Over the years, more since my kids were born, I target crappie. They come into the shallow areas of ponds in May and spawn. They are very willing to eat a fly and put a real nice bend in a three weight fly rod. If you have never heard of them or fished for them, you are really missing out. As the ponds warm up, you can find them under the big lily pads.
I have a lot of great memories fishing for crappie. Two that I will never forget. The first was when my wife was pregnant with our first child and we were wet wading at a local pond. Her big belly was sticking out and she was waste deep casting a fly. The crappie were very willing and she caught several. On one of the casts she hooked a big small mouth and it danced across the water only to break her off. I explained that was a huge fish and that she probably will never get a chance at another but, the very next cast she hooked into another huge bass but this time did everything right and lands a very big smallmouth. I don’t remember the size but I do remember the day.
The other day that stands out is the first fish my first son caught on the fly rod at the age of three. We were at the same pond but on the other side in a boat. He had been reeling fish in for a while and watching me catch so I handed him a rod and stuck him on the other end of the boat and watched. He proceeded to catch crappie after crappie; not only hooked them but fought them, landed them but, released them all by himself.
So you can see these fish have a dear spot in my heart. So every year we must find a day or two to get out and crappie fish, no matter how busy we are. It puts a smile on my face to see my wife and boys, laugh and tease each other on the boat and it’s all because of this one fish that is willing to eat a fly.