A good catfisherman can catch fish all year long if they know where the cats winter. However, when those winter haunts freeze over, it can stifle opportunity. CatDaddy says the winter hotspots that he targets have a lot of ice up and around the brush and in the shallow coves making it difficult to not only reach those places, but get a line in the water. While he patiently waits for the right conditions for catfishing, CatDaddy isn't wasting any time, he has switched gears and is targeting crappie instead. Fishing on lakes in 11 to 12 feet of water at the mouth of coves and near brush piles, the action is fantastic. These are super big, fat crappie that are full of shad, CatDaddy says. Using two inch tubes in either chartreuse and silver or black and orange, he sends his line out and lets it drop to the bottom, then cranks it up just a turn or two. From there he holds until he gets a bite from these big winter crappies. CatDaddy says he is consistently catching 13 to 14 inch slabs. "That's a hell of a crappie, now," he notes.
The slabs go home with CatDaddy for eating, but the real prize for the Kansas Catman just might be what's left over. Crappie serves as a great bait for catfish and CatDaddy is saving up for when the conditions are right to return to his favorite catfishing holes. The heads and guts all go into the bait bucket, and the eyeballs are going into their own jar. "It may sound weird, but you won't believe what a big ol' crappie eyeball will do on a hook," CatDaddy says. When late February and early March come around the conditions should be prime for catfishing again and the crappie bait he is saving now will pay dividends.