner, our reporter from Lake Catherine below Carpenter Dam, says the walleye spawn has begun with fish located from the bridge to the dam. Small males from 1 to 2 pounds entered the tailrace early this year to prepare the beds for the larger females. These fish normal run from 3 to 5 pounds and will be present until late April. Trolling shallow running crankbaits that imitate small shad or crawfish have accounted for the most fish caught in the last week. The main channels hold the biggest numbers of walleye, and trolling against the current is key as these fish are bedding close to the banks. Carolina rigs tipped with live minnows are working well in periods of no generation.