Editor’s Note: This past week I fished with the Phillips’ family of Wetumpka, Alabama, Jonathan, Alicia, and Wyatt, who have the same last name, but aren’t kin to me. I wanted to learn more about hot-weather river fishing and how to crappie fish with a youngster from Jonathan and Alicia – both top crappie-tournament pros.
According to Jonathan Phillips, “When fishing a river for crappie, the first thing I look for is large, underwater stumps that break-up the current. Those big stumps give the crappie a place to feed out of the current but still be close to the current. Look for the downcurrent side of an island – usually where stumps and logs pile-up when a river floods or has high water – as well as river bends, pockets, eddies and any kind of structure that changes the current. When our area has high-water floods, I like to get on the water and check places I have fished in the past. Sometimes there will be a blown-down tree underwater that always has produced plenty of good crappie for me. And after a flood, that tree may have moved from where I’ve found it before. Or, sometimes, that underwater tree will have stopped another tree that’s been washed down the river, making the crappie hot spot bigger than before – especially if the tree has been in the same spot for a long time, and siltation has filled in around the tree and is holding the tree fast to the bottom. Those kinds of trees will stop other trees and limbs that are coming downstream with current. A flood can cause you to lose good crappie spots to fish, or it can cause productive crappie spots to even be better after the flood.
“I like to fish remote offshore structure for crappie where other people don’t fish. I most enjoy fishing spots that are unique to Alicia and myself. The crappie that live there have lived longer and experienced less fishing pressure than the crappie that are holding on the obvious, easy-to-find fishing spots. Because these crappie live longer and don’t have any competition for bait, they usually will be the bigger crappie.”
To learn more about Jonathan Phillips and his guiding, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and contact him on Facebook at https://bit.ly/2xexIJ6. For more information on more-productive crappie fishing, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “Crappie – How to Catch Them Spring and Summer,” available in Kindle, print and Audible versions at http://amzn.to/WGaJLT.
Tomorrow: What about Jonathan Phillips’ Crappie Fishing Equipment