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Darryl Morris
01-22-2007, 10:44 PM
Several crappie.com'ers have asked me when I was going to start writing again. Well, the weather has not been very condusive for fishing lately and of course that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about fishing. So, I wrote this article to stay busy. For many, it is basic but for some I sincerely hope it helps you catch more fish.

You can read it from my website at -- http://www.familyfishingtrips.com/News.htm

or

PREDICTING CRAPPIE BEHAVIOR

It’s the middle of January, the weather is less than favorable most days and springtime crappie catching overwhelms your mind most of the time. Not only are you captivated by the quantity promised by the coming spawning season, but also you know fishing during the winter months in colder waters can reap quality fish. You know it’s important to get on the water as much as possible to establish and maintain a dominant pattern - to follow the fish. But, there are many obstacles – the crappie widow you’re married or espoused to, the commanding schedules of the kids, the j-o-b, more weather, etc. Daily lake excursions are the best, but that’s genuinely unrealistic. So, you go as often as you can and you find that reading about how to put a pattern together is easier than actually finding it the particular day you’re fishing.

Is it possible to actually and accurately predict the crappie’s behavior? Ultimately and emphatically, no, not with any take it to the bank certainty! The minute you think you’ve got them figured out, you learn the fish we love so much has fooled us again. There are so many variables when taken altogether would take the world’s largest super-computer a decade to figure out a potential pattern. Though norms may exist, truly the two most unpredictable things in the world are human nature and mother nature.

So, do we give up or find a way? I say, find a way. Develop a method that will point you in the right direction and improve the odds. Willie Mays once said, “It isn’t hard to be good from time to time…What’s tough is being good every day.” Start with the conceptual and narrow it into the concrete. Often, predicting crappie behavior is like painting a work of art. You start by brushing on the background and one step at a time you add more and more detail. Eventually, you make the last brush stroke and sign your name to the masterpiece.

The acronym M.I.L.K. is one way to remember the factors you should consider when predicting crappie behavior:
Movement – know how crappie move and where they live
Influences – know what affects crappie
Likes and Dislikes – know the norms and when crappie stray from them
Knowledge – learn, adapt and succeed

Movement

Crappie seasonally migrate between deep and shallow water using submerged channels. Identify these primary and secondary channels using maps and sonar units. Develop a “mental” map of where the channels are and how they run. Learn where the bends and holes are in the channel. Find where the channel has sharp drop-offs and sloped banks. Granted, this may be more easily accomplished with some bodies of water than others, but crappie must move and will do so within a chosen path. Find it. The crappie are not just there scattered everywhere. If you haven’t heard this clever proverb before, I’ll enlighten you now, “ninety-percent of the fish can be found in ten-percent of the water.” Being very familiar with the highway the fish use to move in and out of their haunts is not only the start to predicting crappie behavior; it’s the very foundation that supports all the other factors.

As the seasons change, crappie will move to shallow water in spring and fall and deep water in summer and winter. Of course, shallow and deep is unique to each body of water. Some impoundment’s deep water may not exceed 12ft., whereas some reservoir’s deep water might easily surpass 40ft. In either situation, the principle still applies. That which attracts and guides the crappie out of the relatively deep water channels and into the shallower water is structure and cover. And, the crappie will relate to structure and cover. Structure is underwater geography. Often and understandably, the term structure is mistakenly used interchangeably with the term cover. You cannot see structure because it’s under water. Fishfinders, depthfinders, sonar units, whatever you want to call them, is the only device that will give you a look at the structure. Structure is the channel itself, points, ledges, humps, holes, flats, even rock piles. Cover is what sits on the structure. Hardwood brushpiles, bamboo “crappie condos,” artificial fish habitats, tree lay-downs, stumps and cypress knees are all examples of cover. When cover is placed on unique structure, there you will attract, find and catch fish. There is cover that you see above the water level and cover the crappie see submerged below the surface. Most crappie anglers fish visible cover that looks good to them. But, focusing your attention on the submerged cover can ultimately be more productive.

Influences

After grasping the concept of “how” crappie move, the next step in predicting their behavior is to consider “what” the factors are that actually cause the movement. The first three that come to my mind are: water level, water temperature and water clarity. And, all three are absolutely tied together, one affecting the other. This is where the dynamic of predicting behavior becomes more complex and intuition, experience and just good ole hard work is necessary.

Water level is the first factor that influences movement. Low water levels concentrate the fish. High water levels scatter the fish. But what influences their movement is the rise and fall of the water level. During a change in water level the crappie will transitionally move from one spot to another. Sometimes shallower, sometimes deeper, sometimes at the same depth, but they will move. They will not stop making moves until the water level stops changing.

Here’s one possible scenario that demonstrates how water level influences you and the fish. It’s Saturday morning and you arrive at the lake and find it is low and off its banks. So, immediately you conclude that the mid-depth staging beds you caught a limit of crappie on three weeks ago might be too shallow to fish but you start with them anyway. Good choice. You catch a few but if your graph isn’t lying to you, the fish just aren’t stacked up like you’d like to see them. The day’s trip is half over by now, so you spend the rest of your time working deeper brushpiles and the fishing slowed even more. You only end up with half your limit this trip. You tell yourself the fish just weren’t biting well today, but when you get home your neighbor has a limit of monster slabs. After scratching your head and interrogating him, you find out he caught them on some of the shallower brushpiles you and he put in about a year ago. Your final conclusion is he zigged when I zagged, them’s the breaks. Nope, what your neighbor knew and you didn’t is though the lake still looked low, six days earlier the lake had actually come up 8-inches and had stabilized in the last few days. The rise in water level put more water over your shallow brushpiles allowing the crappie to invade them at a depth they wished to suspend. Keep a close eye on the day to day history of lake level changes. It will influence where you find the fish.

Water temperature is another factor that will influence not only movement but also location. In general, extreme water temperatures, the very cold (50 degrees and colder) and the very warm (80 degrees and warmer) cause crappie to move into deeper water. And, when the water temperature is between 50 and 80, they can be found in the mid-range and shallow depths. Just like a change in water level causes crappie to move, it is the change in water temperature that triggers movement. Falling temperatures in winter and rising temperatures in summer move the crappie deeper. Rising temperatures in spring and falling temps in autumn move the crappie shallower. These are the norms and by no means dictate where the crappie will be. It is important that you scout fish different depths in all seasons and water temperatures.

Here’s an example that I personally experienced several years ago before I started guiding. It was late winter and I knew the crappie would start making their move to the shallows soon. All I had to do was, watch the water temperature and follow them. I was determined to be the first on the lake to catch crappie in shallow water that year. Week one, the surface temp is 49. Week two, the surface temp is still 49. As the weeks past, the temp slowly climbed. After about 6 or more weeks the surface temperature of the water in the main part of the lake had finally reached 58 or 59. Okay, now’s the time. The crappie should be moving into the shallows, making their beds and getting ready to spawn. So, here I go, weaving in and out of stumps, avoiding sandbars to check the shallows. When I get there the water temperature is 69 teetering on 70. What?! I almost missed the entire spawn and definitely didn’t catch the first crappie moving into the shallows.

(continued in next frame)

Darryl Morris
01-22-2007, 10:46 PM
I learned a whole wealth of useful things from that experience. First, the change in water temperature in the main body of the lake, even a degree or two, had hastened the crappie to move. In this case, they probably weren’t in the very shallow spawning areas yet, but they were moving toward them when the water temp rose from 49 to 51. They moved and I didn’t. Second, there can be a huge difference in water temperature between the main body of water and the shallow water of the spawning flats and coves. During late winter, the sun is rising and setting in the southern hemisphere. This causes the northwest portions of the spawning flats and coves to receive more sunlight than other areas thus warming faster. When I was still fishing the deeper waters of the main channel, the water temp was in the low 50’s, the staging areas in mid-range depths just outside the spawning coves were in the mid-50’s and the spawning waters had already warmed into the low 60’s. And last, I should have been scouting the shallows and staging beds watching the water temperature from the very start and not just sitting in the middle of the lake waiting for a magical number. Checking the water temperature in all parts of the lake will paint a clearer picture of where the crappie might be and where they might be going. Don’t get in a rut. One study conducted on the Blood River portion of Kentucky Lake in 2004 showed the crappie stayed in 8 to 10 foot of water when the water temp entered 80 degrees and more. This is outside the norm, but not a problem if you’re constantly scouting.

Water Clarity will also influence movement and location, but also depth of the crappie. In the main, the clearer the water is the deeper the crappie. And, visa-versa, the muddier the water is the shallower they might be. Why? Because the greater the visibility the more vulnerable the fish become. Of course, other factors influence this too, like the normal environment of the habitat, the amount and type of cover and overall depth of the water. If the normal environment of your lake is clear, for example, and a rain brings an influx of muddy, fresh water from feeder creeks, it will most likely drive the crappie out into deeper, clearer water. But if the normal environment is stained to muddy, the infusion of freshwater will make them move shallower looking for new food. Or, guess what, just the opposite might happen, so always do your scouting and check it anyway. Crappie will relate to cover no mater the clarity of the water. However, in stained water the crappie are less vulnerable to attack, require less cover for protection and will stray further from the cover than in clear water. In clear water the crappie must have an ample amount of cover to prevent their predation and ambush their prey. Most of the time water clarity influence angler’s choice of bait type and color. Such decisions are important, but don’t forget to factor in what the water clarity has done to move the fish and at what depth they decide to stop.

Here’s an example that demonstrates how water clarity influences the crappie in all the above mentioned factors. At the time, I enjoyed fishing an oxbow lake off the Mississippi River. I would watch the river stage to determine if the water was rising or falling and if it was high enough to flood the banks of the oxbow lake. The water had been rising for several days and then stabilized high enough that I knew there would be 15 or more foot of water in the willows around the banks and flats of this oxbow. Saturday came and the boys and I headed to the lake. The conditions seemed to be perfect. Expectations were very high. And, so thought everyone else in the country because the parking lot was full and there was a line at the boat ramp. Once we finally got on the water, we headed for the willows and as usual trolled down the line dipping and dobbing our jigs around every tree we passed. We fished and fished with not even a hint of a bite. We exited the flooded banks and went to check the main channel that ran the length of the oxbow. No luck there, plus it was really too deep now anyway. We went back to the flooded willows to fish. That’s when I realized that though the water was high and the amount of cover seemed endless the lake had been stable long enough to become clear. Clear is not this oxbow’s normal water color. I was spooking the fish before I could catch them. Okay, with certainty they are in the cover of the trees due to the water clarity and all we have to do is make the right adjustments and catch them. To keep from spooking the fish, we slowed down the boat and restricted our movement in the boat to reduce noise. We found the crappie holding at nine foot deep in 15 foot of water. In order to entice a bite, you had to drop your jig down to the right depth touching the trunk of the tree on the shade side and hold it there very still, sometimes as long as a minute. We finished the day with a respectable mess of crappie. When other crappie fishermen questioned us how we faired, I showed them. I remember thinking we could have done better and they will give us a hard time for not catching more fish. Such was not the case. Most of them finished the day with a big, fat zero. When I told them how we did it and why (due to the water clarity), they admitted they hadn’t taken that into account and would do so the next time. Water clarity does influence the crappie to move and it affects how you must fish for them.

Likes and Dislikes

Now that you are taking into consideration how crappie move and what it is that influences them to move. Let us consider the factors that crappie like and dislike. Bait is always the first to my mind. The battle over bait is as old as the time itself. Some angler’s prefer live bait, whereas others prefer artificial. Personally, I use both and have equal number of days where the crappie preferred one over the other. Most importantly, I let the crappie tell me what they like and don’t force my preference on them. Plus, each angler must take into consideration their particular fishery may be different than others. For example, it is common for crappie in northern waters to eat small shell fish, but not as common in southern lakes where shad are plentiful. Such would also influence the type of artificial bait as well. Matching the hatch is also important. If the crappie in your lake are feeding on large three to four-inch shad, then I certainly would not be fishing with a small two-inch jig. The presentation of your bait, whether live or artificial, will vary with each angler too. Some like to cast jigs for crappie where others prefer to use long poles for a vertical tight line method. Some anglers have even graduated into more sophisticated methods like slow trolling tandem jigs and fast trolling crank baits. No matter which presentation method you choose, the type of impoundment you fish and the crappie themselves will determine which presentation method will be the most productive. I would suggest a crappie angler become proficient in all these presentation methods so you can adjust to the situation of the day or season.

The list of factors that influence crappie’s likes and dislikes are practically endless. However, one factor that we must consider is the species themselves. No, now is not where I begin to spout scientific names. But rather, there are specific likes and dislikes that differ between the two main species of crappie. Black crappie prefer clearer water, whereas white crappie are more tolerant of stained and muddy water. According to a study completed by Kentucky’s Game and Fish biologists, black crappie tend to move into the spawning shallows faster than white crappie. Thus, the conclusion we can draw from that is black crappie will attempt to spawn in cooler water and white crappie tend to spawn later or longer when the water is warmer. Also, according to the same study, the black crappie remained in brushy staging depths after the spawn when the white crappie moved out to deeper water off the main channel. All in all, there are enough differences in the species to cause an astute angler to take notice.

We should not only take notice of the normal likes and dislikes of our favorite fish, but we should also consider that they can and will stray from the norms. Earlier in the article I wrote about the seasonal influences on crappie. Normally crappie will utilize shallow water in spring and fall and deeper water in winter and summer. However, according to the same study mentioned above and like I’ve already mentioned in this article, crappie were found in great numbers in water depths as shallow as eight-foot when the water temperature exceeded 80-degrees. This is not common but shouldn’t be overlooked. When the crappie are not in a normal pattern, look for them in the unlikely pattern. There just may be a factor influencing the fish that we haven’t considered yet but might discover. Keep for yourself an entire portfolio of spots to fish. Once you find that pattern then you can fish all the spots that match the pattern. Be willing to adjust the time when you fish. Normally, we anglers say the bite will be in the morning, when in reality the best bite might be in the evening or at night. Just keep in mind that crappie like any other living creature has likes and dislikes. If you give them what they like the way they like it, then you’ll catch more fish.

(continued on next frame)

Darryl Morris
01-22-2007, 10:48 PM
Knowledge

Lastly, remember that super-computer I spoke of in the beginning. Well, super-computers are dumb and inadequate compared to you, the avid crappie angler who spends a lifetime in this passionate pursuit. The human mind by means of experience and education, intuition and reasoning, is the only thing capable of putting all these factors together, making sense out of how they fit together and using the result to succeed. I cannot give you the formula for success, but you can make one for yourself. First and foremost, experience is the best teacher. Reading to educate yourself is good too. Having a network of friends who also fish is a great source of information, if you can get them to tell you the truth. Just don’t sell yourself short. Every angler willing to spend enough time on the water will become successful sooner or later. You learn something new every time you go. As the years pass and the collection of experiences grow, you’ll find that it is easier and easier to predict crappie behavior and put a pattern together. And if all else fails, make sure you’re having fun and quote Rodney Dangerfield’s character in Caddy Shack, “Last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it,” provided it’s not your wife or girlfriend.

CrappieHound
01-22-2007, 11:23 PM
Great post, Darryl. Thanks for taking the time to write such an insightful article. I especially liked the point you made about keeping up with what the water is doing on a consistent basis. I've been drawn into that same trap thinking that the water was down but now that I think about it...it just looked down when actually it could have come up a bit. Thanks for giving me something else to contemplate.

jigsbydirk
01-22-2007, 11:55 PM
WOW, that is some good stuff, thanks for sharing Darryl.

FalconSmitty
01-23-2007, 12:10 AM
Do I smell a book in your future? Great article. Some of it is even right...lmao...lol I'm so darn funny...lol keep writing D.. You have a gift.
The cover/structure mistake is made all he time. Glad you explained that for people.
I learn every time i go out. I wish I could find them everyday. I still have a few days a year that I don't catch crappie. Nothing works at times. I usually have fish in the livewell when others leave the lake empty. I think they just don't bite sometimes. I know you can entice a strike most of the time.

bugman
01-23-2007, 06:43 AM
Awesome...thanks for passing some of your knowledge on...it's appreciated!!!

shuorc
01-23-2007, 07:31 AM
Great article and of course all answers lead to more questions, the one that seems to be getting to me the most right now is 'how much does changing weather effect the spawn?'. When crappie are on the bed and the weather changes do the abandon the bed and move deeper to rebed? What prompts these questions is finding fish on the bed last week, wind blowing from the east, fish biting, wind changed to the north east temp. dropped a few degrees and the fish are GONE, unstable weather has put me in the search mode.--shu

PS thanks again for a great article and i too can smell a book coming.

drifter106
01-23-2007, 08:47 AM
Very informative...usage of acronmyns is an excellent tool for learning. Especially like your quote from Willie Mays. Will use it on my message board for the kids today. Hope to hear more from you!!

Mud-Dabber
01-23-2007, 12:42 PM
Darryl:

That information is simply, EXCELLENT. Thanks for sharing with everyone, what a resource for crappie fishermen.

Thanks,
Ron, Mud-Dabber

mistertwister
01-23-2007, 01:56 PM
Darryl:

If an article like this doesn't get the blood flowing..... Thanks for sharing your expertise and especially compiling this into an easy to read, user friendly document.

Thanks for your insight.
Chris

Wiskers
01-23-2007, 02:20 PM
Great post! I'm back on the boat & this will give me something to study while I'm off watch! :D !

willsjwills
01-23-2007, 05:32 PM
thanks for the post, Darryl. It's darn good information that makes since. it took some work for you to put this together for us and i can promise you it won't be for naught. I learned a great deal from it. Thanks again.

hogfaninla
01-23-2007, 05:56 PM
well well good to know the pen is still working..glad to see some of the d-man's writing..but it sounds like there needs to be a lot less water and some more sac-a-lait in the boat...bored are we?....get out there and feed em fat for me when i come up....

CrappieMagnet
01-23-2007, 07:22 PM
Great how-to's Darryl!

I can't figure out how you wrote it all out before getting kicked out before posting it all.:D :D

Keep it up!;) Good job!

ShilohRed
01-23-2007, 07:34 PM
WOW that made my head hurt. I will have to read that a few more times to get it to start fitting in my brain.
Thanks for the great info.
Pete

Jerry Blake
01-23-2007, 07:49 PM
When crappie are on the bed and the weather changes do the abandon the bed and move deeper to rebed? What prompts these questions is finding fish on the bed last week, wind blowing from the east, fish biting, wind changed to the north east temp. dropped a few degrees and the fish are GONE, unstable weather has put me in the search mode.--shu



Hey shu:

It doesn't take much to back crappie off of their beds, especially early in the spawn. Just few degrees of falling water temperature, a few inches of falling water level or even a heavy rain or wind that stirs up the water and makes it dingy can back them off for several days. But they shouldn't be too far away. We've gotten in the habit of placing what we call "Staging Beds" just out from known spawning areas, usually in the middle of the channel or on the points just outside of spawning coves. Since I've been guiding I fish these staging beds a lot more than I do the shallows, partly because they are easier to fish but mostly because they hold fish more consistently through the spawn. I also figure it's better not to harass the fish on their beds every day so they can get-r-done! :)

eat,sleep,fish
01-23-2007, 08:07 PM
Darryl,
That was a great post. That really gives me alot of information being i'm new to the game of crappie fishing. Thanks alot!!:D

Cane Pole
01-23-2007, 08:42 PM
Hey shu:

It doesn't take much to back crappie off of their beds, especially early in the spawn. Just few degrees of falling water temperature, a few inches of falling water level or even a heavy rain or wind that stirs up the water and makes it dingy can back them off for several days . But they shouldn't be too far away. We've gotten in the habit of placing what we call "Staging Beds" just out from known spawning areas, usually in the middle of the channel or on the points just outside of spawning coves. Since I've been guiding I fish these staging beds a lot more than I do the shallows, partly because they are easier to fish but mostly because they hold fish more consistently through the spawn. I also figure it's better not to harass the fish on their beds every day so they can get-r-done! :)

Hey Fatboy

You remember those condos we put out last summer? They are the staging ones. We gonna put the next row about a 100 foot inland from these next time up. We will have 3 stages into the spawning area when we finish. Takes time.


Good write D.

shuorc
01-23-2007, 09:08 PM
Thanks Jerry for the info, i guess it's past time to start dropping 'things' in the water.
and thanks Crappie.com for a very informative site--shu

skiptomylu
01-23-2007, 09:40 PM
Darryl you do some good writing and I enjoy reading your stuff. You do a fine job! I would love to fish with you sometime, but don't know if I will ever get up there where you are.

Nothing better than outdoor people, hunters and fishermen I find are basically the best!

Just catching up on my board reading is a little overwhelming and my email is covering me up. The last week when I got home there was 97 just from that week and people were holding back some because they knew I was gone.

Jerry Blake
01-23-2007, 09:47 PM
Thanks Jerry for the info, i guess it's past time to start dropping 'things' in the water.
and thanks Crappie.com for a very informative site--shu

IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME! :)

FalconSmitty
01-23-2007, 09:48 PM
When is the test?

grubby
01-23-2007, 09:58 PM
How in the world did you get all that out of that pea brain of yours cuz! GREAT POST, looking forward to the book.

must buy my fish
01-23-2007, 10:05 PM
Thanks ,I will save that one .It all but cleans um & frys um up.

Chartboy
01-23-2007, 10:35 PM
Great post Darryl. Thank you for sharing your crappie wisdom with us.

Darryl Morris
01-23-2007, 10:51 PM
How in the world did you get all that out of that pea brain of yours cuz! GREAT POST, looking forward to the book.

Can't really say how but it did with this small Morris brain of mine. I love to fish and love just as much to figure out how to catch them. I just don't know how to say it nicely and politically correct that it takes time and time on the water. Everything worth having takes sacrifice and if you're willing to sacrifice to make it happen, it will. I cannot expect nor do I expect legendary admiration for what I share. I just want to be remembered for being on the water more than anyone else. Just like our grandpa said to us, "If you go enough, you'll be there when it happens." Don't know if he said that to you but he did to me and it stuck. I'm sure it applies to us all.

grubby
01-23-2007, 10:54 PM
True True

jhaiken
01-23-2007, 10:58 PM
Darryl,

I'd like to read this on the show this Sunday. If you have any objections to this; let me know. This was great writing by you.

The show is on talkshoe.com under the title Crappie n Nat. Hope to here from you all this Sunday at 10:30!

Darryl Morris
01-23-2007, 11:17 PM
Darryl,

I'd like to read this on the show this Sunday. If you have any objections to this; let me know. This was great writing by you.

The show is on talkshoe.com under the title Crappie n Nat. Hope to here from you all this Sunday at 10:30!

Not a problem and it would be an honor. Reading it over the air and give them a link or reference to read what they might have missed would be great. If I can be of any further help just let me know.

drifter106
01-24-2007, 12:36 AM
Hey shu:

It doesn't take much to back crappie off of their beds, especially early in the spawn. Just few degrees of falling water temperature, a few inches of falling water level or even a heavy rain or wind that stirs up the water and makes it dingy can back them off for several days. But they shouldn't be too far away. We've gotten in the habit of placing what we call "Staging Beds" just out from known spawning areas, usually in the middle of the channel or on the points just outside of spawning coves. Since I've been guiding I fish these staging beds a lot more than I do the shallows, partly because they are easier to fish but mostly because they hold fish more consistently through the spawn. I also figure it's better not to harass the fish on their beds every day so they can get-r-done! :)

Your comments Jerry bring to mind an experience we had. One of those that you stumble onto by chance and put in your memory bank. Happened around the middle part of April and really not for sure what sent them out (weather or water factor). Prior to that day we had been catching males and a few females real close to bank but that day they weren't there. So we moved around a little bit and sure enough they were out in about 9 to 12 ft of water. Big ole sows...some of them had eggs dripping out. Hit that jig around some brush or rock...drop it just a hair and bang. This was at Fall River...so can you imagine next day? Needed a parking permit for your boat.

They do like that comfort zone!!

Spiderman
01-24-2007, 02:52 AM
Excellant post Darryl. I went to your website and copied the entire document to Word for future reference.

I do have a question for either you or Jerry. Last year we were catching "Black Crappie" in the shallow water either staging or spawning for about 3 weeks. We also have bamboo tops in 10 to15 feet of water on main lake flats, the "White Crappie" were in the tops offshore and many of the females were actually releaseing eggs when we brought then into the boat. Is it possible that the White Crappie were spawning in these tops out in the main lake? The tops of the bamboo are about 4 feet below the water surface.

Thanks for all the info. really enjoy the site.

slabbandit
01-24-2007, 03:15 AM
Crappie.com is very fortunate to have members such as Darryl and Jerry and some of the other guides who unselfishly share there vast knowledge of crappie fishing with the other members.

No matter what activity one chooses to attempt,nothing comes close to experience. I know,without a doubt,that my crappie fishing has improved thanks to these guys sharing their knowledge

I know that I speak for a lot of members when I say thanks and keep posting those good tips!!:)

Jerry Blake
01-24-2007, 07:34 AM
Excellant post Darryl. I went to your website and copied the entire document to Word for future reference.

I do have a question for either you or Jerry. Last year we were catching "Black Crappie" in the shallow water either staging or spawning for about 3 weeks. We also have bamboo tops in 10 to15 feet of water on main lake flats, the "White Crappie" were in the tops offshore and many of the females were actually releaseing eggs when we brought then into the boat. Is it possible that the White Crappie were spawning in these tops out in the main lake? The tops of the bamboo are about 4 feet below the water surface.

Thanks for all the info. really enjoy the site.

Hey Spiderman:

Both species are said to spawn at about the maximum depth you can see a white object so unless your water was very clear I doubt the white crappie were spawning in 10 to 15-feet of water. I suspect they were staging there waiting for conditions to be just right for them to move to the shallows and spawn.

Crappie can hold their eggs for a long time but they can get so full that eggs come out when you catch them, especially if you're bringing them up from several feet deep because of the pressure change.

Apparently white crappie and black crappie have slightly different criteria for spawning, which I guess helps reduce hybridization. We have about equal numbers of both here and often find them spawning in the same area but usually we'll catch a majority of one or the other in certain areas on any given day depending on the conditions.

NIMROD
01-24-2007, 09:55 AM
Thanks for the info. But Crappie are unpredictables and fickled as women at times.:rolleyes: Here on Nimrod last year we found males on the bank in mid March. But the real or main spawn was well into April with a few males still on the beds on first of May. This lake is bad about this as it's flood control and water level can swing wildly. The cold fronts also push spawning fish out very often.
You talked about water temp and Crappie moving deep in warm water. We use to troll the shallow flats(old farm fields) , water depth as shallow as 3' on Nimrod in hot summertime. Fishing spider rigs 18 to 24'' deep as the Crappie seemed to chase Shad schools.
I've found here also spawning Crappie does'nt always mean fishing the bank. Nimrod like some other places have shallow stumps along the channels in mid lake less than 3' of water. We pressure gets bad on weekends I pull out to hit these humps and also the staging fish as they all don't spawn at once .
Thanks again for the articles. Every body of water seems to have it's own quirks when it comes to figuring out Crappie.:D

Jigster
01-24-2007, 11:00 AM
Awesome post Darryl !!

Jigster

mighty
01-24-2007, 11:19 AM
Thanx D for the insight, gotta make it crappie camp.

Be blessed

jhaiken
01-26-2007, 08:17 PM
Going to set up the radio show for tomorrow (Sat. 1/27) at 9:00AM. Go to talkshoe.com, download the software and join us for a great show. If you can't join the show, you can download the podcast.

If you'd like an invite, send me your email address in a PM.

The show is called Crappie n Nat!

jhaiken
01-26-2007, 09:29 PM
Noone going to join us tomorrow? c'mon guys.

bobberwatcher
01-26-2007, 09:59 PM
I make a motion to add this link to the archives section of this site. Definately good reading here.

jhaiken
01-26-2007, 10:04 PM
I second that! I'd like to have the author on the show tomorrow for a nice free for all round discussing this article and anything else.

jhaiken
01-27-2007, 09:55 AM
For a lousy podcast of Darryl's article, go to :

http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=9879

Right click on the Download button and save target to download.

Had a cold/cough/sore throat. Not a good time to try to talk nonstop!