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View Full Version : Has anyone tried ballooning for crappie?



crappieseeker
09-16-2004, 10:22 AM
I have read about ballooning before in a magazine but have never tried it. I was wondering if any of you have tried it and whether you had success with it. For those of you who dont know what I'm talking about, the article said you could attatch a string with a balloon on it to the first crappie you catch and release it and if you do it quick enough, it will go back into the school and you can follow it and continue catching crappie from the school. I dont have a boat is the reason I havent tried this one yet. Is it for real or is it just a waste of time? It sounds like it could be effective. How exactly though do you connect the line to the fish and how much line do you lead off? Wouldnt this be bad though for the fish because it could tangle them up and crappie hold on structure, wouldnt they get all tangled up? Another thing I read is that if you know you are on top of crappie but they are not biting, you could put some minnows in a clear canning mason jar with water and tie the jar to a string and lower it down slowly in the fish and it will make them wanna go into a feeding frenzy because its like an underwater aquarium and they cant get the bait. Is this true and does it work? Read it in a magazine also.

Moose1am
09-16-2004, 12:19 PM
I also heard about that trick and decided to try it with one of my captive aquarium crappies. Instead of using a ballon I used a small length of one of those long round swimming pool floats. I cut a small 2" long by 2" diameter piece of yellow foam off the float (pool fun noodles they call them) and tired some 4lb test trilene fishing line to the noodle. I attached a fly line to leader needle like device to the other end of the fishing line. ( I have used these needle like with barbs devices to push up into the end of my fly line. The barbs hold the needle inside the end of the fly line. One end of the needle devise is sharp and the other end has the metal looped to make an eyelet to tie the fly line leaders to. Most fly fishermen use a nail knot to attach the leader to the end of the fly line but needle like device lets you use a trilene or any other regular knot. Anyway I stuck the needle (about 1" long) into the back of the crappie behind the dorsal fin in the back muscle. I figured that would not hurt the crappie and would eventually fall out or pull out and the small wound would heal. I marked the crappie's anal fin just in case I ever do catch him again when fishing after he got loose from the fun noodle. I used about 20ft of 4lb test trilene XL line.

I let the crappie loose at the boat ramp and watched him swim out away from the shoreline. I had placed some PVC crappie trees out in the water that winter and was interested to see if he would hang out by my PVC trees. He went straight for one of my PVC Pipe Trees and stayed there for about 5 minutes or so and then started swimming back into shore. He came back to the shoreline on the left side of the boat ramp( as you are looking out towards the water while standing on the concrete ramp) and got the line caught up in the submergent vegetation and then the fun noodle never moved again. I suspect that he got the line caught on something and then pull the needle out of his back as two days later I was able to reach the fun noodle from the shoreline with a long pole and retrieve the fun noodle. I didn't recover the other end of the fishing line with the needle attached. The line was hung up on something and I broke the line.

I should try this again now that you mention it. I should try this in another spot and use less line next time. 10ft may work better. Most of the crappie suspend out away from drop off on this lake that I fish and I should let the next one go where there is less obstacles for the line to get hung up on.

Those fun noodles are not very expensive and I used a couple of them to make marker bouys for my boat. I ran a big nail or two into the fun noodle to weight one side of the round noodle. That way when the line spins off the noodle it will stop rolling when the weight hits the bottom. That keeps the marker in the right spot. I added about 25 to 30ft of line to the fun noodles and then tired on a 2oz fishing weigth to the other end of the line. when you wrap the line around the fun noodle section (6" long section) it will unroll off the noodle as the lead weight drops down to the lake bottom. You can add more line to them if you fish in deeper water lakes. I may have used 50ft but can't remember exactly how much line I used. I used a type of twine and didn't use fishing line for these. I have about 20 of these made up now and they can be lost without loosing a lot of money. I normally use the manufactured type floats that cost about 10bucks for two of them. These maufactured type floats are flat and horseshoe shaped and flip over when teh weights falls down. They use a heavier steel type weight that can be stored inside a indentation of the plastic float. These also stack up on each other and snap the plastic floats snap together. I have some other old plastic floats that I used to use as well. I use these floats to mark drop off along river channels or creek channels to help me visulize the lay of the land under the water. Once I mark a spot by going over the spot several times in the boat watching the depth finder I can usually remember exactly the lay of the land and fish it better the next time I go. The next time out I may only use 1 marker and fish around it . I have used 10 to 15 markers at times to figure out exactly the way a creek channel is going.
Today I am using digital maps and a GPS unit to do the same thing. I still use a floating marker bouy from time to time though to mark the drop off.


I have read about ballooning before in a magazine but have never tried it. I was wondering if any of you have tried it and whether you had success with it. For those of you who dont know what I'm talking about, the article said you could attatch a string with a balloon on it to the first crappie you catch and release it and if you do it quick enough, it will go back into the school and you can follow it and continue catching crappie from the school. I dont have a boat is the reason I havent tried this one yet. Is it for real or is it just a waste of time? It sounds like it could be effective. How exactly though do you connect the line to the fish and how much line do you lead off? Wouldnt this be bad though for the fish because it could tangle them up and crappie hold on structure, wouldnt they get all tangled up? Another thing I read is that if you know you are on top of crappie but they are not biting, you could put some minnows in a clear canning mason jar with water and tie the jar to a string and lower it down slowly in the fish and it will make them wanna go into a feeding frenzy because its like an underwater aquarium and they cant get the bait. Is this true and does it work? Read it in a magazine also.

big "E"
09-16-2004, 02:21 PM
Aside from the obvious environmental effects leaving line out there would have , this sounds very interesting.May have to try this come fall.Is there any other kind of line that could be used that would break down if left?My consciense always gets the best of me.Eric.

Crappie Chatt
09-16-2004, 02:39 PM
Hey fishers :confused: ,,,you had better check your laws before pursueing this tactic!!! I know some states this is not allowed. It does work!!! Just don't ask me how I know this! :D Heh! Heh! Heh! <*)}}}><

Moose1am
09-16-2004, 02:45 PM
Maybe some cotton heavy duty sewing thread might work. I would think that cotton would eventually break down in the environement with it being a natual product and not manufactured by mankind. The cotton fibers come from a cotton plant and are as natuual as can be.

But monofiliment line comes from petroleum products and guess where petroleum or oil comes from. Deep in the earth where living organisms like plants died and were buried under tons of earth. The pressure and heat from being buried produced the oil and coal deep inside the earth.

Even Trilene Fishing line breaks down eventually. Have you ever seen some old fishing line that was exposed to UV light (Sunlight) too long and then saw the line litterly fall apart. The plastic will break down and loose it's molecular bond strenght over time. Some plastics last forever (rubbermaid is pretty resistant to sunlight etc) but other plastics crack and fall apart in only a few years. Take the webbing on your outdoor folding chairs. Today the Ozone in the atmosphere just eats that stuff up. It will deteriorate in just a year if it's left outside all the time in the sun. Well it does here in the Midwest. I know our rainfall had a pH of 4.2 back in 1977 when I last collected some rain water in a clean glass laboratory beaker which I set out on the roof top of the Civic Center in Downtown Evansville, IN. I tested that rain water with a freshly calibrated Research Grade Fisher Scientific pH meter and documented it at 4.2. Now I used freshly prepared pH standard solutions of 4 and 7 to adjust the slope of the pH meter right before doing the test. Those standards were prepared to meet USTM standards back then. I have not tested the rain water here lateley and hopefully it's not so bad. I do know that even pure rain water falling though the sky interacts with CO2 in the Air and forms carbonic acid which is a week acid but still an acid that occurs naturally in the rain water. CO2 added to water can drop the pH considerably. I showed a chemist how this was done once. We took some effluent that was collected from the sewer near Mead Johnson and Company (Bristol Myers Squib Pharmaceuticals and tested it's pH. It had a high pH around 10.0 and was not in compliance with the city ordinance. So I took a straw and stuck it into the efflunet which we had put in a glass beaker. I blew into the straw and we saw bubbles coming out of the end of the straw and up though the effluent. We only used about 300ml of effluent. We also had a pH meter stuck in the effluent to see if the pH of the effluent would change when we conducted this experiment. Well the pH dropped immediately as the bubbles rose up through the effluent (water with baby food mixed in it). The company ended up building a CO2 injection system into it's tanks that was used to drop the pH of the effluent before it was put into the city's sewer system. They were going to use a mineral acid (H2SO4 or HCL) in bulk tanks to drop the pH but that was a lot more costly than using compressed CO2 which is a gass. The gas worked better and was much cheaper in the long run.

But you make a good point about leaving the fishing line in the water. I try not to do that if I can. Next time I will try the sewing thread.



Aside from the obvious environmental effects leaving line out there would have , this sounds very interesting.May have to try this come fall.Is there any other kind of line that could be used that would break down if left?My consciense always gets the best of me.Eric.

Barnacle Bill
09-16-2004, 02:53 PM
I tried that ballon trick one time in one of our coastal rivers. That little sucker (crappie) went to a point where it was about 1 foot deep and stayed there.

fishingpox
09-16-2004, 08:06 PM
I have heard people talk of ballooning,concept seems brilliant but, I think it is illegal here in Arkansas.

TAE73
09-17-2004, 08:34 AM
Not legal to do in missouri, wish it was...

chaunc
09-17-2004, 10:13 AM
It is illegal in Pa. but if you break off the line with a bobber still attached, you can track the fish. Not that i've done this purposely, but it has happened to me many times using the spring clip style floats. I still use them as they are the best for my type of fishing. Those type floats seem to cut right thru the 4# test line i use.

dave
09-17-2004, 11:09 AM
it works good on real lagre brushpiles.the crappie will take you right to the hole school.

Moose1am
09-17-2004, 11:59 AM
I forgot to note or add that the crappie that I turned loose in the stripper pit may not have been from that stripper pit. It may have been a Patoka Lake Crappie. I think that it was a white crappie though and most of the crappies that I had from Patoka Lake were black crappies.

I think that this would work better if you caught a fish and then tagged him and immediately returned him to the water. That fish would know his way around that lake and show you where the other fish were located.

My fish may not have been familar with the lake and got lost! That could have been the reason why he did what he did.

The entire experiment only lasted about 15 minutes before the fishing line got fouled in the weeks.

Also I was not fishing when I preformed this experiment. I didn't even have my boat or any fishing equipment with me. All I had was the line, barb and a small float and the fish in a bucket of water. No hooks were used in this experiment. LOL

I am going to talk to the local game wardens and ask them about the legality of this before I ever repeat this experiment. The thing is that I already know where the crappie hang out in these lakes and have been able to catch all the crappie that I want this year. They are not big crappie but I can catch a limit and they make a nice meal.




I have read about ballooning before in a magazine but have never tried it. I was wondering if any of you have tried it and whether you had success with it. For those of you who dont know what I'm talking about, the article said you could attatch a string with a balloon on it to the first crappie you catch and release it and if you do it quick enough, it will go back into the school and you can follow it and continue catching crappie from the school. I dont have a boat is the reason I havent tried this one yet. Is it for real or is it just a waste of time? It sounds like it could be effective. How exactly though do you connect the line to the fish and how much line do you lead off? Wouldnt this be bad though for the fish because it could tangle them up and crappie hold on structure, wouldnt they get all tangled up? Another thing I read is that if you know you are on top of crappie but they are not biting, you could put some minnows in a clear canning mason jar with water and tie the jar to a string and lower it down slowly in the fish and it will make them wanna go into a feeding frenzy because its like an underwater aquarium and they cant get the bait. Is this true and does it work? Read it in a magazine also.

crappieseeker
09-17-2004, 11:59 AM
Does anyone know if this is illegal on the Tennessee river? Fatboy if you read this is it illegal on Woods and Tims Ford?