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Find and Catch Weiss Lake Crappie in Late Summer
David Stancil reveals how anglers can catch as many crappie in September on Weiss as they can in spring.
By Eileen Davis
Located in northeast Alabama with an arm reaching into Georgia, Weiss Lake covers 30,200 acres of drop-offs, deep channels and stump fields on large shallow flats. It also has wide coves with grassy shorelines and numerous boat docks. Unique to the fertile reservoirs of the Coosa River, Weiss only has an average depth of 10 feet. Nutrients flowing from the watersheds of the Coosa, Chattooga and Little rivers enrich the fishery.
“Weiss Lake is on fire,” reported crappie guide David Stancil of Oxford . Stancil is also a four-time national crappie champion and an Alabama state crappie champion.
“For numbers of fish and big fish,” he continued, “Weiss Lake is the best crappie lake on Coosa right now.”
Stancil reports skilled anglers can catch as many crappie in September on Weiss as they can in spring by using his summer pattern.
To find crappie in late summer, Stancil targets flats 12 to 14 deep off the main channel in the lower half of the lake. Productive flats must contain cover or structure in the form of brush piles, stake beds and rocky humps. These obstructions create current breaks and eddies. They offer crappie relief from the current and a place to wait for a passing meal.
Stancil advises anglers to find large current breaks. “The bigger, the better,” he said. “In places where the river makes a sharp bend next to the bank, the flat below the point sits in eddy water. If you find cover within 30 to 50 feet of the channel, you will catch crappie.”
To locate fish holding near cover and structure, Stancil relies on Humminbird’s side imaging sonar. For detailed images, he sets his unit to scan 50 feet port and starboard.
“Maneuver down the channel just off the ledge,” he explained, “With the boat in deep water, scan the edge of the ledge and the flat beyond. When you find a promising spot save it as a waypoint to fish after you have completed your search.”
To catch crappie, Stancil uses a two-prong approach to present baits on top of and deep in the cover. He fishes with four, 12-foot B’n’M spider rods on the bow to hold his bait above the cover. To fish deep in the cover, he uses a hand-held, 8-foot medium-action rod. In summer, Stancil only fishes with minnows.
“You cannot move off the brush pile more than 5 feet,” he instructed. Crappie will not leave the brush to chase bait.”
For information on Weiss Lake fishing tournaments, area attractions and lodging visit the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce at www.cherokee-chamber.org.
To book a trip with David Stancil visit www.thecrappieguide.com or call (256) 294-1820.