No Doubting Thomas

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Published on: Jan. 2, 2006

Last revision: Nov. 23, 2010

Winter Fishing at Thomas Hill

tear into them!”

The feeding sprees create a disturbance that’s easily visible in late afternoon and early evening when the water is still. Green usually fishes for crappie, but whenever he spots hybrids feeding near the surface, he puts down his crappie rod and quickly motors alongside the disturbance.

“The hybrids are getting big,” Green said. “I saw one that weighed 13 1/2 pounds last spring. I usually keep a stouter rod with a 3- to 3 1/2 -inch Sassy Shad handy. You cast anything silvery in there, and they’re going to hit it.”

Green said seagulls sometimes swarm above hybrids feeding on the surface to eat shad injured or disoriented in the melee. “If you see where a bunch of gulls are feeding, you need to race over there,” he said.

A Shore Thing

Green seldom bothers to launch his boat in the winter. He said most days he can easily catch a limit of crappies from the banks of T Road, a mere quarter of a mile from his home.

“A few years ago, hardly anyone fished up here because they thought all the crappie would be in the warm-water arm in winter,” Green said. “Then we started putting in

some brush piles—15 or 20, all total—and we found a lot of crappie are staying in those brush piles. “We caught a lot off the road the last two or three winters,” he said.

According to Green, unless the winter is very cold, the bridges ice in for only a week or two each winter. The rest of the time, anglers are able to fish from shore.

The brush piles aren’t marked, but it doesn’t take long to learn where they are. Green said he usually fishes a sixteenth-ounce tube jig with a blue head and a silver flecked clear tail from 7–12 feet below a cork.

“If there’s a chop, that’ll twitch it enough,” Green said, “but if it’s still, I’ll wiggle it a little bit.”

Targeting Brush Piles

The Conservation Department has constructed numerous brush piles throughout the lake. Older brush piles are marked with green signs on shore. Bright yellow signs mark 11 of the old brush piles that the Department refurbished in 2005, as well as five new ones.

Mike Anderson, fisheries management biologist for the Conservation Department’s northeast region, said the brush piles are 100–200 feet out from the signs on shore. “We put them in when the lake was a foot high,” Anderson said. “If

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