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VaCrappieMan
04-09-2015, 08:13 AM
I fished several places yesterday that I had been consistently catching some at but it just seemed to have died down. Was up in the creeks and even walked the bank back in there further no luck. Finally found some males in a cove with Christmas trees. They hadn't started fanning because fins were still perfect but my question is where are the females? I had been catching them up in the creeks and it's like they vanished.. Will they move back out deep? I am stuck on the bank so it's a little hard sometimes... Here is a pic of the fish they def are darkening up
for the spawn... Seems like the fish have a period of a couple weeks every spring where I have trouble finding them...

VaCrappieMan
04-09-2015, 08:14 AM
Sorry for upside down pic

M R Dux
04-09-2015, 08:36 AM
I would say the females are staging in slightly deeper water. Any idea what the water temp is?

bee
04-09-2015, 12:03 PM
Those look the ones I got today. But where hiding under 20 inches of ice.

VaCrappieMan
04-09-2015, 12:37 PM
I have no clue didn't see any boats near me or would have asked the water temp. We have been having 70 degree days and a few days ago it poured the rain and where I was bank fishing is under water I don't think I could even fish it with chest waders. So I went further up the creek which I figured they might have gone up before it rained but no luck. Just thought of this cove I saw game and fish loading up with trees in winter time and luckily there was a little are to bank fish still. I made mental notes of some structure at the mouth of the cove that I believe to be around 12ft deep right now... 14 count down on 1/24 got me to the bottom but varying retrieves netted no fish. We caught the ones we caught right beside of the trees... I was trying to fish he deeper entrance of the cove first along with that point that I know has a few trees on it... Sorry for being so long winded these jokers just puzzle me. Bee you got some nice looking crappie your way... Crazy you still have ice to deal with

CrappiePappy
04-09-2015, 12:44 PM
My guess would be that the females you "were" catching, were shallow before because they were on the pre-spawn feeding run .... and now they've moved out to their staging spots, waiting on the males to make beds and for the water temps & conditions to stabilize within the range of their offspring's survival conditions.

Or you could have simply been fishing shallow when the females had already left the shallows, or had not yet returned to the shallows, if they're still on a feeding run.

Since the males have to find a suitable spot, make the bed, then wait for the females to make up their minds when to come in ... they'll be shallow most of the time, before/during/after the spawning ritual. The females, on the other hand, just need to eat to get their strength up and develop the eggs until they're ready to lay, then move in/out during the spawning procedure and drop a portion of those eggs into various beds. They don't stay in the bedding area all that long, but will move back out to their staging area & rest before each move back to the next bed/beds they deem fit for the best chance of survival of their offspring.

... cp :kewl

vic n
04-10-2015, 10:33 AM
Lots of times, when lakes rise quickly, the lake managers start releasing water quickly. Crappies don't like to spawn in those conditions because if the lake continues to fall, the eggs may be stranded. After a day or two of stable lake levels, they will be right back on the banks. Those males are ready to go, so the females will be as well. The key during the spawn is to have a hook in the water as often as you can, because the females race in to the bank, lay some eggs, and race right back out to deeper water. They move from one male to the next laying some eggs with each one. Try throwing a jig/bobber combo out over some of those sunken trees. Have the jig about 3' below the bobber....but experiment with depth up and down. Very slow retrieves. Stick with it.

genec
04-10-2015, 08:18 PM
AS CRAPPIEPAPA SAID,EVERY YEAR THE FEMALE MOVE IN BACK OF CREEKS TO FEED ,NOT TO SPAWN, THEN THEY PULL OUT A LITTLE WAYS AND MALES THEN FINDS POCKETS FOR SPAWNING BEDS AND AT THE RIGHT TIME THE FEMALES MOVE IN AND OUT TO LAY EGGS,MANY GET IT MIXED UP THINKING THE FEMALE FIRST MOVE IN TO SPAWN BUT NOT SO ,THEY MOVE IN TO EAT SHADS THAT MOVE IN TO SPAWN,THAT WHAT THEY ARE DOING IN VA. AT BUGGS NOW AND PROBABLY WHERE U ARE AT ALSO,WATER IN 60'S

Zippy
04-10-2015, 08:48 PM
We just came through a bit of a cold front in the last few days and when went out today I they were not where they were at the beginning of the week. As I fished the shallow shoreline I was catching all males. When I drifted through the channel, still very shallow but not a foot or two deep like the where the males were I started catching females. I also drifted the main river channel just outside the shallow bays in twelve feet of water I caught a few heavy females suspended 4 feet off the bottom.

naturenut
04-10-2015, 08:58 PM
how far will those females travel in & out of shallow water to deep water ?

CrappiePappy
04-10-2015, 09:13 PM
how far will those females travel in & out of shallow water to deep water ?

Since studies show that 70-80+% of Crappie return to their previous spawning areas, year after year, it's all a matter of where they were "last time" and however far from the spawning bed area that they staged "last time". There's no set rule of "how far", as long as the beds are in the right depth/temp of water and all other conditions are favorable. They did their thing last year at those places, and all things being equal (or nearly so) the majority of the survivors will attempt to use those same places this time.

... cp :kewl

naturenut
04-10-2015, 10:08 PM
thx for the reply.
people say that a female will go up to a shallow bedding area, and return back out to deeper water, time after
time, until she spawns. i was curious, how far they will travel during this period.
if the distance is to far, will they just stay in the bedding area ?
i have a spot like this, and like to try and catch them out in the deeper area. but not sure if they would even travel
back & forth this distance... about 200 yards.


Since studies show that 70-80+% of Crappie return to their previous spawning areas, year after year, it's all a matter of where they were "last time" and however far from the spawning bed area that they staged "last time". There's no set rule of "how far", as long as the beds are in the right depth/temp of water and all other conditions are favorable. They did their thing last year at those places, and all things being equal (or nearly so) the majority of the survivors will attempt to use those same places this time.

... cp :kewl

CrappiePappy
04-10-2015, 11:11 PM
thx for the reply.
people say that a female will go up to a shallow bedding area, and return back out to deeper water, time after
time, until she spawns. i was curious, how far they will travel during this period.
if the distance is to far, will they just stay in the bedding area ?
i have a spot like this, and like to try and catch them out in the deeper area. but not sure if they would even travel
back & forth this distance... about 200 yards.

I'm no expert on this, but I doubt a female would travel 200yds, back & forth. They'd more than likely be at the first depth change (drop off) or around a submerged tree just out from the spawning bank.

If you find them 200yds from a spawning bank, it's likely they're on their way TO the spawning/staging area.

If it were me ... I'd start looking for the females out along a quick depth drop of at least 2 - 3ft deeper than the water over the beds. Any creek channel or ditch or washout will have a edge where the bottom drops lower than the surrounding area. These can be the "highways" that the Crappie use to get to these spawning grounds. And Crappie aren't always spawning "up against the bank" ... all they require is the right depth and bottom composition, water clarity, wood or weeds or sometimes even rocks, protection from heavy current & wind, and the proper water temp. Sometimes those conditions are yards away from the shoreline, but the fish don't care. And if I don't find them at the first bottom depth drop, I'd keep going out deeper & deeper (along any channel present) until I did find them or I reached the mouth of the creek or bay. At that point, I'd look for them on either point of the mouth, just around the outside of either of those points, or smack dab in the middle of the mouth of that creek/bay.

... cp :kewl

pescador
04-11-2015, 05:11 AM
Great thread, lots of good info here.

naturenut
04-11-2015, 07:54 AM
thx alot 'Pappy', that gives me a clear picture on what to target now.

VaCrappieMan
04-11-2015, 03:29 PM
Thanks for the answers everyone this just blows my mind every year but now I've got an understanding of what's going on

naturenut
04-11-2015, 07:33 PM
info helped me today, thx.
this 14''er was the biggest.