Veteran angler Jimmy Chambers of Hollandale grew up fishing Lake Washington for bream and crappie and jug fishing for catfish. Deemed a closed-off oxbow, Washington differs from most open-end oxbows like Chotard and Albemarle that directly fluctuate with the Mississippi River. Chambers says taht to understand crappie fishing on Washington, you need to understand two things — water levels and cypress trees.
“Take a look at a cypress tree out of the water and then imagine how crappie would relate to it if the water were up to here,” he said holding his hand at waist-level. “Then imagine the water up to here (head high).”
Water levels also dictate how crappie anglers can successfully fish on Washington. With low water levels, water will hold primarily in the main lake, and anglers will have to rely on fishing around man-made structures such as boat docks, piers and planted brushpiles and stakebeds. Standing cypress trees also offer potential for jigging around or trolling in front of, especially early in the season while crappie are feeding up pre-spawn.
One of Chambers’ favorite spawn fishing methods is wading for crappie.
“Again, look at the tree, if there is horizontal structure sticking out from the base of the tree, either broken limbs or knees, crappie will relate to these a lot better than they will to just straight trees,” he said. “No matter if you are wading or working your way back into a slough to fish in the trees, look for horizontal structure.
“One green limb that hangs away from a cypress tree has the potential to hold a dozen crappie in one spot.”