Fishing crappies into this late fall period has shown a solid preference for baits that are long and lean, skinny minnies. Digging thru the Do-It catalog earlier I found the Trout Worm would fit right smack in this category so I got it and of course had to do my pet colors, junebug/chartreuse and purple/chartreuse.
Day to day, color preference can flip from one to the other, but one thing has remained static and that's this long, action filled profile. Last Saturday while fishing with my grandson I strung a junebug model on the jigs at the van before we even got to the water [lights ya know with old eyes makes doing this far easier than fighting it in the dark]. My first cast came back with a 13+" crappie hanging on the jig and worm combo. That one worm lasted the 1 1/2 hours we were there with fish hitting very consistently the whole while.
Thump-Its were hot done in these two colors in October on these fish but slowly the bite evolved into needing a longer, thinner profile bait and definitely with a chartreuse tail end.
I started to wonder why this came about and at the same time began to notice that many of the earlier fish we'd taken had a yellowish color to them but as fall got along they began looking more like the crappies I am accustomed to catching on the river proper. I think the earlier yellow hued fish were those that had been in the back waters for quite a while and the tannin that stains the water accounted for the odd coloring. As fall progressed and more normal colored fish were getting caught they wanted a totally different bait profile, one that I found when fishing on the river proper. I'm pretty certain that as fall moved along and more and more river fish found their way into the backwaters for the winter season they came with their profile preference.
On Saturday we caught three of the off colored crappies as opposed to maybe 12 or 14 on the Weds before Thanksgiving. There was sign that quite a few people had fished after we left on Weds and that they were likely back on Thursday and Friday. As those "native" fish get removed the migrating river filled the void. Earlier the Thump-Its were simply hot, but the profile shift slowly came to be and it had me sort of stumped until I began to see the difference in the fish and what the odd fish preferred.
The Trout Worm mold is a simple injector but it does like 4 clamps. TIGHT. And the worm size is deceiving...the mold takes a good amount of plastic so fill a 4 ouncer to assure a complete fill. The tail colors are an easy do with this mold. Done in the Essential plastic the worms are about like a night-crawler: you can stretch them about to 7 inches. In fact one crappie of about 11 inches was landed that just had the worm firmly clamped in his chops and fell off as soon as it was touched. I've looked at this mold a hundred times, but until I was seeing the need for a long, thin, slinky bait I just passed it by. Now I wonder just how many fish I could have caught over the years? Its a nice bait for being simple. Happy to have it in my arsenal now.