November - time to fish Shenango River Lake for crappies! Ken Smith considers Shenango Lake in northwestern Pennsylvania as his home water. He fishes the heck out of it in the spring, But with the arrival of the summer boating season about first of July, he rarely drops a line in the lake until after Labor Day. Early fall fishing is good, but what really excites him is late fall fishing when the crappies concentrate around deep brushpiles and river bank ledges. During this time of year Ken employs a down-line slow-troll strategy he refers to as Hang-Glidin', allowing him to hover right beside deep cover. His rods are 10-foot Richard Williams' Signature Crappie Wizard Rods from B'n'M Pole Company. Spinning reels are spool with 8-pound Gamma Panfish Line. Ken loop wraps a 1/2-ounce egg sinker on the line leaving an 18-inch leader. To that he ties a light jig with a soft plastic body -- usually a Bobby Garland Shad. And he always tips the jig with a white Berkley Crappie Nibble. After pinpointing cover in 14 to 17 feet of water on his sonar, Ken lowers his lines and very slowly trolls around the cover with his electric motor.
I recently spent the morning on Shenango with Ken. Our catch included 30-some black and white crappies (keeping only a dozen), along with white bass, bluegills and the occasional small largemouth bass. "Shenango has been slow to cool this year due to a warm fall. We are into the first week of November and the water temp is still in the upper 50s. The best fishing is yet to come," says Ken.