SPRING BREAKS

Cut­ting Mis­sis­sippi’s mas­sive Granada Lake down to size takes tal­ent and a bit of red­neck in­ge­nu­ity

Outdoor Life - - THE LAST KINGS OF THE WILD -

1 GET THE EDGE

As the wa­ter level climbs on Granada, it in­spires the crap­pies to start mov­ing to­ward the shal­lows in prepa­ra­tion for the spawn. Th­ese fish will stop at the first sig­nif­i­cant break or piece of struc­ture, so this is where Haynes be­gins his search.

“You can look at a lake map and see where the depth breaks are,” says Haynes. “So, drive around in your truck un­til you see the edge of the wa­ter near one of th­ese breaks, and start fish­ing.” He uses a 10-foot pole and ties a small jig to 2 feet of line that dan­gle from its tip.

“Drop a char­treuse-and-or­ange jig about 12 inches un­der the wa­ter near the bush tops. You jig a lit­tle bit, and ei­ther get bit or move.”

2 PLAY­ING SNAG

Snag­ging crap­pies might seem crude to some, but it is highly ef­fec­tive—and le­gal—in Mis­sis­sippi.

“This deal starts out in Jan­uary,” says Haynes. The colder the night, the bet­ter it is. When they start run­ning wa­ter to fill up the lake, crap­pies get sucked down the tube and will stack up on the riprap below the dam. Th­ese fish will not bite be­cause they are dazed. So, we snag ’em.”

Rig up tan­dem jig heads about a foot apart on your 10-foot crap­pie pole, leav­ing about 9 feet of line dan­gling from the tip­top.

“Stand on the edge of that riprap bank and drop your line out. You’ll feel your jig­heads bump into the fish, and you just set the hook.”

10-foot crap­pie rod 10-pound-test mono make a short flip cast and let jigs sink with cur­rent; set the hook on con­tact 2¹∕₈-ounce jigs tied in tan­dem

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