Let’s Go Fishing
It’s that time of the year again. The temperature is rising and the Spring weather is upon us. Nevertheless, the temperature isn’t the only leading role in fish behavior. Changes in barometric pressure due to different incoming weather patterns can dramatically affect fish behavior. Along with altitude, high and low-pressure weather systems also affect the barometer. This means that we’re coming up on the most suitable time of the year to catch many of our Southern panfish.
As water temperatures heat up to about 60°F, many panfish in the South wander into the shallows to spawn. As a result, many Bluegill, Crappie, Shellcracker, and other panfish species are beginning to sweep the bottom with their tail fins to lay eggs. Although there are over 20 lakes located in South Carolina, some of these lakes have very shallow waters. The finest fishing is usually centered around the deeper waters.
The slightest change in barometric pressure can cause big variations in fish behavior. When their bladders expand, fish become uncomfortable. They relieve their discomfort by moving deeper or by absorbing extra gas in their bladders. Typically, you can find them around tree branches and other structures in the water, swimming around for protection.
Numerous fisherman, such as myself, are preparing for the Crappie to start spawning at Lake Monticello, Lake Murray, Santee River, Lake Wateree, Lake Moultrie, and Lake Marion, which is the largest lake in South Carolina. As a result of our clear freshwaters, the fish are easily spooked. I would consider finesse fishing for greater success.
Usually, by the beginning of March, Crappie begin to wander into the shallows and can be caught from anywhere between 4 to 15 feet. As the sun sets, the Crappie rises to the top and crowd to the shallows to feed heavily on fish and bugs. If you want to be successful with catching Crappie this time of year, I would recommend jigging along the banks around 4 -15 feet with green or black curly tail jigs.
From my 10 years of experience, fishing with artificial bait entices mature fish to attack things such as lures, curly tails, mini crankbaits, and etc. On March 26, 2019, as I watched our tight lines cut through the pollen, my dad and I were fishing for Crappie but the bites were at a standstill at Lake Monticello. Due to the recent temperature levels, it can sometimes deter the Crappie back into the deeper waters where they are harder to locate.