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Papermaker lands Papermouths!

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

Bill Matthews Outdoors Crappie

Mark another Kayak excursion off the bucket list! I have been talking about catching Crappie out of the Kayak for over a year, but have just not been able to fit it in to my schedule. I heard from some good friends that Crappie fishing was in tilt mode right now, so I decided that it was now or never. Michael was in full agreement, so we loaded up early Sunday morning and headed for Silver Lake, WA.

The water and air temps are still cold, so I wore my new Ocean Rodeo, Soul, dry suit, and Michael wore a neoprene farmer john wet suit. When we got to the launch it was 34 degrees and we both got a bit cold getting the kayaks ready for launch. One thing I discovered on this trip is that although a drysuit will keep you completely does not keep you very warm. I will definitely wear long johns underneath next time I head out with my dry suit!

The weather was cloudy but calm when we launched our Jackson Coosa Kayaks. It was beautiful setting rowing across the lake with Mt. Saint Helens in the background

After a row of about a mile we reached our destination and got out our Crappie gear. Michael was using a 7’ Eagle Claw Trail Master Spin/Fly rod and I using an Eagle Claw Featherlight 6’6” ultra light spinning rod. As soon as we got ready, the skies opened up and it started to pour down a cold rain. Michael situated his kayak under a tree to stay dry and I worked an area about 100 yards away in the open.

I fished hard for about an hour, using a chartreuse mini jig under a float with absolutely zero luck. I had a couple of bites but could not land anything and I was freezing! Although I was dry, I had no insulation under my suit. Combine my clothing situation with the fact that I was not catching fish and that equals cold! I decided to paddle over to Michael for an update to see how he was doing and to my surprise he lifted his stringer out of the water with 2 keeper crappie and several nice perch - UGH!! Ok, at this point I had to ask what he was using. He had on a pink/white mini jig with no bobber so I changed up and paddled away for another try.

My luck changed pretty quickly with the new lure, after about 20 minutes I felt like the perch king! Not what I was looking for, but they were fish and I found that I was not cold any more - amazing how catching a fish can change your entire outlook! Meanwhile, Michael had found the motherload of crappie! He was catching one on almost every cast. Once again, I rowed over to him to see what he was doing and found out that he had switched from a pink/white to a red mini jig. I made the switch and rowed over to a new spot. On my first cast I finally landed my first crappie!! It was under 9” but it was glorious!!!! I released it back into the lake and soon realized that I had stumbled into a school of crappie. For the next two hours I caught and released quite a few undersized Papermouths and was able to cull through them to find 4 keepers! I am sure that if we could have stayed longer that we would have both limited out, but Michael had to get to a game so we had to call it a day.

When we got back to the launch and I loaded the fish into a WPS trout kill bag to keep them cold and fresh on the way home. WPS kill bags are a fantastic way to keep your fish on ice and they come in a variety of sizes from Trout to Tuna - I highly recommend them!

I cleaned up the fish and my wife Ann cooked them up for us that night - she is an amazing cook, the fish tasted great and it was a great way for our family to wrap up another great day in the Pacific NW.

Thanks for reading



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