Southeastern Wisconsin bass and crappies after dark

Dan DurbinWhenever a full moon comes around during the summer it gets me going – not like werewolf going, but night bass fishing fills my thoughts.  We had such an event last week, so a called a buddy of mine, Dan Schopf, to see if he was up for a night mission.

“Yeah, I’m in,” he said.

Everything was setting up perfectly – several warm, humid nights in a row, with mild winds being forecasted.  Add those factors in with the full-moon; when I believe just about all fish bite better on, and things were looking up.  But, as many of my trips, the weather forecast changed.  Rain, lots of rain, and a good 10-degree temperature drop.

Not good.

Nonetheless we launched my boat and began a quick run around the lake.  Because of most area lakes having a “no wake” ordinance on them after dark, it’s nice to get a look at the potential spots you want to fish while it is still light out.  You sort of create a milk run so it saves times later when a person can’t go as fast.

Seconds after hitting our first spot, Schopf hooked up.

“This is the first fish I’ve caught wacky rigging,” he said.  “I know you love the technique, but I can’t seem to catch anything on it.  Maybe now I will use it more often.”

We were using 5- and 6-inch green and black Senko baits rigged with the hook in the middle.  We also used black lizards once the sun set and had some success with that too.

The bass were biting OK – not great by any means, but not horrible.  The sun had set so we decided to give the crappies a try.  All you do is anchor off a deep weedline, drop the lights in, and wait about 20 minutes.  The theory is that the light draws in underwater insects and minnows, which then draws in the crappies, sometimes even a bonus walleye or bass too.

Dan Schopf submerses a green light in an attempt to lure in crappies after dark.“There is a big cloud of bugs down there by the lights,” he said.  “Lots of fish on the locator also.  Just not getting any bites.”

They lights were doing there job. They were attracting the “bait” that the crappies were supposed to be sucked into.  The only thing absent were the bites.  I can’t be sure if the fish on the locator we were marking were crappies or not, but whatever they were, they didn’t want any part of the jigs we were working.

We moved around and tried points and weedlines with the same results, plenty of small underwater insects were drawn in, but the crappies were tight-lipped or absent.

“Should we finish out the night on bass?” Schopf said.  “We were catching a few of them.”

So that is what we did.  I’m not ready to give up on night-crappies just yet.  The person giving me the info on the strategy is a good angler and swears its works.  Perhaps the cold front just messed things up.  Who knows?

The trip at least got us away from more news on Ryan Braun.  I certainly have had my “limit” of that.

Categories: Bass, Blog Content, Social Media, WisBlogs, Wisconsin – Dan Durbin

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