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  1. #1
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    Aug 2008
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    Patoka Lake Crappie turning on

    Well my good friend called me this morning and gave me the report on the Patoka Lake Crappie. They are bitting. He said he caught some nice big ones yesterday.

    Look for the warmest water you can find and fish the shallow waters near the bank along the creek channels.

    The fish are in pre-spawn mode right now. Check from the Mouth of the Creeks to the back end of the creek and you will find them.

    The problem is that with all this rain it may drop the water temperatures down a few degrees. And this week it's going to be colder. Yesterday it was up into the upper 70's and low 80's during the day. So the surface water and the top 1 ft of water warmed up a bit.

    Next Sunday it's going to warm back up into the 70's again. So next week should be good too.

    He said that there were a lot of little crappie hitting his baits but not getting hooked. So the little crappie are hungry too.

  2. #2
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    Dec 1969
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    Wind !

    Thanks for the report ! Been on vacation this week hitting Bluegrass FWA for crappie and can say they are biting but most are small 6" whites . Maybe 4 keeper 10" fish . Fish mainly in morning because by noon the wind is so bad you have to find a cove or go home . Dangerous whitecap conditions . Wear my new life vest all the time , inflatable and small you hardly know you have it on . Invested in a new 55lb trolling motor to get around in this wind also . Loaded up on minnows at Evansville Worm Ranch on old boonville hwy . Get a pound of minnows for $15.00 which we figured looked like 12 dozen . Be sure to have a way to aerate them so they wont die . Tight Lines !

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the report on BG. I've not been out there yet this year but it's time to fish it.

    As for the minnow. I usually get 1/2 pound for about 4 bucks. They will last me several trips.

    You are right about having an aerator. It helps to keep the water cold. I don't feed them either. They eventually put too much ammonia into the water and that will kill the minnows. I use city water that's treated with those blue crystals. But I found that I have to take the minnows out every day and put them into a fresh six gallon bucket of treated water. If I don't a lot of the minnows end up dying on me. It's a lot of work to keep them alive but it's great if you want to go fishing in the early morning as you already have your minnows and don't have to stop at the bait shop.


    Quote Originally Posted by bassmanic1 View Post
    Thanks for the report ! Been on vacation this week hitting Bluegrass FWA for crappie and can say they are biting but most are small 6" whites . Maybe 4 keeper 10" fish . Fish mainly in morning because by noon the wind is so bad you have to find a cove or go home . Dangerous whitecap conditions . Wear my new life vest all the time , inflatable and small you hardly know you have it on . Invested in a new 55lb trolling motor to get around in this wind also . Loaded up on minnows at Evansville Worm Ranch on old boonville hwy . Get a pound of minnows for $15.00 which we figured looked like 12 dozen . Be sure to have a way to aerate them so they wont die . Tight Lines !

  4. #4
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    Dec 1969
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    Greenville,IN
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    I don't do very good at Patoka for crappie. I haven't fished it much and really don't know the lake that well. Went on 4/09/2013 and all we caught were dinks, all under 7 inches. My trolling motor quitting on me didn't help matters. We launched from Walls Lake ramp and stayed in that general area.

    Going to try again on 4/15/2013.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2008
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    Rockport
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    The worm ranch has the best minnows around too...awesome bait selection

  6. #6
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    Walls will be crowded on the weekends. Hope you got your trolling motor fixed as it can get windy up around the Walls area. The winds like to swirl around the hills and hit you from all directions. It's nearly impossible to find a spot out of the wind up there.

    If you have a good map of Patoka Lake you can see exactly where the creek runs into Dumplin Creek's bay. As you face into dumplin bay the creek channel is on your right hand side and hugs the shoreline. Sometimes the crappie are along that creek channel and then other times they spread out acoss the bay into the submerged timber in the 12 ft depths.

    I've fish dumpling at time and caught over 100 crappie but they were all small one. Other times I've caught 1.5 lb crappie in there.

    My friend fish's Patoka a lot more than I do so I'll take his word on where to fish.

    I learned about Dumpling Creek by looking at the Fishing Hot Spots Map of Patoka Lake. It's marked and there is descriptive text that describes the fishing in this area.

    If a guy were to put a brush pile in around the flooded timber it might be a good spot to fish. It's that or find a small ditch or creek channel that runs though the submerged timber or find a hump or other type of quick change of elevation in the flooded timber. That's why the creek channel is good. The edges of the creek channel have stumps with lots of tree roots that are good hiding places for bass and crappie.

    One thing that I have learned over the last 40 years and often have to relearn again and again is STEALTH. I make too much noise sometimes and end up not catching the big slabs. They don't get big without learning to run when they sense danger from above. That's why the long cast with a light weight bobber and small jig helps to catch the bigger fish. Cast out and reel in really slow and swim the jig back to you under the float.

    These fish can be down 8 ft in 12 ft of water this time of the year. So set a slip float so that the jig sinks down to 8 ft and stops. Thrill slip floats and bobber stops work best for this type of setup. The foam 1" long floats that Wallmart sells are great as they will hold up a 1/16 oz to 3/32 Oz jig head well. These two balance with other very well. The white and red floats are easier to see too. Let the foam float bob up and down with the wave action as this imparts action to the suspended jib below. Sometimes the slab take their time to inhale the jig. Sometimes all you can see if the float rising up a bit in the water after the fish takes the jig in their mouth. This takes the weight off the float and may cause it to rise up and tip over on the surface of the water. Set the hook as the jig's hook is in the fish's mouth. Crappie **** the bait into their mouth and can spit it right back out in a split second so don't wait for the fish to swim off as you may miss them unless they hook themselves.

    But keeping your distance and being quiet is the key to catching these big slabs. They spook easier than the smaller fish. So use a spin cast rod and reel to get the jigs out away from the boat.

    You can also use a long 10ft to 12ft jigging pole from BnM Company and catch slabs if you are quiet.

    I do think that a trolling motor can be heard by the fish. I'm not sure how much it affects them or if they associate it with danger but it's a possibility. Some guys fish out of a small john boat and use a sculling paddle to be more Stealthy. I'm not that picky and prefer to sit up in the bass boat's seat and use the trolling motor.

    Good luck.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tyme2fish View Post
    I don't do very good at Patoka for crappie. I haven't fished it much and really don't know the lake that well. Went on 4/09/2013 and all we caught were dinks, all under 7 inches. My trolling motor quitting on me didn't help matters. We launched from Walls Lake ramp and stayed in that general area.

    Going to try again on 4/15/2013.

  7. #7
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    Moveon, thank you for the informative post. I fixed my trolling motor and will try to follow your advice on catching bigger crappie.

    I do have the Fishing Hot Spots map of Patoka and your directions and information are clear and concise. Thanks, again.

  8. #8
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    Your Welcome

    Glad that you had a good time and caught some crappie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyme2fish View Post
    Moveon, thank you for the informative post. I fixed my trolling motor and will try to follow your advice on catching bigger crappie.

    I do have the Fishing Hot Spots map of Patoka and your directions and information are clear and concise. Thanks, again.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2008
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    white caps on the Water

    I fished Tuesday afternoon and the wind was howling out of the South. White Caps made it hard to navigate without getting wet. Waves slammed into the front of my Fisher Marine Bass Boat and threw spray up into my face while I was at idle speed. I fished the South end of the pit in the wind (winds out of the South at 20mph or more) and then after a few minutes headed to another area that was more sheltered from the wind. I caught 3 crappie there in about 30 minutes. Then headed further North and to a more protected cove. I caught 6 or 7 more crappie there. All were caught on my new 6'10" St Croix rod and new Pfluger Trion GX7 reel. I spooled it up with 165 yards of 6 lb P-Line. I was casting a small spinner bait with a plastic tube grub on it . The crappie were very aggressive and hitting the lure HARD. It was a lot of fun. I released all the fish at the boat ramp. I didn't wan to clean them so I let them go. They were not that big anyway. If they had been over 12" I would have kept and clean them. Most were in the 9" to 10" range. Which is typical for this strip pit. But I had a good day on the water except for that **** wind.

    All the fish were in shallow water. I didn't fish the deep water at all. So I don't know if there were fish in the deep water too.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: I've been out on KY lake when there were four foot rollers but that was in a differently type of fishing boat. That boat was a rental boat and had a "V" shaped hull. So it cut though the waves a lot better than my boat. My boat ***** when there are waves and lots of wind. I bought my boat about 2 years too soon. After I got my new boat they came out with the semi v's and then later came out with the all welded and properly shaped aluminum boats. But it was too late to get a new boat. But my boat works very well on these small strip pit lakes when it's not so windy. And usually I can find a spot out of the wind somewhere.


    Quote Originally Posted by bassmanic1 View Post
    Thanks for the report ! Been on vacation this week hitting Bluegrass FWA for crappie and can say they are biting but most are small 6" whites . Maybe 4 keeper 10" fish . Fish mainly in morning because by noon the wind is so bad you have to find a cove or go home . Dangerous whitecap conditions . Wear my new life vest all the time , inflatable and small you hardly know you have it on . Invested in a new 55lb trolling motor to get around in this wind also . Loaded up on minnows at Evansville Worm Ranch on old Boonville hwy . Get a pound of minnows for $15.00 which we figured looked like 12 dozen . Be sure to have a way to aerate them so they wont die . Tight Lines !

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    Bowersville
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    Crappie fishing at patoka lake

    My wife and I really enjoy crappie fishing and are interested in going to patoka lake, we are asking for advise in finding Clean, (with comfortable beds) , place to stay that is close to the lake , maybe some docks to fish from to catch crappie, we do own a boat, and is the crappie fishing any good in the lake, we make a trip to Weiss lake in the spring , and are thinking about patoka lake for a change, but know nothing about the lake or area. Thank you

  11. #11
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    The floating Cabins may meet your needs

    Quote Originally Posted by Double l View Post
    My wife and I really enjoy crappie fishing and are interested in going to patoka lake, we are asking for advise in finding Clean, (with comfortable beds) , place to stay that is close to the lake , maybe some docks to fish from to catch crappie, we do own a boat, and is the crappie fishing any good in the lake, we make a trip to Weiss lake in the spring , and are thinking about patoka lake for a change, but know nothing about the lake or area. Thank you
    Patoka Lake has some floating cabins right on the water where you can live and sleep and eat and even tie your boat up to the cabin on the water. There is a dock for gas and there is a food place up on the land. I've not been in these myself but I see them when I drive by on the water in my boat. They look nice from the outside.

    I stay with a friend at his camp when I go up to Patoka and spend the night. Most of the time I drove up there, fish and then drive back him. It's takes me about 1.5 hours to get to the lake.
    I use to camp when I went up there with the family. The Newton Stewart Camp ground is nice. You may have to haul water a ways though as when I was up there not each camp site had a faucet. There is a water faucet near by though and it's shared with several camp sites. That was my only complaint about the newton stewart camp ground.

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