View Full Version : Keeping crappie in the heat?

07-20-2006, 11:28 AM
How does everone keep there fish while out on the lake. I've noticed that if the crappie die before I get home the fillets turn soft or mushy if you will. I usually keep them in a live well but with the water temps approaching 80 degrees I don't think keeping them in the live well will do much good. I only live 6 miles from the lake so there is not a long hot trip home. I know alot of people put them on ice but don't want to be bothered getting ice a 5 in the morning. any ideas?

07-20-2006, 11:39 AM
I have been keeping crappie and gills all summer long and have had none die on me.

I went out today and kept 10 big gills. I threw them in the live well and turned on the aerator. Surface temp was 84. I left the lake at 11:30 and drove home (20 min. drive). When I got home they were still rockin' in the well. As I said, I have also had no problems with crappie...even 45 min. drives home.

07-20-2006, 11:41 AM
I put them straight into the cooler half full of ice, then dump some more ice on them on the way home. I live pretty close to the lake too but since I fish mostly at night, I keep them on ice until the next day and fillet them when I wake up. they are easier to clean when they are cold as well.

drill instructor
07-20-2006, 12:17 PM
cooler with ice the only way to go in the summer. I have a huge livewell on my boat, so if i dont catch much i keep them in there until i get back to the truck. I keep the cooler in my truck until im done fishing. Dont really catch much fish in the summer though, i guess that helps also. Im thinking about getting one of those oxygen pumps.

07-20-2006, 12:19 PM
I keep them the same way I do year round..... on ice. The fillets are always better if they are kept cold! A crappie that has been dead even 1 hour in a livewell at 80 degrees with have soft fillets that just don't taste right.

07-20-2006, 12:37 PM
I keep several 2 litre bottles frozen in the freezer. I put 2 in the ice chest each trip out. I put the first few fish in the livewell until I am sure I have enough to keep and clean. Then I put them in the ice chest and any others I catch. I don't have to be in a hurry to clean them when I get home and can wait till it is cooler the next morning.

About a month ago I would put the 2 litre bottle in the livewell itself to keep the temp. down and they did real well. I don't have an automatic livewell timer and my livewell is not insulated. I am sure the guys with the bigger bass boats can keep their fish in the livewells a lot better than I can in my aluminum Tracker PF-16.

07-20-2006, 05:17 PM
Ice'em down

07-20-2006, 05:46 PM
String them up and leave them in the water. I usually use a 20lb test line to string them up and let them swim in the water. they kick till they are in the pan. But becareful, i once lost a whole bunch of fish when the fishes already strung on the line swam off and he line slipped from my hand. was able o get the line back but as I've said, lost alot of them.

07-20-2006, 05:54 PM
I always throw them on ice, always have goood filets to eat!

07-20-2006, 06:08 PM
I put them on ice year round, easier to fillet and much tastier.

Matt Smith
07-20-2006, 06:10 PM
All the crappie I keep freeze to death before I can do anything about it.

07-20-2006, 06:30 PM
Once they started dying I switched from a cooler of lake water to a cooler of ice. No need letting 'em die if theyre gonna spoil. ;)

Mrs. Crappie Stalker
07-21-2006, 02:10 PM
We always keep 2 liter and smaller 20 oz plastic bottles of water frozen. The big bottles go in the livewell and the little ones go in the minnow bucket.

07-21-2006, 03:13 PM
I put water in my old water bottles and then freeze them the next time I go out I drop 1 or 2 in each live well and it drops the temp of the water in the livewell a lot. Then when you get home all your fish are still alive and freash ready to eat or clean.

07-21-2006, 06:18 PM
Last week when I went fishing here the water temp was 88.5 and this time of year it's on ice.

07-22-2006, 06:16 AM
ice them down

J White
07-22-2006, 07:59 AM
Nothing like the sound of some big'uns thumping around on ice :D :D :D