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View Full Version : crappie won't go down to hit a bait?



wbeadlescomb
03-17-2015, 10:58 PM
Took a buddy that's a die hard bass fisherman crappie fishing sunday evening. We were casting jigs and we came across a point and caught a few small ones then all of a sudden he is just spanking my butt from the back of the boat. When I asked what he was doing he told me he was dragging the jig on the bottom. I tried it and immediately hooked up. We wore them out for the better part of an hour on that one spot dragging jigs. Water was only 10 foot deep and I know for a fact it was on the bottom. They'd just pick it up while it was sitting still like a bass would. I've never seen anything like it. I've always been told crappie won't go down on a bait but that doesn't seem to be true .

scrat
03-17-2015, 11:10 PM
The crappie were on the bottom already they are starting their spawn beds now. So they were looking straight at the bait and they will attack anything that gets in their bed now. If the crappie were in 20' water suspended say 10' and you were fishing below them they would not go down lower to bite your bait but they will go upward to get the bait.:twocents

wbeadlescomb
03-17-2015, 11:16 PM
I just can't see them spawning in 10 fow at this particular lake. It stays pretty dang muddy up there most of the year but I may be wrong

matzilla
03-17-2015, 11:33 PM
They'll do it when not spawning.. ice fishing, they'll pick baits up off the bottom. Windswept points, they'll sit on bottom and pick off bait. Drainage tubes, I always catch them dragging a jig near tubes that stack with bait

lowe175
03-17-2015, 11:45 PM
That's a myth! Crappie feed on crayfish all the time. That's probably why you caught them on bottom. Most of the time they feed up but not always. I catch them on bottom every now and then. There's no absolutes in fish.

scrat
03-17-2015, 11:54 PM
This is just a general rule now. I am sure that if any fish is hungry enough it will go after the bait or food wherever it is. The way that I understand this is that crappie that are suspended will have their noses pointed slightly upward making their strike zone more forward and upward and not as much downward. The temperature of the water and the ph of the water dictates to where the comfort zone is for the crappie they may be anywhere even on bottom. I have even seen them strike the top of water like bass.

NIMROD
03-18-2015, 03:26 AM
That's a myth! Crappie feed on crayfish all the time. That's probably why you caught them on bottom. Most of the time they feed up but not always. I catch them on bottom every now and then. There's no absolutes in fish.

I keep hearing that , never found one in a Crappie here ?:dono

Rdrunner
03-18-2015, 04:53 AM
Definitely a myth I have been fishing roadrunners for 30 plus years and love to fish in summertime the most. When the sun gets up I move to deeper water and cast 1/16 roadrunners and let them go all the way to the bottom. I catch more that pick it up dead on the bottom than any other way. You will not even know they are on until you start to reel .

bugman
03-18-2015, 05:34 AM
I keep hearing that , never found one in a Crappie here ?:dono
I wasn't a believer either until a few years ago we had smallmouth and googleye move down the creek on to the mud flats where i fish and the reason was crawdads hatched on the flats for a few years and when i opened up crappie they were full of small crawdads the smallies and googleye disappeared because the crawdads did so i guess what i'm sayin is if they're there crappie will eat em.

INTIMIDATOR
03-18-2015, 05:50 AM
Like others have said....Crappie will feed nose down just like a Smallie, Walleye, etc....I bottom bounce swimbaits all the time for them. Our lake is heavily populated with "Fresh Water Lobster" and if you check at certain times in the year, their bellies will be full....they love Lobster as much as I do! :):):)lol

Crestliner08
03-18-2015, 06:31 AM
I'm of the school that fish are where you find them and that includes the bottom, with regards to crappie. Ice out and late fall, one of our most productive presentations is to slow roll (VERY slow) Roadrunner type jigs along the bottom. I always try to approach fishing without any per-conceived notions.

Another "rule" supposedly says that when you are fishing for crappie and they stop biting, "Slow Down" and when you think you are going too slow, slow down some more. Yet as you can see from some of my posts from 2014, we drifted jigs in high wind with our jigs almost breaking the surface they were moving so fast. And yet, we totally clocked 'em! Go figure! :)

scrat
03-18-2015, 07:45 AM
Well if the fish are on the bottom already there is no way that they can feed lower. They will strike what they see in front of them. If they only feed on what is above or in front of them is a myth why is it that I cannot just fish on bottom all the time and catch crappie? Why do fishermen ask what depth water the crappie are biting in? Why is it that I can catch crappie at say 3' and not 4' deep at times if this is was a myth? I am just saying that it looks like this old saying that crappie only feed upward is more truth than untruth or everyone needs to just fish on the bottom.:twocents

NickD
03-18-2015, 07:48 AM
In my experience, the rule that fish don't go down to hit a bait applies primarily to suspended fish. mostly because with their eye placement the cant see the bait when its underneath them. If you are fishing on the bottom, especially dragging a bait, it makes a lot of noise and vibrations on the bottom and the fish feel it rather than see it. Another thing I've learned about fishing is to never say never.

NickD
03-18-2015, 07:50 AM
I'm of the school that fish are where you find them and that includes the bottom, with regards to crappie. Ice out and late fall, one of our most productive presentations is to slow roll (VERY slow) Roadrunner type jigs along the bottom. I always try to approach fishing without any per-conceived notions.

Another "rule" supposedly says that when you are fishing for crappie and they stop biting, "Slow Down" and when you think you are going too slow, slow down some more. Yet as you can see from some of my posts from 2014, we drifted jigs in high wind with our jigs almost breaking the surface they were moving so fast. And yet, we totally clocked 'em! Go figure! :)

Do you think they wanted them faster or did the fish move up in the water column?

skiptomylu
03-18-2015, 09:09 AM
When they are on the bottom or ver near it, they will eat off the bottom! That is why if I stumble on some on beds near the shore I use a Flame Red/ Black & FL Yellow Body/Hot Orange tail on my little Roadrunners. I also use that color anytime our water is more stained that normal and I do believe they think it's crawfish!

skiptomylu
03-18-2015, 09:24 AM
I'm of the school that fish are where you find them and that includes the bottom, with regards to crappie. Ice out and late fall, one of our most productive presentations is to slow roll (VERY slow) Roadrunner type jigs along the bottom. I always try to approach fishing without any per-conceived notions.

Another "rule" supposedly says that when you are fishing for crappie and they stop biting, "Slow Down" and when you think you are going too slow, slow down some more. Yet as you can see from some of my posts from 2014, we drifted jigs in high wind with our jigs almost breaking the surface they were moving so fast. And yet, we totally clocked 'em! Go figure! :)

There have been time I long line trolled a 1/32 Oz Roadrunner in 20' of water and did well on crappie! They will come up and get it!!!

CrappiePappy
03-18-2015, 09:35 AM
It's been discussed before, about Crappie eating "craws" : http://www.crappie.com/crappie/main-crappie-fishing-forum/195308-crappie-craws/

And yes, I've used plastic craws to catch Black Crappie (1.5") and even caught one on a 4" craw ... and the craw was no where near the bottom. Black Crappie do have a tendency to eat more critters & crustaceans than a White Crappie normally will, but I wouldn't put it past a White Crappie to eat anything it can get in its mouth ,,, if it's hungry enough or guarding a bed.

And while the eyes of Crappie are positioned to see forward & upward ... they will dive down after food, just not very far. They're opportunistic feeders, not slash/dash chasers ... and prefer the stealth approach from underneath their prey, if possible.

... cp :kewl

RCC
03-18-2015, 05:55 PM
Back in the day, two different times, I went with my Dad and he used minners under a float on the bow. I used small white crawdads under a float on the stern, and we caught about the same amount of crappie both times. The lake we were fishing was a shallow cypress filled lake. I wouldn't hesitate to hook a small live crawdad on to catch a crappie.

Crestliner08
03-18-2015, 06:20 PM
Do you think they wanted them faster or did the fish move up in the water column?

Not sure! When this presentation is successful for us, we have 1' - 2' whitecaps pumping out (from any direction). I have no idea how fast we drift, but it's pretty darn fast. We also catch bluegill and yellow perch on this presentation as well. Go figure! :)

Zippy
03-18-2015, 06:26 PM
Was verticle jigging last week a foot off the bottom. Watching RTS saw a fish3 feet up and drop like a stone straight down and took my jig. Pulled him in and it was the biggest crappie of the trip. I do think generally they prefer to eat up but if they are active and hungry they will drop to a bait if it catches their eye.

Tracker123
03-18-2015, 07:20 PM
I have cleaned plenty of crappie down here with crawfish in their bellies. Can't blame them. Phooey on theories.

Eager Beaver
03-18-2015, 08:05 PM
If you drop a jig or a minnow down past the nose of a suspended Crappie he will go down after it. See it all the time while ice fishing. If a Crappie comes up to your jig and just looks at it then drop it and they will go after it.
Also if the Crappie are feeding crawfish the flavor of the meat will taste different! EB

crappielimits
03-18-2015, 08:23 PM
I keep hearing that , never found one in a Crappie here ?:dono

I agree. I have cleaned thousands and fished most of the southeastern states and never found a crawfish. Now they eat a lot of grass shrimp.

Cmj
03-18-2015, 10:07 PM
Well if the fish are on the bottom already there is no way that they can feed lower. They will strike what they see in front of them. If they only feed on what is above or in front of them is a myth why is it that I cannot just fish on bottom all the time and catch crappie? Why do fishermen ask what depth water the crappie are biting in? Why is it that I can catch crappie at say 3' and not 4' deep at times if this is was a myth? I am just saying that it looks like this old saying that crappie only feed upward is more truth than untruth or everyone needs to just fish on the bottom.:twocents

Search You tube for videos of feeding Crappie. Sorry, but the belief that Crappie dont feed down is BS. Regardless of whether they are feeding up or down, Crappie like to relate to certain depths based on temps and oxygen levels. The clarity of the water and the activeness of the fish will dictate just how large that strike zone will be, depth-wise. If they are lethargic, you will have to put it on their nose to get bit. If they are feeding aggressively, and they can see it, they will eat it, up or down. In really dingy water where the visibility is very low, I can see how the "feeding down" theory would apply because by the time the bait was close enough for the fish to see it, it would be almost directly below them. With the upward-facing mouth/head of a Crappie, especially Black Crappie, there would need to be some distance between the fish and the bait for him to see it if it was below him. So, taking that into consideration, it makes sense to try to keep the bait above them to improve your chances, but it is not absolutely necessary if the conditions are right.

Crappiegirl1
03-18-2015, 10:30 PM
Maybe they were bedding on the bottom, not unusual

Hanr3
03-18-2015, 10:57 PM
Crappie will eat if the opportunity presents itself. There eyes are on top of their heads, so it is easier to look up for food, however that doesn't mean they can't rotate to look down and eat below them.

TowboatTroller
03-19-2015, 12:54 AM
I fish within 2ft of bottom trolling all the time no manner depth of water.

cpd21
03-21-2015, 01:40 AM
Crappie are gonna do what they wanna do when they wanna do it.....nuff said..lol....caught them today right on the bottom double dippin jigs

crappieseeker
03-21-2015, 06:57 AM
I think what is being missed here is the feeding up or down part verses where and how they see a food source. From what I have read on biologist studies is that crappies eyes are on top and therefore they feed up because it is difficult for them to see what is below them. There are so many things that can take place that go unseen under the water. I do believe for the most part that when you catch fish on the bottom that they are already on the bottom. Someone mentioned in ice fishing that a crappie will look at a bait and then when you drop it they will get it. I think this is a form of reaction striking, thinking the bait is going to get away, so they go down and get it. Simply meaning they know where it went so they go down to find it. I think if you were casting and casted beyond the fish that were suspended and then ran the bait underneath them that they would never know the bait was there to be able to go down after it, however if it was slightly above them they would see it and go get it. I do not think the issue is about feeding up or down, it is about knowing where the food source is, and then getting it.

LowePro
03-21-2015, 07:46 AM
I have caught crappie using the small green yum salty-crawls. And some on live crawfish too out of my reservoir. I have found that crappie will put their fins on the bottom sometimes and stage there. When they are there it seems they will bite what comes crawling by. My best luck for this "it seems to me" is right after a front. If they are in 20 fow and suspended down 10ft, im not gonna say you wont catch one fishing beneath them, but....you most like wont be doing as good as you could be. But when they are already on the bottom, they eat on the bottom. :twocents

Slab Junkie
03-22-2015, 04:03 PM
They are going to eat when they need to...that's the bottom line. I have caught them breaking the surface chasing shad like black bass, 45+ feet deep right off the bottom and everywhere in between. Sometimes they will chase and eat a bait when you move it up through the water column, sometimes if you let if drop down, sometimes they want it dead still and other times at a steady moving pace. The only constant when it comes to fishing is that there are no constants. You have to find the fish and then let them tell you what and how they want the presentation. Once you figure it out you better catch them while you can because they can shut off just like a switch too.