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bdorman
10-24-2011, 01:03 PM
Had some fun trolling yesterday...when I found schools of crappie roaming the middle of the lake (the lake is only one mile long and a quarter-mile wide).

I'd see the school on my fish-finder and sure enough five seconds later, wham-bang, two hits out of four lines. But once I'd unhooked and coolered the most recent catch (took maybe 30 seconds to one minute), I couldn't find the school again. I had good reference points on land and I killed the TM while unhooking, so I know I was in the same spot. I circled around in a widening arc...but they were gone :(. (BTW, they weren't on any structure but out in the open lake where there's literally no structure. They were 6-9 feet deep in 12 feet of water).

Question: Were did they go? How fast do crappie swim when they are out in open water? Do they usually move with the wind? or against it? Toward the sun, or away from it? Other factors?

I found 7-8 schools (or maybe it was the same school 7 or 8 times :D) so it was a fun day...but it'd be a lot more fun if I could figure out these darn fish!

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From our Department of Snappy Come-backs: I was on the deck cleaning my catch with my dog watching intently. My wife says "I wish you wouldn't clean the fish in front of Mabel (the dog). She shouldn't see you killing animals."

All I could think to say was "Killing and eating animals is probably the only thing we do that makes any sense to Mabel."

My wife had to agree.

HLLeonard
10-24-2011, 04:37 PM
I fish a small lake close to my home also and I see the same thing on the sonar... Don't seem to have a problem finding fish in open water ( don't know if they are crappie or not ), so far I haven't managed to catch any of them... If I see fish that are related to cover of some kind then I can catch them by fishing over whatever the cover is and they seem to be crappie most of the time... I have drifted bait at the depth the fish are at but so far no cigar.

bdorman
10-25-2011, 02:51 PM
I fish a small lake close to my home also and I see the same thing on the sonar... Don't seem to have a problem finding fish in open water ( don't know if they are crappie or not ), so far I haven't managed to catch any of them... If I see fish that are related to cover of some kind then I can catch them by fishing over whatever the cover is and they seem to be crappie most of the time... I have drifted bait at the depth the fish are at but so far no cigar.

Hi HL,
Yes, I've had that experience too when I've trolled over schools and didn't even get a nibble. Even then it's hard to tell what direction and speed the school is moving (if they're moving at all, of course). When I've turned around to give them another look at my bait...they're gone; or more accurately, I can't find them.

Part of the problem is that the lake is only 12-15 feet deep, so my fish-finder is only showing me an 8-10 foot wide swath of water. At that width you have to do a lot of back-and-forth to survey the area. They could be 15 away and I wouldn't know it.

HLLeonard
10-25-2011, 03:15 PM
Hi HL,
Yes, I've had that experience too when I've trolled over schools and didn't even get a nibble. Even then it's hard to tell what direction and speed the school is moving (if they're moving at all, of course). When I've turned around to give them another look at my bait...they're gone; or more accurately, I can't find them.

Part of the problem is that the lake is only 12-15 feet deep, so my fish-finder is only showing me an 8-10 foot wide swath of water. At that width you have to do a lot of back-and-forth to survey the area. They could be 15 away and I wouldn't know it.

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The small lake I like to fish is about 150 acres or so and water 30 to 45 feet deep is fairly common... I seem to be able to locate scattered fish and sometimes several in a bunch in open water in the 15 to 30 foot range but it doesn't seem to matter how long I try drifting minnows or jigs at the depth I see the fish, so far I haven't had any takers... If the fish are associated with cover of some kind I seem to be able to straight line a minnow and catch crappie that I see on the sonar... The fish I see in open water seem to make a bigger symbol on the fish finder so they may be bigger fish.... That's why I want to catch a few of these, they might be bigger size crappie than what I am catching by fishing the cover.

Crappie 1
10-25-2011, 03:39 PM
We marked fish from 17-24 fow. Don't know what they were. We anchored and tried minnows, crawlers, jigs etc. no takers. The fish were in a range from 3' all the way down to 20' I suspect they were Crappie? But not 100% sure. There were lots of them, the wind was so bad you could hardly hold the boat..

HLLeonard
10-25-2011, 04:18 PM
We marked fish from 17-24 fow. Don't know what they were. We anchored and tried minnows, crawlers, jigs etc. no takers. The fish were in a range from 3' all the way down to 20' I suspect they were Crappie? But not 100% sure. There were lots of them, the wind was so bad you could hardly hold the boat..
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I have the hardest time getting the boat to sit by anchoring it, I have just about given up trying, if I don't have anything to tie it to I mostly hold the boat the best I can with the trolling motor... I want one of those minnkota thingies that supposedly uses GPS and it is advertised to hold the boat within 5 feet of the set point, only thing stopping me is the 800 bucks it takes to buy it and the doubt I have that it will actually work.

aznflycaster
10-25-2011, 10:18 PM
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I have the hardest time getting the boat to sit by anchoring it, I have just about given up trying
Try a Cajun anchor, I like the fact that you dont have to let out a bunch of line to get an anchor to hold once you find the fish. And they are easy to make with a electrical ground rod.

Lowellhturner
10-26-2011, 01:04 AM
That is exactly a job for side scan sonar, and believe me, I`d LOVE to have 1 too...

chaunc
10-26-2011, 06:02 AM
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I have the hardest time getting the boat to sit by anchoring it, I have just about given up trying, if I don't have anything to tie it to I mostly hold the boat the best I can with the trolling motor... I want one of those minnkota thingies that supposedly uses GPS and it is advertised to hold the boat within 5 feet of the set point, only thing stopping me is the 800 bucks it takes to buy it and the doubt I have that it will actually work.
I have a 17ft lund deep vee and i use a 25lb dumbell for my anchor. Holds my boat in any wind, even on rocky bottoms.

shipahoy41
10-26-2011, 06:13 AM
I have a 17ft lund deep vee and i use a 25lb dumbell for my anchor. Holds my boat in any wind, even on rocky bottoms. Chaunc, just wish I had a boat. The anchor I did have was a three point heavy anchor that worked well for me. My boat back in Ohio was a 17.5 Tracker with a 40hp motor on it.

EnonEye
10-26-2011, 08:12 AM
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I have the hardest time getting the boat to sit by anchoring it, I have just about given up trying, if I don't have anything to tie it to I mostly hold the boat the best I can with the trolling motor... I want one of those minnkota thingies that supposedly uses GPS and it is advertised to hold the boat within 5 feet of the set point, only thing stopping me is the 800 bucks it takes to buy it and the doubt I have that it will actually work.

They work... you gotta have one, I've used my real anchors once this entire year and that was in shallow 4 foot lilly pads. I use nothing but the "anchor lock" on the Minkota now. One of the most frustrating things about crappie fishing is now a pleasure. Also works great when you're long lining more than 1 pole as you catch a fish hit the "anchor lock." Allows you to fight the fish without concern the other line/s are getting hung on the bottom as you drift with the wind. At timer I've been able to fight the fish to the boat and then restart the troll without touching my 2nd line.

HLLeonard
10-26-2011, 09:27 AM
They work... you gotta have one, I've used my real anchors once this entire year and that was in shallow 4 foot lilly pads. I use nothing but the "anchor lock" on the Minkota now. One of the most frustrating things about crappie fishing is now a pleasure. Also works great when you're long lining more than 1 pole as you catch a fish hit the "anchor lock." Allows you to fight the fish without concern the other line/s are getting hung on the bottom as you drift with the wind. At timer I've been able to fight the fish to the boat and then restart the troll without touching my 2nd line.

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I read about this trolling motor a while back and was instantly in lust with the idea of not always having to concentrate on keeping the boat in position while I was unhooking a fish or needing to retie, I have a tough enough time trying to chew gum and walk across the street at the same time... 800 bucks or so is a big investment for a trolling motor but that is a killer idea, especially for crappie fishing,don't know if I will ever have one but I surely do want one, I would love to borrow one forever... Does it keep you within the 5 feet that they advertise it to do?

minnowtime
10-26-2011, 04:42 PM
I had a I-piolt on a Powerdrive2 and sold it. It did not work as advertized. If I were to buy another I-pilot it would have to have the foot control still active!!!!

sparkie51
10-26-2011, 05:57 PM
Try an old timers trick by hooking a caught fish to a line with a bobber that has line longer the lake is deep and release it. The fish will go back to the school. When you get done fishing catch the boober with the net and release the fish. It may be illigal in your state I don't know.

HLLeonard
10-26-2011, 05:58 PM
I had a I-piolt on a Powerdrive2 and sold it. It did not work as advertized. If I were to buy another I-pilot it would have to have the foot control still active!!!!
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I would be too skeptical to take an 800 dollar risk on one of those but it is a great idea... I have gps on my sonar unit and I set a location beside a tree that I knew wasn't going anywhere and then navigated back to the spot and when it said I was there it was 15 or 20 feet away... I guess those has their place in fishing but it seems finding a specific spot with the one I have only gets you close so if it only keeps you within 20 feet it wouldn't be practical... An earlier poster said his worked well so maybe they aren't all created equal.

chaunc
10-27-2011, 12:19 PM
Chaunc, just wish I had a boat. The anchor I did have was a three point heavy anchor that worked well for me. My boat back in Ohio was a 17.5 Tracker with a 40hp motor on it.
Had that type anchor but you have to let too much line out for it to hold. With the one i use, it's almost straight down.

bdorman
10-27-2011, 01:01 PM
Try an old timers trick by hooking a caught fish to a line with a bobber that has line longer the lake is deep and release it. The fish will go back to the school. When you get done fishing catch the boober with the net and release the fish. It may be illigal in your state I don't know.

Now that's thinking! Hands ClappingOf course, I'd have to release that fish as you recommend. After all, he's almost a partner :)

An i-Pilot for GPS waypoint might get me back to the spot, but that's not the problem. I can get back to the point, but when I do the school is gone. I'm trying to determine "which way did they go?"