My fishing buddy, another Tom, and I hit the local water this morning pretty early and were rewarded nicely. The water has been getting daily doses of sunlight along with 60 plus degree temps [71 today] and finally we found a couple bays with 59-60 degree temps at the 6 foot depth I measure in. The surface temp was brought down to 52 degrees by the night's cool air but showed a steady rise all morning. The crappies, especially large males we found right on the edges of the first break to deep water, meaning they are gathering I anticipation of the spawn.
Purple/chartreuse tail and bluegill/chartreuse tail 1.5" Thump-Its and in the 2" Thumper Fry were absolutely drilled when they got in the strike zone. It didn't matter if they were pulled under a float or just as a swim bait....if the fish were where the bait was it got hammered.
The males have begun to darken some and are really pretty fish to look at right out of the water right now. In another week or two they'll look like they've been painted with tar.
At times today it was a fish per cast if the right combination of depth, shade and structure came about. Otherwise it was grabbing a random fish here and another there. Three different spots with sunken wood that topped out at about 6 feet in deeper water were just plain crazy good spots that afforded upward of 45 minutes of fishing at each spot....the bang, bang, bang type of fishing. I made a cast to some shoreline wood thinking a big old crappie should be sitting there and got nailed by a 19" smallie. There is fight and then there is FIGHT. This bird handed me the latter.
About 12:30 we noticed an uptick in idiots on the water so we wrapped it up for this day. All that wood has left me in need of painting heads....again. And I probably need to fortify the plastic colors that did the damage today. Its funny how I seem to judge the value of the trip in how much tackle has to be replaced. Today was a dandy in that respect.