Podcast: Lake Oconee Crappie Is Live Action
Scott Williams, of Cochran, knows how to catch Lake Oconee crappie. Him and his dad Billy compete not only in Crappie Masters tournaments but in Crappie USA events, tournaments that send them regularly as far away as Texas. They’ve both won Georgia Slab Masters and the Peach State Crappie classics, some Crappie USA tournaments on Clarks Hill, and Billy won some of those bigger national events on Lake Oconee years ago.
In addition, they are two-time Crappie Master Florida state champions, winners of an Alabama Crappie Master state championship and Crappie Masters anglers of the year.
Scott says October is a great month to vertical jig timber and shoot docks on Lake Oconee.
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“I believe anybody right now can go to that timber—whether it be in Sugar Creek or in Richland Creek or up the Oconee River, wherever there is standing timber in that deeper water—and if you know anything at all about fishing, you’re going to catch some fish,” said Scott. “The fish are there.”
Scott said to look for timber that is in 18 plus feet of water. Timber as deep as 40 feet is no problem, but expect most of your crappie to be suspended about 10 to 12 feet from the surface.
Scott uses four different pieces of electronics to help him locate and stay on crappie: 2D sonor, Humminbird Side Imaging, Humminbird 360 Imaging and the Garmin Panoptix LiveScope. Each piece of equipment serves its own purpose.
Scott said October is a great time to shoot docks for crappie that are feeding up for winter.
“You don’t need a depthfinder, just start fishing docks,” said Scott.
In October, look for docks that are in 12 to 18 feet of water. While fishing with the author, Scott just happened to run across a dock in 17 feet of water, and it was easy to catch a dozen crappie from it. Yes, it can be that simple!
“I like a 5 1 /2- to 6-foot H&H rod,” said Scott. “It’s specifically designed to shoot docks. It’s got a fast tip with a good backbone.
“I like a light jig, a 1/32- or 1/24-oz. I can keep that jig in the strike zone longer before the jig goes below the fish. Color really doesn’t matter. I like red and yellow under a dock, but it’s a confidence bait for me. I know guys like white/yellow.”