Fish Mouths of Creeks, Sloughs and Bays in Flood...

Learn More about Crappie with Jonathan Phillips

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Gather Crappie Knowledge with Jonathan Phillips

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Editor’s Note: The spring flood threat all over the U.S. continues to rise – particularly in the East and the Midwest with their still-growing snow packs. The National Weather service predicts at least a 50% chance of flooding throughout May due to the Midwest and mountains in the West having their snowiest February on record. One of the problems, according to the NWS is the wet summer and fall of 2018, plus the wettest winter (December-February) in records kept since 1895. So, John in the Wild (JITW) knew you needed to learn to fish for crappie under flood-water conditions. Here’s a link to a map giving more information: JITW interviewed nationally-known tournament crappie fisherman and guide Jonathan Phillips of Wetumpka, Alabama.

 Most of the year I rely heavily on my Humminbird ( Helix HD (high definition) 10 side-imaging, down-imaging and GPS electronics. However, under flooding conditions, I rarely use my electronics, because there’s so much trash floating in the river and suspended by the current. I have to rely more on my instincts to look for current breaks, search for eddy holes and pinpoint spots where crappie can hold off the current yet go out into the current to feed. Stable water conditions over a period of time will show my electronics are deadly effective. I usually can see a school of fish and even tell whether they’re crappie, catfish, bass or bream.

I use two items to find crappie regardless of the weather.

* Intuition and crappie knowledge: Under flood-water conditions, I depend on my knowledge of crappie to find and catch crappie.

* My electronics: The rest of the year I depend on my sonar to locate crappie. Even though I can find the crappie, I can’t always make them bite. But I can know without a doubt that I’m fishing where crappie are holding.

For more information, contact Jonathan Phillips at 334-391-9735 or [email protected], or go to his Facebook page at

 For more tips and information on catching crappie, check out John E. Phillips’ Kindle and print books “Crappie: How to Catch Them Fall and Winter” and “Crappie: How to Catch Them Spring and Summer,” also available from Audible at Or, go to to see all of John’s books. To receive and download for free “The Crappie Catchers’ Cookbook,” by John and Denise Phillips, go to

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