QUITMAN, Texas — Summertime fishing can be tough. Like us, fish get sluggish and aren't as hungry. But this summer seems to be defying logic. Why? We asked Lake Fork Crappie Fishing Guide Jacky Wiggins for some tips to keep the fish biting all summer long.
Wiggins has been a guide on area lakes for the last 20 years. And he writes the weekly Crappie report for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
“I want somebody to be able to read that report and use it and know where they need to go. If they’ve never been to Lake Fork before I want them to be able to just say, 'hey, I can look at the timber or the brush or the laydowns, at this depth, this week, this bait and be able to produce fish”, Wiggins told us on a recent fishing trip on Lake Fork.
Wiggins said there's never a bad bite on Lake Fork. The only thing that changes is the pattern. Summertime requires finding brush piles and large trees submerged in deep water. And he said fishing for Crappie in the summer takes some finesse.
“In the springtime, you drop a plastic jog down there and they’ll just crush it, says Wiggins. But he adds, "during the summer, they’re a little more finicky so you need to go to those minnows, those little biddy hand ties.”
Here are his big three tips for the summer:
- Fish with minnows. You can still catch fish on hand ties and plastic lures but minnows are the ticket these days.
- Figure out the depth and how to approach the fish.
- Sometimes you have to float minnows overtop a school of Crappie to entice them to bite. But you still have to know where the Crappie are hiding.
“In the summertime we look for laydowns," Wiggins offered. "We look for brush piles that hold fish, next to trees then we look for deeper water with big Bois D’Arc trees. Those are three patterns that produce the most fish for us in the summertime".
Use these three tips and with a little patience and persistence you should have the fish biting all summer.