Ten Years! The 10th Annual Shad and Crappie Derby begins November 1st – This year there will be over $7,500 in prizes! Don’t miss the kick-off meeting on October 30th from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Dick’s Sporting Goods Sanford, check the new Orlando Coastal Angler Magazine website https://coastalanglermag.com/orlando for complete information.
This is the first and only opportunity to pre-register. All anglers receive the official Derby Photo Token and Derby Ruler (if needed), previous Derby rulers are OK. After the kick-off meeting, the only way to enter this FREE tournament is to visit one of the Derby sign-up locations. Like us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OrlandoCoastalAnglerMagazine.
October is the month we experience the highest water levels in the St. Johns River system. Thanks to hurricane Florence, there is plenty of extra water for the fish to hide. Love bugs and the first cold front signal the arrival of the fall season. The Central Florida black crappie bite is on. American shad begin to show up around Christmas. Large mouth bass will readily take spinner baits like the trusted Johnson Beetle Spin, rattling crankbaits like the famous Rattle Trap, topwater chuggers like a Rebel Pop-R, and soft plastic worms (dark colors es- pecially blue/black) and swimbaits like a Gambler EZ Swimmer. With high water levels, look for feeding largemouths in shallow, two feet or less. Crappies in the early season are found in the lakes, they move into the deep river bends after the second cold front.
To catch crappie, simply tie a small jig on 8 lb. test monofilament and tip with a minnow. Take that min-now-tipped jig to the up-wind side of the lake and slow troll it behind the boat fishing with the wind at about 1.2 mph. The more rods you can deploy, the better. When you catch a fish, mark the spot on your GPS. When you get to the other side of the lake, go back and repeat making sure to troll over your newly found crappie spots.