Friday January 1st I snuck out for a quick assault in the New Bern area with good friend Steve Fifer and crappie were on our agenda. We pulled into a small creek off of the river and dropped the trolling motor. Easing up to the first spot, we note that the water is higher than normal and despite all of the recent rain was pretty clean. Once on the spot, we set anchor and began casting to dock pilings and stumps that normally hold fish. After about 15 minutes and nothing to show for it, we started discussing our next move. I decided at that time to pick up a one inch white curly tail with small silver spinner and fan cast the area. On the third cast I hooked up with a good fish, but it pulled off by the boat. Very next cast and I had another one on, this time I brought it aboard. I tell Steve where I am casting and he fires in with a minnow under a cork and instantly gets eaten. Why the sudden uptick in bites? We found the fish, and were onto a pattern. They weren’t up against the visible cover, they were offshore and holding on the first break or ledge. We caught crappie after crappie in that same area using the same pattern and eventually decided to break fishing cardinal rule number 1. We left fish to find fish! What we were thinking, I am not really sure, but after an hour or so trying other spots with only a few other fish to show for our effort, we ended up right back where we started. The day turned out to be one of my best days of crappie fishing in NC for both size and numbers. Along with the several crappie we caught, we also landed a few nice bream, but the crappie clearly stole the show. Small jigs, wax worms, and small minnows got us bit in 3-8 feet of water. The crappie bite in the New Bern area will last well into April and early May depending on seasonal temps, and then the bream bite will take off for the summer. The crappie will still be around, but they will move to the deeper water of the river and seek shelter from the summer heat.
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