Lake Manatee Crappie fishing has been like riding a roller coaster lately. The fish will begin to bite, and you think you've figured things out. Each day, the bite gets a little better. Can't wait to get on the water the next day. Get on the water the next day, and you would think the fish grew wings and moved to another lake. This is wintertime fishing in Florida.
The constant fronts that have been blowing in recently have kept water temperatures very cold, and the high winds have kept the water churned up, neither of which makes for great fishing in either fresh water or saltwater. The good news is the weather forecasters are predicting for the next week the weather is going to warm up to above average and the weather is going to stabilize. This should warm the water up and make for some better fishing. I recommend if you have been waiting to get on the water, this coming week is for you. We never know when we are going to get these breaks, so take advantage of it.
The days we have been producing some nice catches of crappie we have been getting them on Ron's Fish Bites with hot pink and yellow being the best colors. Keep a fresh minnow on the jig and slow way down if you are trolling, one-half mph or less. With the spawn in full swing, another good method is to put a float on with a small split shot and a small gold hook. Put a frisky minnow on and cast to the grass and hyacinth edges and wait for a bite. The crappie with move up into these areas to spawn and they can be in these areas in big numbers.
Capt. Mike Senecal