Camping with Friends: Crappie and Wipers

| 6/16/2009 4:29:00 PM

A photo of the author, Caleb ReganFinally this weekend, I had the pleasure of eating some fresh springtime crappie, and I couldn’t have had a better time – even though I didn’t catch a single one of the tasty fish – only a puny bluegill that I only cleaned because he took the hook and minnow I was using all the way down into his gills … a mistake a bungling fisherman makes if he looks away at the wrong time.

This past weekend, 20 or so friends and I went camping out at Clinton Lake, near Lawrence, Kansas, and had a wonderful time. We stayed Friday and Saturday night, and fished about all that we could Saturday.

It was 75 to 80 degrees for most of the day Saturday, so we couldn’t have picked a better time to head out camping. The forecast had called for rain Saturday night and into Sunday morning, and we felt a few sprinkles, but the rain never hit until Sunday evening.

Saturday, right after I went up to the bait shop and picked up a dozen minnows, about four of us – three adults – headed down to the water to see what we could get into. Our friends who had been there before us had already put one wiper into their fish basket.

After a couple of hours, frustration was building since we couldn’t seem to get a bite. That’s when Gwen and I headed over to Heidi (wife of my pal Kenny, and mother of their four kids), who was using worms to no avail. She threw out a minnow and quickly reeled in a wiper (which is a hybrid breed of fish, identifiable by the broken horizontal stripes, that is a cross between striped and white bass), and it’s hard to say who was hooked more – Heidi or the fish.

One of the wipers with Buck Knives Model 223 fillet knife

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