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fishbrain
02-08-2016, 08:23 PM
I can go to most any lake around where I live and pull out a bunch of crappie but rarely do I get the big slabs. The way I fish is I look for schools on my fish finder and fish wherever there holding and or around docks and brush. Anyone got any advice for me. I fish with grubs tubes and shad imitation baits. Not sure what or how I could do anything much different

scrat
02-08-2016, 08:42 PM
How do I catch the big slabs? Other than trying a bigger bait.:twocents I would say that is a million dollar question that even the Pro's would like to know.

Tucker1979
02-08-2016, 08:50 PM
I catch big females in the spring when everybody else does but in the winter it's hit or miss for me i know its all about the right location at the right time but me and a friend went last week i was using a 1/64 jig and he was using a 1/8 size jig head i used one that small because i wanted to slow down my bait. Anyway my point is i caught like 30 more fish than he did but he caught bigger slabs than me! So i think smaller bait more fish but bigger bait(which i would use nothing over a 1/4 for crappie)bigger fish when fishing on days that are a slow bite. Anyway that my 2 cents

fishbrain
02-08-2016, 09:11 PM
Who wouldn't want to know. And its not just one thing..its got to be a collection of things that lead up to the big ones..just trying to put more pieces of the puzzle together

crappie cowboy
02-08-2016, 09:36 PM
To catch big crappie, you will have to fish on a lake that has big crappie. My hat is off to you if you can go to any lake around your area and catch a mess anytime you want....:cheers2, I'm not that good.

NIMROD
02-08-2016, 09:53 PM
I say you up the odds by knowing your water . I also use bigger baits than most .Hunt heavy cover , deeper stumps ,stakebeds , brushpiles depending on lake and season . Every spring when fishermen are beating shoreline cover I fish deeper spots and humps with cover where the big females stage . I have found big females move in and back out using same staging areas in spring . Here if I catch several small fish no matter how fast the bite I move spots , the norm for me is the big gals bite first just like they have a pecking order . But helps if the waters you fish have big slabs otherwise face it catch what you can .:twocents But there is no set rules when it comes to slab Crappie . Some areas consider a lake deep when in another place it is deemed shallow . There is not a one fits all . Some shallow lakes full of vegetation some Crappie spend their whole life shallow .:twocents

doggone
02-08-2016, 09:55 PM
The best thing you can do to break the ice and finally catch a few good ones is.......

Sometimes it is hard to find the big ones and get them in a biting mood. It takes a broad base knowledge of the lake and presentations to do it consistently over the year. Unless your one of those people who are just the best and luckiest in the world and everything you do turns to gold. Then you should be able to do everything on your own based on your magnificence.

If not....read on

The spawn is approaching

The spawning urge is strong...every big fish is going to pre-spawn feed and they are going to make a bed and lay their eggs. That is going to put them shallower,and in a smaller area,and make them bite more than normal. Now you have something to focus on.

Fish a lake that the creel and electrofishing results say it has a decent number of 2lb plus fish. Now even in a lake that is considered an okay big crappie lake that may be less than 20 percent of the total number.Maybe less than 10 in some lakes. A lake that produces one just now and then...less than 3 percent maybe.

Okay...now those fish are going to pick only certain places to bed and prespawn feed. Less than 10 percent of the water on average.And the biggest ones will pick the prime places because they can and they have experience.We may be talking about less than 10 percent of 10 percent eh?

Now....we are looking for a minority of the fish of this species,in a very small part of the water. Getting the picture??? sounds like a needle in a haystack eh?

Well it sort of is....but not so much when you learn the Lake and learn the spawning banks. Find out how deep the fish spawn on average on that body of water.Figure the bigger fish will be towards the deeper side of that number more than likely. Find the cover they prefer in that lake,grass,stumps,laydowns,or maybe stumps in a grass bed,with the right bottom composition,at the right depth,with the right slope,next to deep water,with low wave exposure,with the right amount of sunlight per day.

Study lake maps,fish your tail off searching out and testing every place you can.Learn to present your lure to prespawn fish and and bedded fish. When the time is right spend as much time as you can on the water putting your lure in the water in the right places as much as you can.

Now for the rest.What lure,what way,etc.....hey you need to figure out some of this stuff. But as you begin this search mission,you going to be finding some fish.Keep trying different lures ,and colors,and scents,and whatever until you are consistently catching fish. Take someone and both of you try different stuff until you find what works.

Now your on a mission

Later after you have caught a couple big spawn crappie you can broaden your horizons as they say

Or you can go to Grenada and hire a guide LOL

fishbrain
02-08-2016, 10:09 PM
Great info guys...and hire a guide...that all the fun and the feeling of accomplishment out of catching a big one.

CrappiePappy
02-09-2016, 12:34 AM
I can go to most any lake around where I live and pull out a bunch of crappie but rarely do I get the big slabs. The way I fish is I look for schools on my fish finder and fish wherever there holding and or around docks and brush. Anyone got any advice for me. I fish with grubs tubes and shad imitation baits. Not sure what or how I could do anything much different

IMHO ... you're doing it right. You just have to keep on doing what you're doing. Big ones will bite the same things little ones do, but finding the bigger ones takes research and field work.

And just remember, a "Slab" on one body of water could be just an average sized fish on another. It all depends on the dynamics of that body of water, at that particular time.

Some say that the big ones run in smaller schools, or may even be loners. Some say the bigger ones stay deeper, suspend out in open water more often, or hang around cover that's apart from the "jungle" areas. All of those things may be correct, at different times or even at the same time. But, it is rare that really big Crappie hang with schools of very small ones. That's likely due to too much competition from so many others. And while big Crappie are usually more wary than smaller ones, they do have a little less to fear from predators ... due to their size ... so they do spend a lot of time in open water.

Study the normal/seasonal movements of Crappie on your waters. Understand that the larger ones will not necessarily be as close to the banks, or shallows, as smaller ones generally are ... except possibly during the spawn. And in most cases ... the fish will use the same areas/banks, year after year, if possible.

You have to use whatever fishing method it takes to present your bait to the fish, under the conditions, season, or whatever movement pattern those conditions or the season has the fish using. Look for shade & food. Shade can be from an object blocking the light to the depth of water that the light doesn't penetrate down to, or both. Food in the area, or a likelihood of it coming through that area, gives them reason to be there.

And if a thermocline sets up in your waters, don't fish below that depth ... and look for off shore cover that comes up from below the thermocline depth and sticks above it, but doesn't necessarily stick out above the surface of the water.

Keep notes of the conditions & results of all your trips, successful ones & those you get skunked on ... refer back to them when the conditions are the same or similar, during the same time period or season. You'll soon be able to put a pattern together, and have a good idea of where to start looking & at what depth the fish are "likely" to be holding. Step one is finding their location, step two is finding their depth, step three is figuring out the best method of presentation of your baits into the strike zone of those fish.

And remember the old sayings : 90% of the fish are in 10% of the water --&-- you can't catch'em if they're not there !!

... cp :kewl

fishbrain
02-09-2016, 06:05 AM
Thanks pappy that was a good read

trypman1
02-11-2016, 09:40 AM
Keep fishing and looking, at least you are out there. Trolling cranks in the summer is a good way to get a few larger ones. Always nice to be just catching Crappie, whatever the size. Great thread & post!!!!!!!

fishervet
02-11-2016, 05:20 PM
To catch big crappie, you will have to fish on a lake that has big crappie. My hat is off to you if you can go to any lake around your area and catch a mess anytime you want....:cheers2, I'm not that good.
Amen.

fishervet
02-11-2016, 05:28 PM
this is a great post.

Ketchn
02-12-2016, 07:47 AM
lots of good advice on this post .....and yes sometimes there just aint many "slabs" on some water bodies ....
if i am strictly trying to ketch "whales" aka slabs ....
i go to spots that have a tendency to lean towards larger specimens myself
bait size has some play in it sometimes as well .....
hope you find them ....

skeetbum
02-14-2016, 07:36 AM
Great info guys...and hire a guide...that all the fun and the feeling of accomplishment out of catching a big one.

About hiring a guide; I disagree. When you would hire a guide you would be looking for a teacher to shorten the learning curve. Were you to just be interested in loading a cooler I might agree with your opinion that it would take the fun out of it. But you want to know how to target a different size of fish. A guide knows the water and the fish better than most and a day with him (or her) is like attending college for a day. Time on the water is the best teacher and your guide has more of that than most in the area. In my opinion it's smart money spent. Hope you find what you need and fill your bag of tricks enough to be confident when you drop the TM and get down to business.....Skeet.