Hobo Crappies And Migrating Bats

In the last post we mentioned hobo crappies. Yum. Doesn't have to be as complicated as we make it. I create a sauce concocted of the flavors we like from Asian cuisine, combining some peanut sauce, or some curry paste mixed with some homemade curry powder, and we marinate for several hours or overnight with lemongrass segments in the body cavity. But you can certainly do it with any flavors you like. The key is simply adding some kind of liquid so the fish doesn't dry out in the fire. We like to burn the fire down until we have nothing left but large, hot coals, put a grate over it and let the fish simmer for a total of about 15 to 20 minutes, turning about 4 times. Vegetables stay nice and crunchy after about 10 minutes. We put them in different packets, and only two fish per packet of crappies. Easier to control the outcome. Great during spring and fall, when a fire feels really good. Great spending time watching things unfold, like the bat migration.

When bats follow the Mississippi north from the caves where they hibernate in southern Minnesota, it's nothing short of awe inspiring. Millions of them dodging trees and each other, filtering through the forest all around you while dense, black clouds of bats come swarming up the river channel, clearing out flying insects for miles. With all the trouble bats are facing, continent-wide these days, I sometimes feel it's a Last Chance To See┬áscenario — referring, of course, to the BBC series and subsequent book by the famous science-fiction humorist, Douglas Adams — wherein he travels the world in hopes of catching a glimpse of animals on the brink of extinction.

Luckily, crappies won't be going extinct any time soon. Anglers protect them and, more importantly, we protect their habitat. We pay license fees, which pay for studies on how to improve that habitat. We accept lower limits when they're necessary and at least 90-percent of us abide by them. We show up to protest when extraction processes, development, and other events threaten them. Just because we eat a few certainly doesn't mean we advocate munching them into extinction.

Not so many advocates for bats, unfortunately. Not looking forward to the flood of mosquitoes that will ensue if they disappear, as they have in so many areas out East. Makes it difficult to tend the fire, and adds another void to the "great emptiness of spirit" Chief Seattle warned us about almost 300 years ago.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Boats & Motors

Technical Notes: Calculating Prop Performance

In-Fisherman - May 01, 2019

In-Fisherman Here is a way to calculate prop performance with different props, a formula


The Lowdown on Walleye Hardbaits

Steve Ryan - May 28, 2019

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures.


Pecan-Crusted Catfish Fillets Recipe

By: Emilie Bailey

This is not your run-of-the-mill fish recipe! Buttery, savory pecans are seasoned up to make...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

Striped Bass Livebait Trolling Tactics

Host Doug Stange meets up with guide Fred McClintock to troll big livebait behind planer boards next to the flooded timber along the banks of the Cumberland River in effort to catch giant striped bass.

The Scoop on Garmin's New Force Trolling Motors

Why did Garmin's new Force trolling motor win a Best of Show category award at the 2019 ICAST Show in Orlando? OSG's Lynn Burkhead gets all of the scoop on the amazing features that come with Garmin's first entry into the trolling motor market.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

See More Stories

More Panfish


Proven Patterns for Panfish

Dan Johnson - May 22, 2018

Proven patterns for panfish allow anglers to catch a rich diversity of panfish all year round.


Big Baits for Big Crappie

Matt Straw - April 19, 2018

Nothing near shore. Nothing on the weededge. Braid whistled through the guides as I decided to


Softbait Hacks for Hardwater Panfish

Cory Schmidt - February 27, 2019

Bites are one thing, but bites alone don't get it done.

See More Panfish

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.