View Full Version : 5% Rule

10-22-2012, 01:40 AM
I have been thinking about what a creel survey guy told me on Kentucky Lake while he was measuring my fish a few years ago. We where discussing how the fishing was that warm spring morning and I had just about got my limit that day when Rory said I was one of the few he had checked that was doing any good. I kind of puffed up a litlle thinking I had finally figured out how to catch the elusive crappie but I thought in the back of my mind I had gotten lucky. Rory told me that all the 28 years he had been a creel survey officer he had come to the conclusion that 5% of the crappie fisherman catch 95% of the fish and his records proved that point. I have been trying to think of all the reasons why the 5% do so well. Why do 5% of the fisherman catch 95% of the crappie?

10-22-2012, 05:22 AM
That 5 % puts in the time to learn how, when, and where. Alot of the time they fish familar water and probably have put out structures or just know it.
Example , I have fished my home lake over 40 years and have over 400 cover locations on GPS. I've been accused more than once of netting fish after catching good limits of fish when the lake is busting most folks chops. I consider myself verstile and if small fish bite I move on. Some days I fish a full day when it starts bad instead of throwing in the towel. You study fishing and put in your time , you will be more successful.:twocents

10-22-2012, 06:30 AM
A lot of folks just go out and fish a spot that "looks good" vs. knowing it's good. Like NIMROD said, you just put in your time on the water and learn. That goes for any species you fish for.

10-22-2012, 06:37 AM
I have some similar numbers for you 10% of the fisherman catch 90% of the fish. Upon further breakdown it's that elite 3% accounting for upwards of 85% of total fish caught. Eerily similar numbers, are you that 3%?

Rees Guide
10-22-2012, 06:53 AM
time on the water and experience. Know a young man down this way that told me last year, "You got to learn to think like a crappie". He is on to something there, fishing flood control lakes all my life I learned to think like a green carp and am now learning to think like a white perch. Water rising or falling what are the tendonsies? Same thing spring, summer, fall and winter. Why are crappie so fat and thick in the spring? They eat in a frenzy all winter is why. Yesterday was a tuff day for us on the water, we managed a dozen GOOD fish but we spent 7 hours with the poles out. Couldnt find a pattern but I marked a dozen or so waypoints for future reference that i quarantee you will catch fish, couple of em when the lake has fallen another foot or so and the others down the road.

10-22-2012, 07:07 AM
Agree with nimrod

Mrs. Crappie Stalker
10-22-2012, 08:15 AM
Maybe, if I'm blessed to live long enough and get to retire, I'll get to fish a lot more and be in the 5%. But then again, if I were in that elite top percentage, maybe it wouldn't seem as challenging. I catch enough to maintain interest and enjoyment in the sport and enough to eat when I want it. The more you fish, the more you learn and I'd love to spend more time fishing, but work, family and life's regularly thrown curve balls make it difficult to get out there as much I want to. But that's okay, because it makes me appreciate my fishing trips that much more. Speaking of, that eagle flying around us on Saturday was awesome!

10-22-2012, 08:38 AM
Ifish ... maybe it has something to do with the saying that "90% of the fish are in 10% of the water". So, if those 5-10% of anglers doing all the catching, are fishing the correct 10% of the water ... they're most likely to be more successful.
I agree with the others ... those that do their homework & learn the habits & habitats of the fish they pursue, put their time in, and form a game plan considering the conditions at their respective locations ... are going to be in that upper echelon of successful 'catchers', more often than those that just "go fishing", or those that just go by "what the fishing reports say". (which is why we have the old saying "you shoulda been here yesterday" :Rofl )

... cp :kewl

10-22-2012, 08:45 AM
Many people can catch the fish. It's the locating and finding the pattern, thats hard for them. You can show a fisherman what you are doing and thye can catch fish till something changes, but have trouble adapting to changes. Many don't follow the fine details that explain why the fish are in the area, what they are feeding on, and most important what will they do next. It's important to know these things not only from day to day, but hour to hour. Every had fish just shut down mid morning then bite just before dark or the next morning? The fish are still there, but maybe deeper! You have to understand the why. Then you get into many other factors like color and jig weight. It just keeps going.

10-22-2012, 08:48 AM
Why do 5% of the fisherman catch 95% of the crappie?

This concept has a name. It's called the "Pareto Principle", and it applies to a lot more than just crappie fishing. ;)

Eager Beaver
10-22-2012, 12:31 PM
Time on the water is the best teacher there is. The 5% are willing to change to something they haven't tried before when the Crappie stop biting. But they don't just grab any ole thing that looks good to them. They try something that is different but the same or close to it. Novice people will try something that appeals to them and not worry about what the fish is looking for. You can learn a lot from using a flasher unit and watching how the fish react to what you offer them. EB

10-22-2012, 12:49 PM
This concept has a name. It's called the "Pareto Principle", and it applies to a lot more than just crappie fishing. ;)

Yeah...like taxes!!

10-22-2012, 01:15 PM
Just like every thing else, you get out of it what you put into it

10-22-2012, 08:30 PM
For me a lot of times I try to find the depth the fish are holding the first 3 places I fish. I call them test holes. They usually dictate my patern for the next couple hours.Then its the color of jigs. I have 2 colors I fish with 90% of the time. I fish 2 poles vertical primarily.I run 2 HDS-10's with down and side scan on both ends of the boat.I can see the fish but it does not mean they are active and feeding. Electronics has been the game changer in how and where I fish. I am up to 5,000 waypoints on Barkley and Kentucky Lakes. Waypoint managment has been a challenge in keeping up with all the places I fish. I keep a hard copy in my safety deposit box. I have been putting stuff out for years and that is the main reason for me usually finding and catching fish. I get a lot of drive byes with there electronics beeping.I know I have grown in uderstanding the crappie behavior and there is still a lot to learn.

10-23-2012, 05:51 AM
Let's say you have spots on the lake that have produced in the past and your hovering over one of them and marking fish. Just how long do you sit there shaking your minnows at them, without a bite, till you pull up and head for the next hole? Fifteen minutes, an hour? I know its happened to me before when at the first stop you hit that wall and couldn't catch cold in the middle of flu season. Then you move to a second or third spot and its like a new day and all you need do is to sit there with your coffee in one hand and hold the livewell door open with the other. I like the way crappiepappy was think when he said that 90% of the crappie are in 10% of the lake but what percentage of those are feeding while you are there? Do we spend too much time in one spot trying to beg a crappie to bite our minnow that has just finished eating? I say move on brothers and become that elite group of fishermen with fin pricked hands and fish slime on your shirt/jacket and jeans!