The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports Columns

March 12, 2014

Rick Bramwell: Time to prepare fishing hole for spring

Friday was my last day to ice fish, but something besides catching fish was on my plate. The ice would soon be gone, and it was time to plan for the future.

My first two holes produced right away, but then I know where to fish on this lake. I was fishing with good friend Todd Staley and cousin Jay Bramwell. They were catching fish, too.

When the pit owner showed up, I asked for some twine and a cement block. He had both. I quit fishing and began gathering bushy tree limbs that had blown down during the winter. Once I had my brush pile organized, I tied it all together and then to the cement block.

It was tough to build a crappie hotel while my friends were catching fish, but this was a project I had put off all winter.

Like most pits, this one has shoreline weeds and logs but little structure in deep water. The crappie always seem to be scattered and difficult to locate. Now they have a home. Their new hotel is in about 16 feet of water along a ledge. The highest branches will be at 10 feet — a perfect situation for crappie and big bass.

This brush will be a medium cast from shoreline, and many a guest will curse my name when they get hung up. Unfortunately, I probably will not get the credit when they leave with a bag full of fish.

Late afternoon Monday, the pit owner witnessed the brush pile slowly descend through the ice. First the block broke through, and then gradually the hole got larger and could hold the wood no longer. It took about two hours.

Crappie like to roam, and when they find this place they will set up house cleaning. As algae forms on the branches, it will attract minnows. The prey will draw the predators.

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