View Full Version : locating the crappie from shore

01-11-2013, 12:42 AM
Hey guys, new to site new to crappie fishing. I just started hardcore crappie fishing last year. Caught them while bass and catfishing but never actually went out strictly for them. I lack the pleasures of a boat but have several lakes with several different structures and cover to fish. My question is, how do I know when they are in close to shore in the shallows or out deep? There have been days where I catch my limit then others where I don't catch any no matter what depth or jig color I throw at them. On those days I want snap my rod over my knee and toss it in the lake! Can anyone tell me what weather conditions to look for or anything else I can do to know or is it simply luck? I know there has got to be a way to know.

eagle 1
01-11-2013, 10:01 AM

01-11-2013, 11:20 AM
:dono really, I don't ... but, when I've been in a boatless state, in years gone by, and decided to fish from the bank during a "warmer than normal" day (during Dec-Feb) ... I've always picked a deep rocky bank that had a blowdown coming off it, that was big enough to extend out into (if not down to) the 20-25ft depths. Generally I caught fish off the blowdown, too. Sometimes it would be over the deeper end branches, and sometimes it would be right next to the trunk & no more than 6ft away from the shoreline (& less than 6ft deep).

Crappie don't stay in one place, or one depth, for any extended period of time ... so, you may have experienced those fishless days, due to there not being any fish there at that time. It happens, even to those fortunate enough to have a boat !!

I look for them to be close to shore when :
- spawning in the Spring
- early in the AM in the post spawn to Summer period, and possibly again in the later days of Fall
- the baitfish are working close to shore
- there's a slow/steady rise in water levels
- there's sufficient cover/shade available
- the water is clearing from a muddy state (& water temps are warm)
- when oxygen levels are diminished in the deeper water (& water temps are hot) ... especially when there's weed growth

.... or in other words, off & on during most of the year :Doh:

... cp :kewl

01-11-2013, 01:54 PM
From what I've been able to tell the CRAPPIE are in the shallows in the Spring and Fall and deep in the Winter and sometimes in the Summer if extended hot periods. Blue bird skys are Not made for fishing except VERY early and real late in the day and for only a short time after that,, USUALLY that is . I knew a man who lived on lake of the ozarks and he claimed a high pressure is NO good for crappie. He told me that the third day of a high pressure system is the best of the bad days to catch CRAPPIE. I like right before a storm, low bp is good a front coming in, myself. AND,,... Sometimes the bite is not on, and sometimes it's on when you are Not there like at night time,,or lunch!
Last year on a place in the Osage River, below bagnell, my wife and I burned up 500 minnows in five weekends. The CRAPPIE did not START biting untill around 1PM and it was going to get in the mid 90's each time,,.. well we were there. The first weekend and it was just happened chance to be there, and also as they bite came on,,..on that first day. We then went through 10 dozen minnows together for the next four weekends and just caught CRAPPIE til all of the minnows were gone, all 120 or so each day! Unbelievable,, but it's the truth. By the sixth weekend it was over though and man it was fun! The point is, we were puttin in our boat, just as most everyone else was taken out because of the heat. We prepared for the hot weather and just as it got close to 100 degrees,,... the bite was on. At about 6 in the evening you could not buy a bite, not even one. So the point,,.. one never knows about CRAPPIE and that keeps it interesting!
Fished a private lake that I paid to fish in. 250 dollars a year and well worth it. I had fished a couple days before and with no luck but I had not gotten to the lake until 9 a.m. soooo the next mourning I got there early enough to have to have a light to put my first minnow tipped jig on and I began to fish just at the day began to break dawn. They went crazy on that first cast,,... as the bite was on and fish were caught at very cast. It WAS WILD! Well they began to size down and smaller fish began to bite at around 30 minutes of fishing. I was in a small boat and with a trolling motor on it, and was slow trolling, and also casting too. Then just right before sun-u, and as two guys were unloading their boat, the bite came off,,... and they quit. Well I needed a coffee anyway and casted out a bobber as I drank coffee. This was about a 50 acre lake so they didn't scare them off, but not another bite was had from the CRAPPIE. My point is, they can be there and when the bite is on you'll catch, and when the bite is off, you will not. Crappie are sompin' else! They really are a challenge and also, GOOD to eat!
Good luck and good fishin'.
Like one member said, spend time on the water after them, and they will teach you what you need to know.

01-12-2013, 12:00 AM
I know what you mean guys. I thought maybe I was missing some key point somewhere. They are an illusive fish. Anymore I look at it like turkey hunting in the fall you just gotta find them. They are there its just a matter of getting there at the right time in the right spot. I Love doing it though. Since I started after them last year I didn't catfish or bass fish since! Its a challenge!

01-12-2013, 06:53 AM
Welcome from Alabama. I have been shorebound many a time. I would look for points with wood and weed that I could reach by casting a slip float jig. Other times I would try and find a cove off the reservoir that had a few finger points. Soft plastic, marabou jigs, or plain minnows were my bait of choice. I used a #4 hook or 1/16th jig.