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SK-MO
03-19-2006, 09:08 AM
I know this is probably a real basic question for most people here but I wanted some advice and could not find it answered in any previous posts.

I fish Table Rock Lake in SW Missouri. It's known as a very clear water lake, but some of the best crappie fishing is in some of the upper arms where you can only see about 15" or so. My preferred method this time of year, pre-spawn, is to flip a 1/16 jig, suspended a 2-3 feet under a float with a 12' rod, while drifting through poletimber. It seems to me that 95% of the good fish (at least the ones I can catch) are within inches of standing timber, both hardwods and cedars. The long pole is a deadly method for when fish are suspended toward the TOP.

I do this from shallow water out as deep as 45', depending on where I am finding fish, but the best trees pre-spawn seem to be at least 20' deep and near a channel unless its really warm and in the afternoon.

Sometimes for whatever reason (like yesterdays cold snap) I can't catch them toward the surface and have to go deep next to the trees.

Finally my QUESTION: What is the bet/most effective way to do this? i.e. fish a jig 15-20' deep real close to the wood? The wind is usually blowing making casting and boat control difficult, and casting and getting a jig within inches of a tree is hard enough to begin with, especially down deep.

My solution is usually to ease up to the tree and tie off, then drop my same 1/16 jig straight down a foot at a time with a conventional length spinning rod. It's slow at best and there are a lot of trees that can't be tied to as they are just underwater. I usually catch only one or two good fish per tree it seems. I am not sure holding position with the trolling motor spooks fish at 15 feet and deeper but it seems like it would.

Anybody have a better approach to this?

Thanks!

stray
03-19-2006, 11:56 AM
I know this is probably a real basic question for most people here but I wanted some advice and could not find it answered in any previous posts.

I fish Table Rock Lake in SW Missouri. It's known as a very clear water lake, but some of the best crappie fishing is in some of the upper arms where you can only see about 15" or so. My preferred method this time of year, pre-spawn, is to flip a 1/16 jig, suspended a 2-3 feet under a float with a 12' rod, while drifting through poletimber. It seems to me that 95% of the good fish (at least the ones I can catch) are within inches of standing timber, both hardwods and cedars. The long pole is a deadly method for when fish are suspended toward the TOP.

I do this from shallow water out as deep as 45', depending on where I am finding fish, but the best trees pre-spawn seem to be at least 20' deep and near a channel unless its really warm and in the afternoon.

Sometimes for whatever reason (like yesterdays cold snap) I can't catch them toward the surface and have to go deep next to the trees.

Finally my QUESTION: What is the bet/most effective way to do this? i.e. fish a jig 15-20' deep real close to the wood? The wind is usually blowing making casting and boat control difficult, and casting and getting a jig within inches of a tree is hard enough to begin with, especially down deep.

My solution is usually to ease up to the tree and tie off, then drop my same 1/16 jig straight down a foot at a time with a conventional length spinning rod. It's slow at best and there are a lot of trees that can't be tied to as they are just underwater. I usually catch only one or two good fish per tree it seems. I am not sure holding position with the trolling motor spooks fish at 15 feet and deeper but it seems like it would.

Anybody have a better approach to this?

Thanks!


We normally tie up to trees and vertical fish. A co worker gave me a couple poles that we use to tie up to trees with, they do two things. 1st they will keep the boat from rubbing against the tree. 2nd you can reach below the surface and catch the top of the trees that you can just see in the water.

The poles are PVC, drill hole in side just below where the cap goes. Take 2 caps drill a hole in the top of each. Now take a length of rope that will fit throw the hole with some resistance. Run one end of the rope through the hole in the pipe and tie a knot in it. The other end goes though one cap and then down the pipe and though the other cap and install the caps on each end. The rope needs to be long enough to make a loop around the tree or limb and still have enough to tie off to the boat. The pipe can be cut to any length you like, mine is about 3 long. I will try to post some pics to help you understand what I mean a little better.

FIN
03-19-2006, 12:10 PM
Hey Kevin
That's a great idea :).
I love this site.
FIN

SK-MO
03-19-2006, 12:20 PM
I agree, that's a slick way to get tied up.

fish_detective
03-19-2006, 02:12 PM
Kevin, what a great idea.... Thanks I will try this in my future trips.. Great Post...

Moose1am
03-19-2006, 03:53 PM
It's posts like this that keep me reading crappie.com. Very good idea.

Slip floats also work when fishing stick timber that's submerged. Face into the wind and cast out into the wind keeping the cast low to the water as possible to avoid the wind. Let the bait (minnow or jig) fall to the correct dept and then slowly reel the line in until the float rests right next to the tree. Leave it there for 30 seconds and then if no bite reel in some more to the next tree. You can cover a lot of territory around your boat this way. Now if the winds get too strong this method won't work as well. Then you can tie the boat up and fan cast out around the boat. If no bites just move the boat to a new spot and repeat.

Patoka Lake has lots of submerged timber that is sometimes right under the water's surface. (depending on the lake level). I fished in 12ft of water with this slip float method and did pretty good with it.

On bright sunny days the fish may be right up next to the timber. On cloudy days they may roam around. Check most depths to find the fish.



We normally tie up to trees and vertical fish. A co worker gave me a couple poles that we use to tie up to trees with, they do two things. 1st they will keep the boat from rubbing against the tree. 2nd you can reach below the surface and catch the top of the trees that you can just see in the water.

The poles are PVC, drill hole in side just below where the cap goes. Take 2 caps drill a hole in the top of each. Now take a length of rope that will fit throw the hole with some resistance. Run one end of the rope through the hole in the pipe and tie a knot in it. The other end goes though one cap and then down the pipe and though the other cap and install the caps on each end. The rope needs to be long enough to make a loop around the tree or limb and still have enough to tie off to the boat. The pipe can be cut to any length you like, mine is about 3 long. I will try to post some pics to help you understand what I mean a little better.

dockfishin
03-19-2006, 05:20 PM
Good idea for tying the boat up. Have to give it a try.

CrappiePappy
03-19-2006, 09:53 PM
I know this is probably a real basic question for most people here but I wanted some advice and could not find it answered in any previous posts.

I fish Table Rock Lake in SW Missouri. It's known as a very clear water lake, but some of the best crappie fishing is in some of the upper arms where you can only see about 15" or so. My preferred method this time of year, pre-spawn, is to flip a 1/16 jig, suspended a 2-3 feet under a float with a 12' rod, while drifting through poletimber. It seems to me that 95% of the good fish (at least the ones I can catch) are within inches of standing timber, both hardwods and cedars. The long pole is a deadly method for when fish are suspended toward the TOP.

I do this from shallow water out as deep as 45', depending on where I am finding fish, but the best trees pre-spawn seem to be at least 20' deep and near a channel unless its really warm and in the afternoon.

Sometimes for whatever reason (like yesterdays cold snap) I can't catch them toward the surface and have to go deep next to the trees.

Finally my QUESTION: What is the bet/most effective way to do this? i.e. fish a jig 15-20' deep real close to the wood? The wind is usually blowing making casting and boat control difficult, and casting and getting a jig within inches of a tree is hard enough to begin with, especially down deep.

My solution is usually to ease up to the tree and tie off, then drop my same 1/16 jig straight down a foot at a time with a conventional length spinning rod. It's slow at best and there are a lot of trees that can't be tied to as they are just underwater. I usually catch only one or two good fish per tree it seems. I am not sure holding position with the trolling motor spooks fish at 15 feet and deeper but it seems like it would.

Anybody have a better approach to this?

Thanks!

trying this little trick: http://www.crappie.com/articles/crappiepappy.htm

And, if you're fishing a tree with lots of branches ... go to a weedless jighead. You might also lay down the 12' rod, and pick up a 6ft rod for close quarters "Vertical Casting". Or - tie to one tree, and fish another one that's close by (within reach of the 12ft'r). The Vertical Casting method also works well for fishing down thru the branches of a fallen tree !! I use 7 & 8ft rods for most of my Crappie fishing techniques ... and rarely tie up to anything -- but, when I can't control the boat, and when casting is an exercise in frustration, I do tie to a tree and let the wind work "for" me (rather than against me). And I use the "Vertical Casting" method with good success, especially around standing timber, bridge pilings, dock posts, deadfalls, and submerged brush piles. .... luck2ya ... cp :cool:

SK-MO
03-19-2006, 10:26 PM
CP - I ran across the article AFTER I posted the question. There is a ton of info here and it just takes some time to find it!

After reading your article that is pretty close to what I am doing.

Where do you get the good weedless jig heads? I read about Oldham's and P&S but could not find them for sale anywhere.

Also - How much do you think the presence of a boat and possibly trolling motor overhead might make to crappie below? I assume it might depend on water clarity, wave action, how much boat traffic they are used to etc.

CrappiePappy
03-20-2006, 11:01 AM
P&S Custom Tackle jigs can be custom ordered from Paul Mullins at - baitmaker2000@hotmail.com

Oldham's Surelock Weedless Crappie Jigheads can be ordered straight from Terry Oldham -- 1-800-596-2436


As far as spooking fish with boat presence or trolling motor prop wash ... that's pretty hard to determine. How does one tell if the boat or prop wash or trolling motor noise or other noises/movements scared/spooked the fish away (or stopped them from feeding) ?? There may not have been any fish there, to start with ... LOL!! And, I've seen times when a sinker dropped in the floor of a boat would stop the bite -- but, also seen times when crashing the boat into a stand of trees, big motor running, 6 people clammering around on a pontoon, etc .... was the prelude to catching Crappie left and right ... LOL!! I wouldn't let boat presence or trolling motor use, be much of a factor ... since, if you can't present your bait to the fish correctly, then it don't much matter about stealth :rolleyes: TRY and be as stealthy as possible, but don't brood on it if you are not. Once you've determined where the fish are, and how deep ... just pick the most appropriate technique/method of presenting the bait to them.
I've caught Crappie out of deadfalls, after tying up to them ... at <4ft below the water's surface. And I've also caught them out of brushpiles in 8-10ft of water ... with the boat right above them, and the trolling motor running. Just don't "out think" yourself ... just do the best you can do, under the circumstances, and keep your confidence level high. There's always going to be good days and bad .... the trick is to have a good time, in either case. ;)

...........luck2ya ..... cp :cool:

SK-MO
03-20-2006, 03:03 PM
if you can't present your bait to the fish correctly, then it don't much matter about stealth :rolleyes: TRY and be as stealthy as possible, but don't brood on it if you are not.

Just don't "out think" yourself ... just do the best you can do, under the circumstances, and keep your confidence level high. There's always going to be good days and bad .... the trick is to have a good time, in either case. ;)

...........luck2ya ..... cp :cool:

Man CP, what an excellent response! I left these 2 quotes in as they really struck home with me.

Thanks for your input. I guess I do sometimes try to "outhink" myself, and talk about an accident waiting to happen.......!

Having a good time... great reminder!

Reminds me of of one of my favorite fishing partners. Whenever I say "I think it's a good one" he comes back immediately with:

"They're ALL good-un's"

AMEN

LBM
03-20-2006, 03:22 PM
Just another comment about the pvc tie pole.

Be sure and use sinking rope for your tie pole if you intend to attach to tree tops that are below the water surface.

I found out with my first pole it was much more difficult to get the loop over a tree top below the surface if using floating rope. Floating or sinking rope wouldn't matter if all one would be attaching to is branches above the water but those tree tops below the surface are much easier to attach to using the sinking rope.