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Old 04-29-2020, 09:38 PM   #61
Mickeyyy
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

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Originally Posted by StrawberryMTN View Post
So...it sounds like the ramps and everything are open out there...? Might have to take a peak in the next couple weeks. Need to get the new boat wet.



I called the Hitchin Post in Richland today, they said everything is still closed. If you can find somewhere to dump your boat in the water you can fish, but the sheriff/deputies will come and tell you no overnight camping.



My dad's friend went a couple of weeks ago. They drove up Friday morning, the notice to close the Snake River rd came Saturday morning. The sheriff patrol boat came by and told them they can fish out the day but cannot be on the water over night and cannot park their rig over night.

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Old 04-30-2020, 06:31 AM   #62
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I called the Hitchin Post in Richland today, they said everything is still closed. If you can find somewhere to dump your boat in the water you can fish, but the sheriff/deputies will come and tell you no overnight camping.



My dad's friend went a couple of weeks ago. They drove up Friday morning, the notice to close the Snake River rd came Saturday morning. The sheriff patrol boat came by and told them they can fish out the day but cannot be on the water over night and cannot park their rig over night.
Thank you. I was reading online yesterday that they re-opened Snake River Rd and I thought I read ramps were open, but you can't camp at the campgrounds. Will keep waiting...just getting the itch.
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Old 04-30-2020, 07:57 AM   #63
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Thank you. I was reading online yesterday that they re-opened Snake River Rd and I thought I read ramps were open, but you can't camp at the campgrounds. Will keep waiting...just getting the itch.
Morgan cr aprox 9 miles N of Spring CG may be your only boat launch choice, it's dirt but doable.
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Old 04-30-2020, 08:25 AM   #64
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Yeah no bueno. Not with this bigger boat. The worst launch was the one past the Graveyard I believe...Can't remember what it was called. Maybe the same one. I will be patient Need to get out of the city...I can always feel the weight lift off my shoulders when I am out fishing/hunting/ranching etc. Tension goes away for the time being.
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Old 04-30-2020, 10:17 AM   #65
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Snake River Area Overnight Closure Ends.

The Snake River area overnight closure, which went into effect on April 3, 2020, will end today (Thursday, April 30).
County officials had received numerous complaints about visitors from outside the area disregarding existing recreation area closures and social distancing standards at sites along the river. These complaints prompted the closure in early April, which included the prohibition of camping and overnight use in public areas along the Snake River corridor.

Officials emphasize that social distancing, even outdoors, is an important measure to protect our communities from the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Individuals are encouraged to maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves and anyone who does not reside in their immediate household and to observe any closures posted on properties open to the public. Additionally, visitors are reminded to properly dispose of all waste.

Visit www.bakercountycovid19.com for links to information about restrictions or closures for the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Power, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Oregon Department of Forestry.

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Old 05-01-2020, 06:25 AM   #66
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That's good news !!
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:12 AM   #67
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I am wanting to plan a trip come first of June or last week of may,with Baker county lifting the camping closure, does anyone know if Hewitt park open , would like to bring down my travel trailor and get a boat limit slip if possible. I've tried calling the number on website getting zero answers .
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:50 PM   #68
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I am wanting to plan a trip come first of June or last week of may,with Baker county lifting the camping closure, does anyone know if Hewitt park open , would like to bring down my travel trailor and get a boat limit slip if possible. I've tried calling the number on website getting zero answers .
The park is still closed.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:37 PM   #69
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Headed over this weekend.
Day use at Hewitt Park is open as well as the boat ramp in Hewitt and Holcomb.
Camping will open in Holcomb on May 15th.
Fished Friday evening from the bank and caught a few crappie as well as bass. Nothing of size or numbers on the bank but was fun.
Fished all day on the Powdered River arm on Saturday. Was pretty slow, caught mostly bass. The bass seemed to be hungry since the crappie spawn still hasn't happened yet. Headed in to a cove and tied up so we could eat some lunch. Started fishing from the back of the boat and caught some nice sized bass. 2 bass @ 16.5 inches, 2.8 lbs then caught a couple crappie.
Headed back out and my husband caught a 13.5 inch crappie. I then caught a 12 inch perch! Caught some more bass (I think 15-16 total) and additional crappie. We wore ourselves out in the heat so headed in. Sat in the shade and had a drink then finished out the evening on the bank. Caught 18 crappie ranging from 7 - 10 inches..
Looks like the crappie spawn is a week or so away.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:27 AM   #70
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Headed over this weekend.
Day use at Hewitt Park is open as well as the boat ramp in Hewitt and Holcomb.
Camping will open in Holcomb on May 15th.
Fished Friday evening from the bank and caught a few crappie as well as bass. Nothing of size or numbers on the bank but was fun.
Fished all day on the Powdered River arm on Saturday. Was pretty slow, caught mostly bass. The bass seemed to be hungry since the crappie spawn still hasn't happened yet. Headed in to a cove and tied up so we could eat some lunch. Started fishing from the back of the boat and caught some nice sized bass. 2 bass @ 16.5 inches, 2.8 lbs then caught a couple crappie.
Headed back out and my husband caught a 13.5 inch crappie. I then caught a 12 inch perch! Caught some more bass (I think 15-16 total) and additional crappie. We wore ourselves out in the heat so headed in. Sat in the shade and had a drink then finished out the evening on the bank. Caught 18 crappie ranging from 7 - 10 inches..
Looks like the crappie spawn is a week or so away.
Nice report !! Did you try for cats ?
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:38 AM   #71
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Tempted to just make the drive solo this weekend...even with the storm coming.
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:11 PM   #72
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Got my reservation in today for hewit for 26th-1st rv spot #11 looking forward to chasing crappie and cats for a week and just relaxing.
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Old 05-11-2020, 01:59 PM   #73
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Got my reservation in today for hewit for 26th-1st rv spot #11 looking forward to chasing crappie and cats for a week and just relaxing.

That's great! I'll be taking my dad and a couple of his friends up there the week after. Hope to hear a fishing report from you.


One of my dad's friends has his 14' boat stored in Richland. They went up there last Friday and fished on the Snake, several miles from the Powder River. They were able to locate and get into a mess of crappies. Most were 10"-14" with a couple of them right at 16"!
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:45 PM   #74
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Mikeyy.....I will give reports that week , when I get cell coverage 👍
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Old 05-13-2020, 02:34 PM   #75
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The following sites are expected to open on Friday according to Idaho Power.

Hells Canyon area: Hells Canyon Park boat launch, Copperfield boat launch, Oxbow boat launch, Old Carter’s Landing, McCormick Park boat launch, Oxbow and Hells Canyon Reservoir dispersed campsites

C.J. Strike: North Park boat launch and day-use area, Jack’s Creek boat launch and dispersed campsites
Hagerman area: Bliss Park, Malad Fountain Park, Lower Salmon raft launch, Lower Salmon Falls Park, Lower Salmon boat launch

Other areas: Swan Falls downstream campsites (downstream boat launch remains closed), Milner whitewater put-in, American Falls Park.

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Old 05-14-2020, 07:04 AM   #76
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I think I am going to try it out memorial day weekend at Hewitt. Won't be able to get back until late august most likely...
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:01 PM   #77
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Fished Brownlee Friday night, Sat. Am. The clearest I have seen Powder River arm water. 12 ft. Plus. Many fish. Size is the problem. Probably got 6 crappies over 12 in. Lots of dinks. Fish early and late. High sun with clear water not good for crappies. Interesting to see small crappies mixed in with keepers. Small bass are everywhere. Pests. Water rising slowly and plenty of people. Thorny says big trout are showing up as side catch and several 16 inch crappies were caught last week. PS Baker County just recorded first Coronavirus case.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:18 AM   #78
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Thank you for the report. Will be there this weekend at Hewitt.
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Old 05-26-2020, 08:41 AM   #79
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Enjoyed the long weekend fishing and relaxing. Lot's of big bass and eater catfish.

Crappie was a struggle for me...I believe it is due to how much the water fluctuated. Didn't have a fish finder either...
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:41 PM   #80
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Nice catching strawberry. I stopped by on the way home from Idaho on Sunday at farewell bend. Couple cats but gave up after a short while. Too much debris in the high water and constantly cleaning your gear off. Then the dog went chasing spawning carp in the flooded bushes that turned out to be cockle burs and after an hour cutting the burs out with scissors I was ready to hit the road.

Thought of stopping at le page on the John day but it was chocolate mud and with the wind and rain we just drove on home.

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Old 05-26-2020, 02:28 PM   #81
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Nice work! Always good to get out. There was a good amount of debris where I was, too. One big floating tree.

Haha I can only imagine how much of a handful that would be. My golden got into those a few times...not fun. She always looked pretty funny after the trim, though!

We headed back Monday around 10:00. Was raining from Pendleton until about Hood river or so. I did notice the JD being very very muddy.
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Old 05-30-2020, 02:54 PM   #82
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Spent two days fishing cats out of Richland with little success. 7-8 keepers for two full days fishing. Moved up to Huntington today, fished a few miles below the tressel and had great fishing. 30 fish in the boat by noon.

Bank was crawling with Mormon crickets but the fish parts I was using for bait were working great so I didn’t try the crickets. Nice fish, average about 4lbs.

-Scott
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Old 05-30-2020, 04:54 PM   #83
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Nice job! That's a lot of catfish. What rig were you using? Carolina? Crappie chunks for bait?

I love using light action rods for catfish...what fun! Also, bobber fishing in the flats is a kick! man do they move fast once hooked.
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:35 PM   #84
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Enjoyed the long weekend fishing and relaxing. Lot's of big bass and eater catfish.

Crappie was a struggle for me...I believe it is due to how much the water fluctuated. Didn't have a fish finder either...



Looks like you had fun, delicious looking meal there! I'm hoping to make it over there in a couple few weeks.
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:33 PM   #85
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Nice job! That's a lot of catfish. What rig were you using? Carolina? Crappie chunks for bait?

I love using light action rods for catfish...what fun! Also, bobber fishing in the flats is a kick! man do they move fast once hooked.
#4 baithook on 18" leader with 2oz weight on slider on the mainline. Steelhead rods are my favorite but anything from Kokanee to salmon rods work. Did haul in one at 15# that I would not have landed with the Kokanee rod.

I mostly use Kokanee parts for bait. The fatty bellies are best but wads of guts work well too if you can keep them on the hook. Always catch a couple chub or pike minnow while catfishing, those turn into bait as well.

-Scott
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:08 PM   #86
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Anybody got a look at Carters Landing in regard to camping opportunities? My Dad and I are a little hesitant to travel over since all the fancy campgrounds are full in the area.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:23 AM   #87
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I've never fished this area but with the way things are going lately, I figured if ya can't beat 'em, join them so I'm going to Hell ('s) Canyon that is.


Plan to fish Friday, Saturday & Sunday and launch at the park in Richland each day.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:42 AM   #88
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I didn't when I was there, Rank. That's the one with basically a dirt launch, right? I have definitely did some "Rough it" Camping out there before the graveyard area was shut down. My dad anymore wants to stay at a motel...I can't blame him lol. Getting old aint for sissys!

I did drive up to Oxbow dam and relax at that little rock beach off the bridge there. Was cool watching two guys in a boat catch fish after fishing and fighting them down stream. I believe they were Steelhead? Not sure.
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:08 AM   #89
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Graveyard area can be auto accessed by permission only, but the guy is picky whom he will allow, I talked to the guy a couple years ago, he indicated he would allow us access, but res was too low to launch a boat so we ended up going to Owyhee res, didn't see anybody in there that day, even without permission one could launch at Morgan cr & access/camp by boat as long as you fish/camp below the high water line, it's not trespassing, of course that would be alot of work for us aging baby boomers, but we may camp there again sometime in the future if/when Crappie fishing improves...if I can talk the wife into it, as we really miss our spot, there is a good size spring there 4' to 6' below the high water line & flat spots for a tent just below the high water line, no trees/shade tho.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:15 PM   #90
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Wife and I got back from our week at brownlee we had a great time did some exploring looking for new areas, we mostly targeted the larger crappie we had success everyday not a lot of numbers but we averaged 12 keepers a day , but only kept crappie that was over 12 inches ( I do this cause I don't want to clean fish all night) our biggest was 14.75 inches (my wife) my biggest was 14.25 inches we caught quite a few in the 12.5-13.5 inch range, our technique was trolling Rock cliffs with plugs , most fish was suspended 30ft, in 45-60 feet of water. Last day we tagged cats, got 20 good eating size fish , released a few bigger cats ... here is a few of the pics we took in one of the pics you can see the the plug that was our best performer.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:21 PM   #91
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Forgot the pics
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:54 AM   #92
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Nice work! Those are some slabs! Spending a week out there sounds mighty nice. Especially if you had a trailer to stay in.

I am itching to get back out there again! I've never been very good at targeting the deep crappie...I am used to throwing a mini jig out...counting to 8 or so and catching a crappie lol. Maybe it's a patience thing...

Tried trolling my last trip...no idea what I am really doing lol.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:49 AM   #93
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Strawberry..... I am soft these days my travel trailor makes trips so much more fun lol. Trolling for those deep fish is just like zone trolling for suspended salmon , I put 2 oz on my bow rods and 3/4 oz on back rods change speeds alot to give action to plug. Keep gear in the zone.....
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:00 AM   #94
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The real question is how did you get your trailer and boat there? That has always been my dilemma lol. Thank you for the tips! I should mention I am also a novice when it comes to salmon!
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:46 AM   #95
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PNW, those are some fantastic crappie. I have had some success trolling the mini plugs. I haven't run them off the downrigger yet, but I plan to do so next trip. I found I was getting a lot of smallmouth bycatch, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm still learning this technique. Next trip I'll try some larger plugs to see if I can find the larger smallmouth, and also to see if larger plugs might mean larger crappie. Thanks for a great informative post.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:35 AM   #96
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I've caught everything in Brownlee res trolling mini plugs, float tube is the best, cause you can control your speed while holding your rod, your limited to how far you can travel tho, depending on how good of shape your in, I have paddled close to 20 miles before on brownlee, only had to catch a ride back to camp once when the wind was too much, but was in much better shape back than, we used to have float tube Crappie mini tournaments back than as well, we also used our boats to transport our tubes to coves on the Idaho side, eventually tubes were too much work for my wife, so we/I started rowing for Crappie with good success, but thats alot of work, + the rower spends most of their time rowing & not so much fishing, speed control is the key, larger main gas engines are too fast, elec trolling motors work well til the battery runs low, I plan on adding a small gas trolling motor eventually.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:53 AM   #97
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Strawberry...my wife and I caravan she drives my truck with the boat, I drive the diesel with the camper it's a pain in the a$$but we get er done..

Adrenalin..speed is the key factor you are right 100% I have neutral on my kicker and use it alot. I am watching my speed constantly trying to mix it up but keep it .7- 1.1 mph get lots of hits when putting shifter back to forward that little speed up gets them angry...I also noticed if I catch bass I am too deep, we only hooked 1 bass for every 10 crappie if you are catching more bass than crappie your in the wrong water column with your gear.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:58 PM   #98
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Forgot the pics

Thanks for sharing the photos! Looks like you had a blast out there. Can't wait to get my old dad out there in the coming weeks.
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Old 06-05-2020, 06:18 AM   #99
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Great pics and thanks for the report. Great time of year to be over that way.
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Old 06-05-2020, 07:37 AM   #100
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Thank you. I was reading online yesterday that they re-opened Snake River Rd and I thought I read ramps were open, but you can't camp at the campgrounds. Will keep waiting...just getting the itch.
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Old 06-09-2020, 09:45 AM   #101
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Wife and I got back from our week at brownlee we had a great time did some exploring looking for new areas, we mostly targeted the larger crappie we had success everyday not a lot of numbers but we averaged 12 keepers a day , but only kept crappie that was over 12 inches ( I do this cause I don't want to clean fish all night) our biggest was 14.75 inches (my wife) my biggest was 14.25 inches we caught quite a few in the 12.5-13.5 inch range, our technique was trolling Rock cliffs with plugs , most fish was suspended 30ft, in 45-60 feet of water. Last day we tagged cats, got 20 good eating size fish , released a few bigger cats ... here is a few of the pics we took in one of the pics you can see the the plug that was our best performer.
Wow. What part of Brownlee? My brother
-in-law and I fished out of Woodhead over Memorial Day, and had no luck with Crappie, none at all....
Using the wrong jig, or wrong part of the Reservoir I guess.......n one was catching any in the Dam area.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:02 PM   #102
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Oldfishermanguy....I got crappie most spots that looked good off Rock cliff dropoffs, I got them from hewitt all the way to the snake river arm, in my experience if your catching alot of bass your fishing the wrong water , in my previous post I put the depths I found them but I was also targeting bigger crappiw.
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Old 06-10-2020, 12:04 PM   #103
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

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Oldfishermanguy....I got crappie most spots that looked good off Rock cliff dropoffs, I got them from hewitt all the way to the snake river arm, in my experience if your catching alot of bass your fishing the wrong water , in my previous post I put the depths I found them but I was also targeting bigger crappiw.
using some kind of lure?
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:04 PM   #104
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Post #90 kinda explains what I was doing. I used rapelas size #5 and size #7 fire tiger and perch was my best . In one of my pics it shows what the plug looks like my wife holding a nice crappie.
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:26 AM   #105
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

Having fished Brownlee for decades now, I have seen these issues repeatedly. Trolling can locate schools and be effective. I hate trolling. If I find them by trolling or on my sonar, I position over or near them and jig. This can be difficult in wind. Best to tuck in out of wind and cast with two jigs. Many people do not allow jigs to sink far enough. Count down and see where they hit. You will lose some gear. Jigs are cheap. Rig three or four rods. Use very light line. Some years, the Powder River arm is red hot, other years you must go out into main reservoir. Move around. The later into season the key is time of day. Crappies avoid sunlight. Fish very early and very late. Lazy fishermen who want to be comfortable can struggle. Try everything. If you catch a perch, save him for dinner but cut his thin, white belly meat with skin on into tiny strips and use on back of jigs with and without skirt and see what happens. Only belly meat works for me??? Night fishing with every light you have pointing in water can be a blast for kids who must have fishing in their blood we all know the type. Others will quit in an hour. Think outside box and go after bluegills and cats if you just can’t find crappies. They can save a trip. Use small red worms for gills, not nitecrawlers. Just some thoughts.
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:58 AM   #106
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

When you get into small fish, increase the weight of your jigs so they get through the small fish quicker and down to the big fish beneath.



Like Puck, I'm happy with whatever I catch if it's good eating. Crappie aren't the only fish in the sea.



How's the weather been over there?
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Old 06-11-2020, 08:00 AM   #107
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

Yep, agree with all of that. I am not a fan of trolling either...I do the counting method, too. I've never tried perch belly...always a jig and crappie nibble. Worm works for all fish.

I really want to get a bow mount Minn Kota...would make a world of difference for me.

I have never tried in the dark, but know a lot of people that have great success with it...I hate boating in the dark...freaks me out lol. Especially when there can be very large logs/debris.
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Old 06-11-2020, 08:45 AM   #108
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

I've never fished for Crappie at night either, night time is for sleeping, I've seen people anchor up in front our camp just before dark, not very deep either, using lanterns, & or a floating light after dark, catching them one after another, I bought a floating light but never used it, night has been the most effective time for Crappie from what I've seen, to the point far too many were doing it on shore & in boats, including the C&S crowd, one big reason why the fishery got depleted.
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Old 06-11-2020, 09:16 AM   #109
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

When I was there last there was a big group of people...not sure what language they were speaking...that had giant lights coming off the bank with a generator running wide open through the night. Got old pretty quick...I do like fishing for cats at night...gives me something to do besides just drinking haha.

What is C&S? Catch and sell?
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Old 06-11-2020, 10:15 AM   #110
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

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When I was there last there was a big group of people...not sure what language they were speaking...that had giant lights coming off the bank with a generator running wide open through the night. Got old pretty quick...I do like fishing for cats at night...gives me something to do besides just drinking haha.

What is C&S? Catch and sell?
Sadly Yes, I've seen Hibbard cove completely full of people with lanterns, & spot lights running on generators, they fish(ed) round the clock, more at night than day, taking their naps during the day, filling large coolers with all sizes of Crappie, than loading the full coolers into transport rigs to be moved & some presumably sold to fish markets, & restaurants from Portland to Seattle. Hibbard cove is by boat access only now, & boats use adds over head costs to their business you don't have fishing from shore, + Crappie #'s are not abundant enough for most C&S operations to thrive the last few years besides, to be fair not all are/were C&S people.
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Old 06-11-2020, 10:52 AM   #111
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Yep, I figured that is what you were talking about...I have seen it all, too. Biggest load I saw was 3 guys just getting back in the early morning with 5 100 quart coolers stuffed to the gills with all sorts of fish...not just crappie...Oh, and size did not matter.....

You can find some questionable videos on youtube if you know what to look for...
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Old 06-12-2020, 09:06 PM   #112
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

Which is why I have wanted a limit on panfish. Make it high for the everyday angler but illegal for the cooler toters.
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Old 06-13-2020, 09:00 AM   #113
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

I don't really care for trolling either. But then maybe because my boat's have never been set up for it! Deeper for bigger crappie! Huh, make me think I might do better on bigger fish with a heavier jig? I use mostly 1/16th and 1/8th now. Also find fish down deeper with the fish finder but unless I'm stopped and they are under the boat I don't seem to get into them! Gonna have to try the count down first then heavier jig's. First two crappie I ever caught I was using 1/4oz jigs with 2" auger tail's fishing for bass and the crappie surprised me. Gonna try count don next week in Prineville and if no luck go to 1/4oz jigs. This crappie fishing has me pretty addicted! Thanks Puckfisher! really mean that!

Forgot, when my cousin was here I finally tried some really small plugs I found some time back. Surprised me how well they worked!
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Old 06-14-2020, 07:08 AM   #114
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Trolling is our last resort as well, we would rather sit on top a school & catch two or three at a time, when fish are scatterd, trolling works well to find fish, + when you have 12"+ fish in the mix, trolling targets the those bigger fish, I remember back in the mid 80's 16" to 18" Crappie were abundant, & trolling was the prefered method for those fish.
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Old 06-14-2020, 08:00 PM   #115
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

FYI- Idaho Power has blocked off river access underneath the Brownlee dam, the people who used to drift fish down from the turbines and the people who fished under the spillway have been pushed downstream a ways. Used to be some good fishing under the spillway. They have floating barriers in the way now.
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Old 06-15-2020, 06:59 AM   #116
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Default Re: Brownlee Crappie/Catfish Report

I too use small "micro" jigs when crappie fishing...but I have caught them on 4 inch bass jigs by mistake!
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