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Fishing/Crappie Fishing on Lake Seminole


Jack where are some crappie hotspots on Lake Seminole? Jigs or minnows , best time - months, water temp etc. we fish Lake Seminole a lot but it's around Desser Landing on the river and then at several places on the big lake.
Any tips and info on crappie would be appreciated as we normally fish for bream and shellcrackers.

Mallory,  Hi, I am sorry to be so late in answering.  I have had a couple of bad days when I
just could not pull myself together to  write an answer.  I have only fished for crappie from
time to time over the past 22 years. Most of my fishing has been for bass but I have found a
few holes that have produced some nice strings of crappie.  I will express them as best I can
describe them.  I will also tell you the exact way that I have found the best crappie holes.
That secret is to look for a bunch of boats in a certain area catching crappie.  Move in to an
area not too close and start fishing.  Look carefully at the boats that seem to be catching
the most fish and see how deep they seem to be fishing.  This is easy if they are using a
bobber.  You have likely found brim or shellcracker using this same method I'd bet.  LOL

OK now we have that out of the way I have found most of my crappie by using two methods of
fishing.  One of these is using a long pole and a bobber that can be moved up or down the
line which is just a little shorter than the pole. You can start by using a minnow on a small
gold hook, a split shot to make your bobber stand up. I like a tiny foam bobber.  What little
fishing I have done for brim and shellcracker I want my bobber to lie on it's side with my
worm or cricket on bottom.  For Crappie I do not want my minnow on bottom so I want my bobber
to stand up telling me the shot isn't on bottom so minnow can swim a little above bottom.
I try this by putting my minnow in a place that should hold crappie.  A hole in the hydrilla,
alongside a tree stump, In the area of a brushpile or other good looking place. I try with
my minnow close to bottom and drop the minnow in. If no bite in 30 seconds lift the bait
and try another place nearby. If half dozen such drops gets no bites move the bobber down
a foot or so and try again.  If this does not bring a bite try moving the bobber down a
couple of feet and try again.  Crappie will move up to take a minnow but seldom down. Next
move the bobber down so the minnow is only 18 inches and try a few more spots.  This whole
process should not take more than about five minutes.  If no bite try another place. You may
not have to move far to find the school but it is a search.

If I am in an area without thick hydrilla or like a channel of the creek or river I will
often put my pole and minnow down and pick up my ultralight spinning outfit and a pair of
jigs. Try white and green first. One jig on the main line and the other on a six or 8 inch
dropper  about a foot up the line.  Cast into areas where there is a little current if
possible. Cast upstream and bring your jigs deep at first then a little shallower on the
next cast. If three casts get no bites cast a bit to left or right and work the jig the
same way.  Three casts should get a bite if the crappie are there. If thy aren't at that
particular place try three casts a bit up or down current or wind drift.  If you get a
hit mark the place with a buoy or GPS and anchor and cast to the place where you got the
bite If the crappie are there and hitting a jig then I forget the minnows.  If they stop
biting the jig then try the minnow.  Usually crappie do not stop biting they just move
away.  Sometimes only a short distance and sometimes further.  It is a matter of keeping
your bait either minnow or jig  in the school.  I have sat in one hole in the hydrilla and
caught 15 or 20 nice fish at other times only one here and one there as the school is
moving.  Crappie fishing is quite different from bream or shellcracker.  Bream or Shell-
cracker do not move from their bedding area but crappie move a lot.  I really do not know
about Crappie when bedding I have never found them bedding on Seminole.  I know they do
but when or where is unknown by me.

Now where to start looking for Crappie I will have to find my map.  Be right back.   

Well I am back but it is several hours later and I do not have my map.  I have searched
high and low and I cannnot find it.  I guess I will have to give descriptions rather than
GPS numbers.

So here we go.  First I would look in the lower part of the Chattahoochee River in the
area below where the old channel which went to the left around what is an Island now with
the new course straightened out and to the East of the old channel.  Look for boats in
the middle of the channel on down to about even with the markers showing the boat trail
to the west. Along here is the deepest water in the lake except a spring or two. It is
around 30 feet in the channel and for some reason the Crappie are prone to feed there. I
would assume there are some kind of minnows there.  This was in the fall if I remember
correctly.  The next area would be up the Flint about a mile from where it and the Hooch
come together to form the Apalachicola River.  The water there runs about 25 feet and
there seems to be quite a bit of trash on the bottom.  Again if the  Crappie are there
there will be boats around that area.  I would then try the area around the mouth of
Spring Creek and on up the creek to the area around Rattlesnake point.  The area just
above Rattlesnake point on the left of the boat channel is another place that often has
some good Crappie fishing.  I have caught some really nice Crappie by trolling a  Blue
or black back chrome Rattletrap along the boat channel edge.  You will run into shallow
weed infested water just before you come to the channel going West around Sealies Island.
That shallow area is a good place to turn around and  go back downstream.  If you find
Crappie along the channel they may be just off the boat channel to the left (facing  
upstream). To the South of  Rattlesnake Point is a deep hole called  "Cannon hole."
named after my deceased brother in law.  He used to catch "bushels" of Crappie in the
area around Rattlesnake point.

Following the boat road marked by pilings on up to about where the  channel bears to
the right  look off to the left and See the tree stump field.  This area is a little
shallower than around Rattlesnake point but I have found some nice crappie in the area
just west of the boat trail going into Reynold's landing.  The area had a lot of hydilla
and it was in holes in the grass one could often find Crappie.  I suspect there are
places to the East of the boat trail out of Reynold's landing but I have never fished
for Crappie there, only bass. Next place is on up the boat road past the one going in
to Reynold's landing. (Now called Spring Creek Park).  On up the boat road the area on
the left is flooded timber on the right is mostly flats with occasional clumps of tree
stumps some above water.  The one on the right is another of my brother in law's places.
He used to fish for Crappie at night with a floating light around these stumps.  AS you
continue up the boat trail you will come to a place where the boat channel goes between
tree stumps  some above some below water. (CAUTION DO NOT RUN AT SPEED WITH YOUR GAS
FOR IDIOTS.)  Then you will come to a junction with a boat road going off to the right
while the main one continues generally NE over about a mile of relatively shallow flats.   That one going off to the right takes you to the cut over to the Flint River almost
opposite  the Marina that belonged to Jack Wingate for many years.  I met Jack a couple
of times and he was always ready to talk fishing and especially his beloved Lake Seminole.
I had always wanted to talk Jack into writing a book about "old Sem"  but he died before
anyone got to get him to tell his story.  Half century or more and he knew this lake like
his living room layout.  Well this isn't about Crappie fishing so let's go back to the
first set of pilings on that boat road to the right.   Just after you pass the red topped
piling indicating the right side of the channel heading inward on the water.  Remember
"RIGHT-RED-RETURNING" meaning the red topped piling indicated the right side of the
channel when heading upstream.  Heading back toward the main river the red indicates the
left side of the channel.   I may be going into things you allready know but it is part  
of the teacher in me.  I taught classes in boating and navigating in the United States
Power and Sail Squadrons  in Panama City for many years.  Back to the crappie.

just beyond that red topped piling you come to a place where your depth sounder will show
a sharp drop from around 8 feet to  about 18 feet. This is the creek (Spring Creek
channel.  At that juncture on the left is a small bunch of drowned trees with 8 feet of
water on one side and 15 feet on the other.  Fish around this brush and you may find it
full of crappie.  Of course there may be none also a possibility.  "C'est Le geire"  or
something like that.  Now look to the right and see tree skeletons on the right of a half
moon curve in the channel. The left is also a curve of stumps.  The curve is left curved.
This curve is the creek channel making a big bend shown on the map like a figure 8. It
bends to the right about where the next red marker is located.  There is no green piling
there. (It is the only place that I know of on the lake that does not have a companion
marker.  The creek channel makes a sharp bend to the right near that marker.  Beyond
the marker the boat channel and the creek channel part and the creek is not marked but
the creek channel is about 15-18 feet while the water around it is around 8 to 12 feet.
Anywhere along this channel and fishing both banks has produced Crappie for me in the
past although it has produced some  great bass of 8-9 pounds. I'm still looking for the
one over ten pounds.  I have had her on a couple of times but the old adage " The big one
always gets away." holds true for me.  But I have caught enough 8 pounders to keep me
pretty happy.   Crappie, Jack You are supposed to be talking Crappie.

OK lets go back to that red topped piling we met first going off the main boat channel to
the right.  Now fish the right side as you move to the left from that red piling.  This
is the creek channel going the other way (upstream)and generally North   On the right
there are lots of stumps broken off at or near the waterline.  Careful stay in the
channel or use only your trolling motor.  All along here Crappie are here and there as
Crappie are prone to be.   About 1/3 mile up the channel watch on the left for a piece
of a limb sticking out at about a 45 degree angle pointing to the right. It points to
an opening in the trees.  Likely this was a little branch creek feeding into the main
creek before the lake was filled.  Anyway go up that channel in about 20 feet of water
fishing both sides along the bank where trees grew and were drowned when the lake rose
to its full level of  77 feet above sea level.  Maybe more than you would want to know.
Anyway this little branch goes for a couple hundred yards and peters out in tree stumps.
This area has been one of the best crappie holes for me over the 22 years I have lived
on "old Sem."  I started using minnows but when I tried tiny Crappie jigs I could catch
twice as many than with minnows so I used jigs from then on in here.  Don't be surprised
if you hook a nice bass on one of those jigs on ultra lite tackle.  You are in for a
fight and the bass will likely win  by wraping you around a stump and breaking off. Ha
it has happened to me several times.  It is difficult to hold a five pound bass on 4
pound line in a stump field.  Crappie Jack Crappie.  Ok Ok I have caught a few crappie
further up the creek but  usually I just went to that little creek for crappie.  It is
within sight of my home.  Look for the biggest house and swimming pool and huge dock and
that is not my place.  That belonged for years ever since I knew him after marrying his
sister in 1986.  She owned the house next door East with the run down dock I was always
in trouble with the Corps of Engineers over it.  It needs repairs now. A few years ago
I would have done the repairs myself but at age  82 with diabetes I don't climb around
on docks like I used to.

You asked about temperatures etc.  I like the  fall for catching Crappie when the water
is beginning to cool down.  I do not know what the temp was best but fall was the best
for me.  Spring is  ok if you know where the spawn takes place.   I have never found
Crappie much in the spring.  IN summer night fishing with a floating or black light
was something I did not do much. Bill Cannon my wife's brother did it a lot and caught
gobs of Crappie.   Actually since my wife died in 2011 I haven't done much fishing. My
boat was sunk at the dock in a storm while I was away and it was underwater for over
a week.  Everything was ruined and I had no insurance.  I got another boat but it had
problems so I finally sold it.  I wish I had a buddy a little younger than me who would
take me fishing.  I would gladly show him the best spots for Crappie, Brim, Shellcracker
and Bass that I know.  Even if I had a boat I would be a little anxious about going out
alone like I did for so many years.

That's about all I can do for you today.  I wish I had  had my map so I could have given
GPS numbers for all the spots.  Sorry about that.

Now I have to go get ready to go to bed or I will sleep all day  tomorrow which I do not
like to do.  But without my wife nothing is of much importance anymore. Not even fishing.
I would never have believed that fishing would not be of importance to me.  It has been
nearly five years now and I still start to ask her a question about something.  
Sorry It is supposed to be Crappie, Jack Crappie, Remember that speckled fish with the
paper mouth that makes it difficult to get him into the net.  Oh well "c'st la Vie'  


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Jack Gaither


PLEASE, PLEASE, READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE ASKING YOUR QUESTION. THANK YOU. PLEASE, I HAVE BEEN GETTING MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ANTIQUE RODS, REELS ETC. I hate to refuse questions but I really can not be of help in this. If you have an old rod, reel, lure etc. try contacting the maker if still existing or try antique fishing tackle on the web. I am genuinely sorry that I CAN NOT ANSWER SUCH QUESTIONS. I have been bass, crappie, brim and catfishing for over 70 years. Most of my recent experience has been on the Apalachicola R. in Fl. panhandle, and Lake Seminole. I can answer many questions on places to go and some ideas on tactics especially for largemouth bass in these waters. I can`t tell you what fish will bite but can give some lures and methods that have worked well for me over the last 33 years in this area. I am also well versed on boating safety and small boat handling.


I am not a guide nor a writer or publisher of any magazine on fishing. All of my ideas would come from my experiences and those of fishing partners in local bass clubs in Panama City, Florida or from reading many books and magazine articles over the years.

Basmasters. Past member (25 years) and instructor in boating and navigation classes in the United States Power Squadrons.

ST. Andrew Bay Power Squadron local publication "Stuffing Box"

United States Power Squadrons courses in Piloting and small boat handling, celestial navigation, trouble shooting on outboard engines and other non eletronic equipment in boats.

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