December 12, 2020
I realize the word “slabs” is reserved for the fat crappie that are pulled in during the spring spawn, but I could not help stealing the term. Slabs are crappies bigger than the average sized fish that gather in easily caught schools. The sizes of these crappies are astonishing, and they do produce slabs of flesh from the fillets they produce. When I checked out the “official” definition online, I found that for a crappie to qualify as a slab it needs to measure at least 14” to 16” (or more) and weigh close to 4 pounds. The only ones I have caught that qualify were two black crappie I caught on a guided trip in Minnesota. I was fishing for Walleye. Go figure.
I mentioned several weeks ago I had gone to one of my favorite spillways. I had immediately caught a crappie and two large bluegills when I realized I was out of cell range. Since I was waiting for a call, I packed up and moved back into cell range. This left me thinking what might have been if I had stayed. Melissa and I decided to take a mental health afternoon and went back to the lake. We got almost down to the right bank of the spillway when we encountered the gated road and the stop sign. I immediately thought, nice of them to let us know. I drove the ten minutes back to the other side discouraged because I had fished this side twice before without catching fish. I decided to give it a try while Melissa stayed in the jeep.
I threw my bobber in the water and immediately caught one of the largest Bluegill I had seen in a while (since the last time I was here?). I showed Melissa and she was impressed but remained in the car. I tossed my line back in and immediately caught another. This time when I showed her, she was intrigued. She got her pole and came over to try her luck. Melissa immediately began to catch fish as well. These were fat slabs of fish that were obviously storing fat for the winter. Occasionally, we would catch a smaller hybrid, but mainly it was one of the big bluegills. We caught 20 in an hour and a half.
Thoughts: I have mentioned that while Melissa likes to catch large numbers of fish (often small), I prefer less fish but of larger size. It is a definite win/win when we can catch lots of fish that also have size. We are often faced with choices that force us to choose between two outcomes where we like neither. Some consider this a lose/lose situation, but your choice often comes from your end goal. During the pandemic we face what some tell us is a lose/lose situation. Wearing a mask can be uncomfortable but if we all wear one, we can protect each other from possible spread. Not wearing a mask may seem like a “right,” but this puts you at a higher risk for contracting the virus. Today we are at 295,000 deaths in America. We have no right to put others at risk. Follow the science. Change is coming and it starts with you.