Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Scott M

Crappies by the book

9 posts in this topic

This was one of the first fishing books I owned as a kid. My parents bought it for me at the Soudan Underground Mine Gift Shop

Crappie casts -- by the book

by Doug Smith, Star Tribune

"Get the net," Wayne Eller said with a tinge of excitement, his ultra-light fishing rod dancing.

"Oh, this is a nice one," he said as he coaxed a 13-inch shimmering silver-black slab into his boat. "What a nice crappie." He admired it, held it for a photo, then carefully slid it back into the water.

The 64-year-old Eller, of Cambridge, is a crappie fishing fanatic. A retired Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, he has fished crappies in Texas, Florida, Missouri and other states, and has even written a book on crappie fishing.

And on a recent warm and sunny April morning on a small lake north of the Twin Cities, he and I found a slice of crappie heaven.

"There we go," he said, setting the hook on another nice fish. A few minutes later, I caught and released a 10-incher. We found them in 12 to 14 feet of water, not yet along the shoreline, where they will spawn when the water temperature warms.

The action was virtually nonstop. In between crappie bites, we accidentally caught and released several largemouth bass. "I wonder where the bluegills are?'' he said. They weren't in the shallows yet, either.

Soon, we got the answer. Eller's rod bent in half again, and as he reeled the fish to the boat we spotted the bright orange belly of a huge 10 1/2-inch bluegill. Eller was giddy. "That is a bluegill. I haven't seen one this big in a while," he said. "This is a bluegill par excellence."


Now that is a genuine 10+ incher!

For Eller, even after a lifetime of fishing, catching panfish still is a ton of fun.

"This is one of my loves,'' he said, casting his jig. "It's never not fun."

The book on crappies

Eller was a DNR conservation officer for 21 years, retiring in 1999. He got the idea to write a book about crappie fishing after encountering anglers on his job who weren't catching fish.

"They were using the wrong equipment, fishing the wrong places and blaming their lack of success on myths," he said. "I was going to write a little pamphlet to tell people how to rig up to catch fish and where to look for them ... and then it kind of grew.''

He eventually self-published a book, complete with drawings and photos, in 1986 and sold thousands. Over the years, the book went out of print. But Eller recently revised and republished "Crappie Fishing: Secrets and Tips of a Game Warden" (132 pages, $15.99).

The response to his book, he said, shows there's still a burning interest in crappies. And, of course, the spring is one of the best times to catch crappies because they tend to concentrate in shallow water.

"Right after ice-out, they go into shallows and feed,'' Eller said. "Then as water temperature moderates, they'll move back to deeper water and stage in preparation of spawning. When water temperatures start to rise to mid-60s, then they will move back to the shallows to spawn.''

But Eller said it's a mistake to only target crappies in the spring.

"That's when lots of folks think it's the best fishing," he said, "but actually. they can be found throughout the summer along weedlines in great numbers.''

Keep it simple

Eller's book is jammed with tips. He prefers a simple feathered marabou jig, 1/32nd of an ounce, which he makes himself. He swears by a yellow jig with pink head -- and that's what we used the other day. Sometimes he uses an all-black marabou jig.

He doesn't use minnows. "They're not needed,'' Eller said. Small jigs with yellow plastic twister tails can be effective, too, he said.

Though Eller is retired, he doesn't spend all his time on the water. For the past seven years, he has helped build 16 houses as executive director of the east central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity. "It's very rewarding, especially when you see a hard-working deserving family move into their new home," he said.

It was a rewarding day on the water, too. As midday approached, we called it quits. The hot fishing was a tantalizing beginning to a new season.

"A Class A day,'' Eller said.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

My Dad was friends with Wayne, and I even rode along with him and Gary Thell (another CO) one time and learned a lot and also learned they were high class, top notch guys!

My Dad always said Wanye's book one of the best ever written about fishing any species (my Dad was a writer for St Paul paper) and he loved that book.

I am going to buy a copy for each of my Grandkids, and of course one for myself smile Hopefully Wayne will even sign them for the kids. As a CO or a volunteer or just a normal guy, Wanye is one of the best people you will ever meet, and this book is great - my Dad wanted to buy copies for us, but it didn't go back into print quite soon enough... Now I will have one though! smile

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Any idea where a guy can pick up one of those books.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Best most in-depth crappie book I have ever read!

Go get one!!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought this book last week it is $19.99 including shipping. Very good read.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a huge fan of the [PoorWordUsage] Sternberg's Hunting and Fishing Library books. "Panfish" was a great informational read and the photography is amazing.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another good book is Crappie Wisdom. It is an In-Fisherman Handbook of Strategies. The pictures in the book may "date" it, however it is full of great information.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I ordered the Crappie book yesterday thru PayPal but I wanted it sent to a different address than the one registered w/ PayPal. When I called wanting to change the address, I got an answer machine and left my phone number as requested. Didn't get a return call.

Has anybody oredered this book recently? If so, how long did it take to process the transaction & ship? I'm only 40 miles from Cambridge, MN.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Posts

    •   Please feel free to elaborate and educate me.   With or without personal attacks. 
    • Waterfront is now called dockside and they are open.  Not sure about tournaments, we don't participate in them because, not fans of what they can do to fish populations.  All these lakes in the area have far to many tournaments which contribute to hurtful results. 
    •  You are like Charles Oakley. Except without any of the the daunting physical attributes and replaced with the voice of Fran Drescher.   Your question is garbage and that's why it's unanswered.  
    •   You can feel free to answer this question too if you like. 
    •   So conversely, decreasing the supply of labor increases the compensation for all the participants in that sector, and increases the cost of the products and services they deliver.    
    •   22 hours ago, Big Dave2 said: As a Christian you would rather see human beings starve or live a difficult and dangerous life when there are prosperous jobs sometimes only a few hundred miles away in American cities, just because that person had the misfortune of being born on one side of a political border? Does your God recognize these borders?   That's to bad. Dave's gone off the deep end and now arguing with himself!
    • I like to chop bacon into tiny pieces and add to the hamburger. But of course juicy lucy's are always good too....    
    • One of my better ones up at the lake last summer. Finely diced fresh garlic, finely diced fresh onion, hand full of shredded cheddar cheese, tea spoon Liq smoke, big spoon of Jalapeno mustered all mixed in meat. Put on a toasted onion bun with a slice of cheddar cheese and topped with sautéed morel mushrooms and bacon! At least the burger was 93% fat free!
    • Dumba possibly back tomorrow night. 2-3 more turnovers in our own zone to deal with.
    • Wow, those are over the top, guys!!!   I make all my burglars the same....splash of worcestershire, cracked pepper, bit of seasoned salt, minced onions, and a couple drops of hickory smoke all mixed in. Sometimes mix in some  coarse sharp shredded cheddar....
  • Our Sponsors