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View Full Version : How do you guys fish crappies in the summer?



kercha83
06-06-2014, 06:26 PM
Last night I tried night fishing under a lantern and a submersible green light and didn't catch anything. There was a lot of bugs and thousands of minnows and shad running around getting chased by bigger fish but they weren't interested in my minnows.:dono:dono:dono:dono:dono:dono

river scum
06-06-2014, 06:55 PM
how late did you fish? sometimes they dont start till midnight here. couple hours after dark at least. these light things only help up the odds, they dont make them bite. ill cruise around till i see pods of fish i suspect to be crappie, then drop anchor and wait. i like to be near, but just off, the drop off into deep water. fish right under the bait ball all the way to bottom. they can come in at any depth, so fish the entire water column. dont give up on the lights though.

slabbacks
06-06-2014, 07:20 PM
I like the night bite on my home lake but like river said for some reason they turn on good about midnight. I fish near docks or out at the drop on points. Points with structure are the ones I look at out there. Sometimes bridges but not as often. Make sure to also put your minnow on the outside of the light beam some as well. Have taken several that seem to just hover out there.

Also try running crank baits on the flats during the heat of summer during daylight hours. I run Bandit 200's in 12-15 FOW and troll the area. Keep an eye on your track and mark the areas you catch fish, then you can just troll the productive water where you are catching fish. BAIT is the key on the screen in those areas.

kickingback
06-06-2014, 08:32 PM
Night fishing is just like day fishing. You need to find the structure and points and fish them with your lights. The fish will be enticed by the plankton and bait you bring in causing a feeding frenzy thus making increasing your chances of catching fish. I have had luck every time I go out at night and That is usually 3 to 4 times a month. If a place is not biting after 30 to 45 minutes. move on to other structure. Hope this helps.

kercha83
06-06-2014, 09:57 PM
thanks for the tips guys, river scum i use a slip bobber with minnows and kept adjusting height until i get to the bottom. I fished all around the area including outside the lighted area with no luck.

Kevin22
06-06-2014, 10:16 PM
Whenever I have night fished I typically find the crappies to be from 2" to 2' under the surface. Usually use small flies or brown/black jigs to mimic bugs hatching.

kercha83
06-07-2014, 04:51 AM
I fished until 2 am.

river scum
06-07-2014, 05:32 AM
we all would like to see you get bite brother. can you give us more info about where you are fishing? what lake is it, whats water clarity, max depth, avg depth, kind of forage(is there shad), lots of weeds or none, bottom type and does it vary,.......... post a contour map of it and we will pick it apart for you. lol

slabsrus
06-07-2014, 08:25 AM
Summer fishing for me is pretty much the same is Spring fishing, other than I generally fish deeper water and around docks. I use exactly the same rigs, ultra light micro jigs and soft plastics. I just cast it out and let it slowly sink until something picks it up. I try to pay careful attention to what depth I think the fish hit at and concentrate on and around that depth. With my jigs being 1/64 or 1/80 ounce tipped baits no larger than the Berkley Gulp minnows, my bait sinks quite slowly so it can be a bit tricky if the wind picks up, but it works. Some days I find them in the wide open waters just hanging out there over 20 feet of water in areas that I am sure hold virtually no structure, just the wide open spaces. When I don't find them on the drops, submerged points, deep water weeds and wood, or the docks, I begin slowly working the open water. Not being one to use electronics, this is often a tedious task in large lakes but patience pays. When searching the open spaces I will use two lines with one or two jigs on each, depending on the wind and water clarity. I will space the jigs in line anywhere from 3 - 5 feet apart and set the individual lines at different depths so that I am covering several depths of the water column. Over the years I have been able to pin down a few general areas of the open water that seem to hold fish more regularly than most of the lake, and all I have come up with about why this is the case is that it might be something to do with natural currents. I mean I know the crappies are out there because their food is out there, but why is there food out there. Again, I think it has something to do with currents. And one of the funny things about finding them in the open spaces is that they are rarely near the bottom out there, but rather they suspend somewhere from three feet off the bottom to merely inches from the surface.

keeferfish
06-07-2014, 09:07 AM
Are you looking only for night advise only? If so no help here only day fish.

Dip trees from 5 to 10 foot down here and sometimes shocked how shallow the fish are in the hot water. Another option is more like winter fishing over structure.

Good luck!

Rdrunner
06-08-2014, 09:49 AM
Not sure what the rules are for the lakes you fish but what I do is sink brush piles for summer fishing and it is my favorite time to fish.The best depths for them on the lakes I fish are 15-18 ft. deep. Thirty plus years of doing this I've found that it's best to have them on the main lake or no more than 1/4 of the way back in the creeks if you want to catch big fish..I like to put them on the first break from deep water.Make the piles big enough to hold plenty of baitfish.Iv'e caught them on many different bait's over the years but nothing beats a Zoom tiny fluke on a 1/32 jig head.Cast it around brush piles and let it fall until you get bit otherwise let it fall all the way to the bottom.Many times when you go to crank it up a few rounds to let it fall again the fish is already on it.I never fish jigs without a crappie nibble because they can absolutely be the difference between catching and not.

blueball
06-08-2014, 11:24 AM
try to titeline a couple of double minnow rigs on a 10-12 ft pole,i have decent luck with this setup usuall fish two rods like this in front of me and throw 1-2 bobber rigs beside me close to the boat

thanks for the tips guys, river scum i use a slip bobber with minnows and kept adjusting height until i get to the bottom. I fished all around the area including outside the lighted area with no luck.

blueball
06-08-2014, 11:28 AM
also if ur fishing ky lake/tn river and fishing a creek channel (night fishing)the hotter it gets the closer they will be to the river channel and watch for strip jumps to find bait late in the evening and also look for birds that feed on fish,thats what i do and have ok luck

kercha83
06-08-2014, 11:54 AM
Thanks for the tips guys. RD RUNNER do those crappie nibbles really work? If so what color do u recommend? I have a few power bait left over from trout fishing, I wonder if they will work.

beagle man
06-08-2014, 12:23 PM
over and in the brush on clear water Stockton lake mo. trees and stumps on dirty water lakes, 1 to 10 ft deep, I use jigs and crappie nibbles, the nibbles work, plain and simple they work, fish slow, sometimes a slow rise off the bottom till you get a hit, then repeat over and over again, I mark my line with a black marker to mark the depth they hit most often. good luck

Rdrunner
06-08-2014, 12:32 PM
Thanks for the tips guys. RD RUNNER do those crappie nibbles really work? If so what color do u recommend? I have a few power bait left over from trout fishing, I wonder if they will work.
When you get on fish casting jigs and are catching one on almost every cast with a nibble on and leave it off and can't get a bite you will be a believer.All I can say is buy some and see for yourself.I usually buy pink or chartreuse but I really don't think the color matters it's the scent .Make sure and buy the nibbles and not crappie bites they are not as good.And no I'm not a field staffer for Berkley.Not sure about the trout bait .

INTIMIDATOR
06-09-2014, 09:22 AM
Normally during the summer, Crappie will feed after dark when the water cools some.
Research has show, that when the water temp stays above 80 degrees, Crappie will suspend close to cover, structure, etc, and conserve energy...they will not eat unless food is easily taken, because they metabolize food quicker swimming around, and need more food than most can find.
Once water cools alittle at night they will hit feeding flats or look for other easy meals!
I use a swimbait all year and during the this summer pattern, I will slow the retrieve and make it swim injured or dying to promote EASY strikes!

Kevin22
06-09-2014, 11:01 AM
Crappie nibbles work great. I've had crappies hit jig tipped with nibbles that were sitting still. They really like the scent, I have no idea what is in there but they seem to like it. The trout nibbles would probably work as well, I don't know what the difference is, but I'm sure any fish scent is better than no scent.

Kevin22
06-09-2014, 11:05 AM
Normally during the summer, Crappie will feed after dark when the water cools some.
Research has show, that when the water temp stays above 80 degrees, Crappie will suspend close to cover, structure, etc, and conserve energy...they will not eat unless food is easily taken, because they metabolize food quicker swimming around, and need more food than most can find.
Once water cools alittle at night they will hit feeding flats or look for other easy meals!
I use a swimbait all year and during the this summer pattern, I will slow the retrieve and make it swim injured or dying to promote EASY strikes!

Could you cite the source or provide a link to the research? Around here it is the exact opposite, when the water gets over 75 the vast majority of crappie head deep and suspend in the 12-20' areas where the thermoclines (cool water) are. Structure holds heat so they avoid it during the hot times and only go up there to feed. They go shallow right at dark and then head back out deep mid-morning.

INTIMIDATOR
06-10-2014, 07:32 AM
Could you cite the source or provide a link to the research? Around here it is the exact opposite, when the water gets over 75 the vast majority of crappie head deep and suspend in the 12-20' areas where the thermoclines (cool water) are. Structure holds heat so they avoid it during the hot times and only go up there to feed. They go shallow right at dark and then head back out deep mid-morning.

We're on the same page, except for a few details...I tend to go into too much depth most of the time and this time I didn't! :)
First, "Structure" is confusing because people use the word in many ways, I consider it as LARGE underwater Natural or Man made areas that change depth or alter the depth of the underwater enviroment, such as Cliffs, Humps, Rip Rap/Boulders, Tressels, Road beds, Creek beds, etc. I consider cover as lilly pads, other vegetation, trees/stumps, man made "Trees", "stake beds", docks, etc.
THERMOCLINE is just the line of separation between warm and cold layers in summer or winter....in summer the cold lower layer stratifys, due to organisms and fish seeking cooler temps, and all of the usefull oxygen is depleted in the cold layer, plus there is no water movement due to lack of wind, rain, storms, to keep the lake mixed up. The upper warm layer still draws in oxygen but is usually ALOT warmer. The Cold lower layer soon is VERY RICH in nutrients due to organisms dying and stagnates....when the water mixes again due to rains, storms/wind, etc, you normally get a BLOOM in the lake!
Thermocline define where a fish can go...Crappie need higher Oxygen content and cannot survive below 3ppm of O2.
You have to be general because lakes across the US are very different.
We have a VERY deep HOME lake in SW Ohio...It has areas 50 feet deep, average is 20 fow...our thermocline last year set up at 22 feet and moved all the way up to 13 fow. DEEP structure does not hold heat, underwater structure not affected by sun is the water temp...Cover such as lilly pads, shade trees, etc have a cooling effect on water.
Shallow lakes are stressful on fish...they just have to look for shade if possible and suspend, but the shallows also cool quicker at night!
Most Wood, plastics, and some metals, are not heat-sinks and do not transmit heat...the top of a Plastic or Aluminum dock may feel hot, but 2 feet down the water temp remains the same and in the shade may even be cooler. Trees/logs/water wood, offers shade and cooler temps...some algae that grows on these, also give off Oxygen as a by-product and these areas are full of fish...even in shallow water! Rocks, Concrete, steel, etc, that get full UV from the sun will hold and give off heat. Our lake is VERY fertile and stained...we use concrete and rock to sink cover and never have to worry about it seeing the Sun!:)
We have a 2-3 mile shallow area that is always shaded by the CAMPGROUND forest...it is on the N side of a peninsula that runs East and west, this shaded area is 5 ft deep and less...and in the summer it is loaded with EVERY lake species...we started installing more and more cover to help this area and the fish, and it is amazing!
And yes...during the summer, feeding schedules are normally from after dusk til just after dawn, or on cloudy days!

lshields
06-10-2014, 05:00 PM
we all would like to see you get bite brother. can you give us more info about where you are fishing? what lake is it, whats water clarity, max depth, avg depth, kind of forage(is there shad), lots of weeds or none, bottom type and does it vary,.......... post a contour map of it and we will pick it apart for you. lol

This may be a silly question, but do you guys actually review maps here and point out good locations? This is something I'm trying to learn and it would be awesome to see some examples of what you guys look for when using maps. Any links to existing threads?

slabbacks
06-10-2014, 06:12 PM
Not silly at all. Maps are a great tool and saves gas and a bunch of running time. If you find fish in one spot doing a certain thing then it's a good bet they are in other locations that match that area.

river scum
06-11-2014, 10:12 AM
This may be a silly question, but do you guys actually review maps here and point out good locations? This is something I'm trying to learn and it would be awesome to see some examples of what you guys look for when using maps. Any links to existing threads?


sure do. just lay your topo map on your scanner and post the pic, alone with the lake info i stated. most good crappie men and women can point to locations to try from a map. post it up on here and we can help ya.

i have started map threads in the past. mite have to start again. it made for some interesting food for thought.

skiptomylu
06-11-2014, 01:32 PM
This may be a silly question, but do you guys actually review maps here and point out good locations? This is something I'm trying to learn and it would be awesome to see some examples of what you guys look for when using maps. Any links to existing threads?

One important thing you can use from good maps is the creeks and the bends in the creeks. Probably one of the better places for a brush pile. Look at the contour lines and when they are close the drop is greater and faster.

lshields
06-11-2014, 09:19 PM
Here's a 200 acre lake close to home. I've done well here at night with lights but I'd like to get better at catching daytime suspended crappie. I've been using this lake to learn on and once I get better would like to try what I've learned on some larger lakes.

Where would you guys head to first and why? Thanks.

165266

Kevin22
06-12-2014, 11:45 AM
The edges of that strip of sunken trees (I think that is what they are). Specifically the north part around that point.