With all the rain falling in Kansas lately the lakes are filling up fast. Melvern was already eight feet high and climbing as I dropped the boat in yesterday morning. There are a lot of things to overcome when fishing flooded lakes, clarity, PH and oxygen levels change, debris in the water, the fish will be scattered as the shallow cover they were relating to a few days ago is under all that new water.
As I dropped the boat in I had a feeling the fish would be all over the place. It didn't take long for the Humminbird Helix 10 to confirm my suspicions, there were Crappies scattered everywhere.
Trolling crank baits is a fairly common method for targeting scattered and suspended post spawn Crappies, especially in some southern states. but it is also an excellent way to catch them in flooded lakes as well. It allows you to cover water faster than long lining jigs and the vibration from the crank baits also helps fish hone in on the lures in the stained and dirty water that you will have on a flooded body of water. My crank bait of choice for trolling are the Bandit 300 series. I pull a six rod spread, three out of each side using line counter reels to ensure they are running exactly where I want them to be.
I had a trip to Milford on the books with a guy who has been in the boat several times before, so when I saw him pulling up in a different truck it took a second for everything to register, but when it did all I could do was smile and laugh. The reason I didn't recognize the truck at first is because it was Chatt Martin's truck! Yes, "Crappie Chatt" Martin's truck! It was about then that I realized I had better put on a really good show if I was ever going to even remotely impress this guy. He was a very well known Crappie angler and Guide for many years. I've been around Chatt several times, just never at the lake on a boat.
Kansas has been getting pounded with rain and lakes are changing daily from the rising water so I had my work cut out for me to say the least. With the spawn winding down the fish are becoming more widely scattered by the day and lucky for me, Chatt was already wise to the trick I was about to pull on these scattered fish as I started pulling out the crank bait boxes and was already thinking the exact same thing I was.....perfect way to get em!