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View Full Version : Shallow water summertime crappie.....



archer66
08-04-2013, 02:44 PM
Putting this on the main board rather than on my state board because I don't want to ask for lake specific advise or for anyone's spots.

I've been seeing some guys come in with July and August hot weather catches of NICE crappie caught in shallow water.... 4 foot and less. My home lake is a corps of engineers reservoir comprised of a big main lake basin, three high volume river arms and numerous large deep creeks. The lake has a lot of standing timber, a lot of submerged timber and a lot of mud and limestone rock. My typical summertime method is to catch crappie in the standing timber suspended over 25-40 foot of water by dipping the trees with jigs and or minnows...typically the fish are 8-12 foot down. I'm quite successful at this but sometimes the bite isn't very good on this pattern and sometimes if it is good the fish are small. Other times the fish are big and there are plenty of them but I'm looking to grow as a fisherman and would like to figure out how to recognize what to look for with for the shallow water pattern. The lake is FULL of flats and structure and mud banks and rock banks and lay downs etc etc. I've tried and tried fishing shallow along shorelines, using trees that run down the bank and off toward deep water, along standing timber near the shore etc etc but I've had no luck.....

So here's my question......how do you go about figuring out this technique???

Cmj
08-04-2013, 03:19 PM
We have a few large COE lakes here too. Sometimes the Crappie will follow shad into shallow flats that have submerged vegetation. If you suspect that they are shallow, look for brush on grass flats near channels. It probably wouldn't hurt to make a few spots of your own in these areas. I would drop a few pallet beds or stake buckets in 4-10 fow for those days when the regular summer spots aren't producing.

archer66
08-04-2013, 03:29 PM
Ok...let me add....there is NO natural vegetation in this lake...no weed beds, virtually no moss or algae, lily pads or anything green or brown except dead standing timber. Also....the lake floods very often.... Normal pool is 606 foot elevation. Last summer due to the drought it was all the way down to 595. This spring in May it went all the way up to 623 or so, then we got a break from the rain and it dropped to somewhere around 615 then we started getting more rain and it went all the way up to 628. The COE finally got it down to normal pool last week.

archer66
08-04-2013, 03:31 PM
But....there is brush so I can follow that idea....do you think brush along the shoreline or anywhere on a flat??

feeshrman
08-04-2013, 04:12 PM
Is this a very clear water lake? If so you may be spooking them before you can catch them. JMO

archer66
08-04-2013, 04:57 PM
Is this a very clear water lake? If so you may be spooking them before you can catch them. JMO

No...it's generally pretty stained. Best conditions water clarity wise are in the lower lake near the dam where you MIGHT have 12-18 inches of visibility in the best of years. Normally especially in the upper lake you only have a few inches of visibility. MUD, MUD and more MUD.

feeshrman
08-04-2013, 06:01 PM
The shallow fish I have caught during hot weather were usually around structure like old logs and such. They were only in such a place because they were feeding on the plentiful shad. I've also noticed that you can fish a dozen different places that seem the same to me, but fish will only be holding in one or two. Once you do find a spot like this it is likely they will often be there again.

CrappiePappy
08-04-2013, 06:24 PM
The shallow water Crappie that I've caught during Summer, have almost always come off of laydowns ... but, only while the water over those laydowns is shaded. Once the Sun gets on the surface above those trees, the fish are gone. The timeframe for this is usually between daylight & 10-11AM (depending on location of laydown vs trees creating shade vs angle of Sun).

... cp :kewl

Cmj
08-04-2013, 09:29 PM
Ok...let me add....there is NO natural vegetation in this lake...no weed beds, virtually no moss or algae, lily pads or anything green or brown except dead standing timber. Also....the lake floods very often.... Normal pool is 606 foot elevation. Last summer due to the drought it was all the way down to 595. This spring in May it went all the way up to 623 or so, then we got a break from the rain and it dropped to somewhere around 615 then we started getting more rain and it went all the way up to 628. The COE finally got it down to normal pool last week.

Since there is no vegetation, I would look for flats near channels or deep water. Brush or laydowns in these areas will provide much needed shade as the day heats up. Also, look for shad. The oxygen content gets low in a lot of the shallower coves this time of year, so as always, if you don't see shad don't waste your time.

archer66
08-05-2013, 04:56 AM
Thanks for the suggestions....the shad connection is a good one as this lake is FULL Of shad. Also I hadn't thought of the shade issue.....there are large log jams in pockets along the shoreline that would provide shade. Also a lot of the standing timber is large and could also be a good shade source. Laydowns are what I've focused the most on and the lake is full of them. They may yet be a key to this but so far I haven't hit it right for some reason.

genec
08-05-2013, 12:08 PM
All lakes are different but usually to find many in shallow you need current and most of the time where river spread out to start the lake is where they will be shallow moving on flats that's near river channel,find some structure,a stump,log ,ect. If in a code or creek if no current ,go to another place

Bricks
08-05-2013, 10:17 PM
For me any time the water is rising the fish move in shallow to feed, with the water rising it opens up many new areas for the fish to find bugs worms etc,. During high water these areas where fish are present can be tough to find with all the new shoreline created. I will normally fish fast I use plastics and cover water once spots are found they generally will be there any time the water rises ( time of year ). Once the water starts to subside I will look for the closest drop to these areas to relocate fish.

BamaBill
08-07-2013, 09:49 PM
I catch fish like this all summer. I used to think the fish left the shallow lakes for deeper river channels. Boy was I wrong. They will gravitate to any structure at night and when the sun is low. As soon as the sun gets some height, They tend to gravitate to the deeper spots in the lake. Troll around with your finder. If the lake is 5' on average and there is a spot holding 6' they typically will be in that area. Maybe only 4' deep. I do good trolling VERY slowly with jigs or minnows on corks in the deeper pockets. Also, if there is no structure, add some. You don't have to add anything big. Sometimes something as simple as just cedar limbs laying flat on the bottom will be enough to make them congregate in an area.

Gansett
08-11-2013, 10:31 PM
Agreeing with a lot of what has already been said. I LOVE summertime crappie fishing, in a river and small creeks off the main river. I fish shallow water (3 or 4 feet), old wooden lay downs. No point in fishing from about 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m (give or take). Once you find them, keep going back. I wish I knew what draws them to the same hot-spots, but I don't lose any sleep over it. I have about six spots that produce regularly in summer. Other spots look identical and I almost never get any in those, with the rare exception of a fish or two here and there. My problem time is Winter, it's hardly worth going for me; but, that's just me, others do quite well at that time of year.

CRIA1576
08-12-2013, 11:23 AM
Archer,

Me and my wife were able to catch a nice basket of black crappies yesterday in SW IA. We pulled all of them off the face of a reservoir dam faced with rock featuring a very steep drop off. The water goes from 2'-20' within 20' off the face of the dam. The ample rocks provide cover, shade, and good food sources, and we caught every fish drifting a small piece of crawler under a slip float set to around 4'.

Several really nice bluegills (7-9"), a few largemouths, and one big cat (~5#) rounded off the mixed catch, and we had a ball.

Good luck!

Joe

missbeckyfishing
08-12-2013, 03:33 PM
I live in Knotts Island NC..its about 95 degrees during the day..last month Crappie fishing was great..Back Bay runs up to the back of my house..I thought all the Crappie had left but caught one last week and one yesterday..all the ones I caught last month were females..the one last week and yesterday were males..what are best times of the year for Crappie..

Cmj
08-12-2013, 03:45 PM
I live in Knotts Island NC..its about 95 degrees during the day..last month Crappie fishing was great..Back Bay runs up to the back of my house..I thought all the Crappie had left but caught one last week and one yesterday..all the ones I caught last month were females..the one last week and yesterday were males..what are best times of the year for Crappie..

How do you tell if they are male or female in the middle of August? Just curious.

CrappiePappy
08-12-2013, 11:41 PM
How do you tell if they are male or female in the middle of August? Just curious.

If she cleaned them, the females would have a egg sac starting to develop, while the males would not (obviously) but would likely have a visible milt sac.

... cp :kewl