February 2021

February 2021

OPENING CAST FEB 2021

I like to call it “Fickle February.”

It may not be so for everyone, but where I live (in Tennessee), February is a bad month for predicting the weather, or the crappie fishing.

When it comes to crappie fishing, my specialty is long-line trolling. That means I LOVE the pre-spawn months of February and March on the Tennessee River. March is almost always prime time, but in years past, February has been very good to me as well. Much to my wife’s dismay, Valentines Day has always been an especially sweet spot. Here’s one example on video.

The last two years, however, not so much.

As a guide I’ve been keeping some detailed records in recent years. In 2017 our February crappie trolling trips yielded 3.6 keeper crappie (10-inches-plus) for every hour fished.

Crappie NOW How To: CrappieNOW Hook Sharpening

Crappie NOW How To: CrappieNOW Hook Sharpening

Waypoints: Taking Time to Learn, by Geremy Olson

When we meet people where they’re at it allows growth and positive outdoor experiences.   Waypoints: Taking Time to Learn Learning to fish and live life. by Geremy Olson WayPoint: When you start with good intentions you have no need to follow through and people are left waiting for you to keep your word. When […]

Have a Crappie Day with a Fly Rod, by Jim Mize

A 5-weight rod, weight-forward line, 3X-fluorocarbon tippet, and a box of flies make up my travel pack. (Photo: Jim Mize)   Have a Crappie Day with a Fly Rod by Jim Mize Whether seeking shallow crappie or jigging brush and treetops, a fly rod can be just the ticket.   I have a habit of […]

Crappie Basics – Slow Down!

Swapping a regular jig head the same size head equipped with a spinning blade can sometimes be just enough to slow your bait down and entice winter crappie. Crappie Basics – Slow Down!   One of the best ways to slow presentations for winter-chilled crappie is to alter size or shape of your offering. Crappie […]

THE GREAT OUTDOORS, by Larry Whiteley

THE GREAT OUTDOORS By Larry Whiteley DRESSING FOR FEBRUARY  Layer yourself with loose fitting clothing. The layers create air spaces that trap heat and the layers can be quickly adapted to changing conditions and activity. Also, choose clothing that wicks away perspiration. Gore-Tex or similar type rainwear is a must. For your hands, mittens are […]

In the Spotlight: Terry Stewart, by Tim Huffman

In the Spotlight: Terry Stewart by Tim Huffman Terry Stewart reveals fishing and personal information in this month’s Spotlight.   “Terry is one of the most accomplished LiveScopers and probably the best crappie fisherman in [Mississippi],” says Kent Driscoll, BnM Pro Staff Manager. “He has won tournaments at all levels. If I had to use […]

Recipes: Wok-Steamed Crappie with “Instant” Preserved Lemons, by Vernon Summerlin

Recipes: Wok-Steamed Crappie with “Instant” Preserved Lemons, by Vernon Summerlin A wok is a round-bottomed cooking pot, originating in China. But they work great for preparing delicious crappie in the USA.   The lemon, Citrus limon, is a species of small evergreen tree in the flowering plant family Rutaceae, native to South Asia, primarily Northeastern […]

CrappieNOW “How to” Video: Shallow Water Winter Crappie

CrappieNOW Editor Richard Simms shares a firsthand lesson on long-line trolling and finding shallow-water crappie in February.   CrappieNOW Editor Richard Simms specializes in long-line trolling. Of course, the technique works best during the pre-spawn period when crappie are not orienting as much to structure. Even in February with cold water temperatures, don’t ignore the […]

Rattling Roamers Under Ice, by Scott MacKenthun

Noisy, rattling baits keep fish in your strike zone longer. Try dropping a jig with bait to seal the deal on fussy crappie, as the author’s daughter, Quinn, did with this slab. (Photo: Scott MacKenthun)     Rattling Roamers Under Ice by Scott MacKenthun Fishermen usually like to be quiet and stealthy. But sometimes making […]

Product Buzz, by Tim Huffman

Senior Writer Tim Huffman shares his take on some products for fishermen and outdoorsmen.   Product Buzz by Tim Huffman Senior Writer Tim Huffman reviews the latest buzz in products for fishermen.   Knife and Tool Sharpener – Work Sharp Ken Onion Edition Every handyman and fisherman needs sharp tools and knives. I’ve field tested […]

Essentials for Slabs on Ice, by Darl Black

Mike Kuna shows off a nice-sized black crappie taken through the ice. Water temperature is somewhere between 39 and 32 degrees. (Photo: Darl Black)   Essentials for Slabs on Ice by Darl Black Basic equipment for icing crappies   If the long-range forecast holds true, most northern states can expect a continued cold winter compared […]

Crappie Basics – Prepare for the Worst in Winter

Whether you fish on the ice or in southern waters, cold water is deadly.   Crappie Basics – Prepare for the Worst in Winter Please don’t die this winter (or any winter)   Whether you are a northern angler fishing on hard water, or a southern fishermen pursuing crappie in 45 degree water, it is […]

Making Sense of Crappie Scents, by Ed Mashburn

Most anglers agree that crappie are primarily sight feeders but there are situations when some added smell will make the difference between a bad day and a good day. Baitmate and Crappie Magnet Slab Bites are just two of the choice’s crappie anglers have to add a little extra smell to their crappie lures.   […]

Opening Cast – Feb 2021

OPENING CAST I like to call it “Fickle February.” It may not be so for everyone, but where I live (in Tennessee), February is a bad month for predicting the weather, or the crappie fishing. When it comes to crappie fishing, my specialty is long-line trolling. That means I LOVE the pre-spawn months of February […]


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