Crappie, bass heading for their fall patterns

Kevin Tate | Daily Journal The crappie bite is on and the bass aren't far behind heading into the fall.

Kevin Tate | Daily Journal
The crappie bite is on and the bass aren’t far behind heading into the fall.

By Kevin Tate

Outdoors Writer

Crappie are hitting their fall stride and bass are on their way, gearing up for one of the most anticipated times on the water for fishermen.

Clay Coleman, of Clay’s Bait and Tackle in Tupelo, said crappie reports are indicating the fall rush has just begun.

Bass, he added, need the water to cool down just a little more, something that may well happen as soon as this weekend.

“Bass fishing is tough right now, but the crappie fishing is starting to turn on,” he said. “I haven’t heard much from the Tenn-Tom Waterway or Bay Springs, but folks at the state lakes are catching them. They’re doing well on Elvis Presley Lake, Trace Lake and Lake Monroe. They’re still kind of deep.”

Go deep

Coleman said consistent reports indicate crappie are holding t 22 feet deep at Elvis Presley Lake around the spillway, and that it’s a minnow bite, with the fish favoring minnows over jigs at the moment.

Bass, he said, are being caught in the state lakes as well, but in the traditional big bass waters of Pickwick and Bay Springs, water temperatures have the fish still in transition.

By the thousands

“They’re catching a lot of fish, but they’re short fish,” he said. “Bay Springs is actually a better lake right now than Pickwick for bass fishing. It’s a transition time. They haven’t come up into their full-flown fall pattern. We need to drop another five to 10 degrees and it’ll turn on like crazy. These cool snaps we’ve got coming may very well do it.”

Fast and furious

He did say while keeper-sized fish may be harder to come by, the topwater action for shorter fish is wide open.

“If I were going to go crappie fishing, I’d hit Elvis Presley Lake, Tombigbee State Park or Lake Monroe,” he said. “If I wanted to catch bass I’d go to Pickwick or Bay Springs. And if I just wanted to have a bunch of fun, I’d go to Pickwick and throw topwater. The numbers of bass that are at Pickwick are just unbelievable.”