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deltabound
02-23-2016, 12:37 PM
To all the folks out there that know way way more than I do... And that includes most of you I guarantee it. Wife and I went to the lake Sunday to fish a little, lake Jordan in case ya wonder. Ended up spending the whole time just riding and looking with my bird, surface water temp 52-57, been cloudy a few days, lots an lots of bait but never really marked enough fish to decide to set the rods out( I keep spider rig an pull rods with me). Marked a few what appeared to be crappie scattered around 25-30 ft in 35-40 fow but like I said, not enough to get after. I looked shallow(8-12 fow), mid down to 20fow an of course deep down into the 30s an 40s. Usually this time of year we can find fish to longline on that are 7-14 ft deep over whatever water depth or some schools on structure to rig. So here goes the question, when the fish get hard to find on your sonars what in the world do you decide to do, fish the bait, fish the structure, bump the bottom? Happens to me from time to time and I'm still at a loss as to what is worth trying. Thanks again for all the good reading.

vic n
02-23-2016, 12:47 PM
I would love to see a nice easy answer to this question, too, because I tend to cruise around looking at electronics myself. And for me, it isn't just during a transition time. It's all year. If there aren't fish at the last place I found them, I have trouble re-locating them. The only thing I try that occasionally works, is to find a really good, reliable brushpile and drop all the way to the bottom, and then reel up slower than slow.

M R Dux
02-23-2016, 02:01 PM
I live 10 miles from KY Lake so it isn't unusual for me to put the boat on the trailer and head back to the house on days like you mentioned. If I decide to stay, I'll go to places I have traditionally caught fish that time of the year and those water temps. I'll slow troll or longline the areas close to known cover. I can cover a lot of water and at some time during the day, the bite will pick up enough to make me glad I stayed out. I use a combination of different weight jigheads, different sized/color curly tail grubs and mix in some roadrunner heads with willow leaf or colorado blades.

We have a lot of black crappie here and they will tend to head toward the northern banks in bay mouths as soon as the sun starts to warm the water just a couple of degrees. You might be surprised how many fish are in very shallow water and how few other fishermen will be there.

fishervet
02-23-2016, 02:33 PM
this will be a very good post......

tenncrappie
02-23-2016, 05:09 PM
Was fishing the ETCC tournament Sat with my partner and 2 days before he was on lots of quality fish. Started in the same area Saturday and they were just not there. Lots of small male fish and as the day wore on the bass guys screamed by us to fish one stump for 3 throws and rite back out. after a while we knew it wasn't to be and we moved out closer to the main river channel and some shallower flats where we picked up good quality fish for the next 3 hrs on the north bank like Mr. Dux refed to above.

chaunc
02-24-2016, 01:24 PM
With those water temps, i'll be looking for shallow brush or stumps. As you ride around looking at your locator, mark those stumps and brush you run across and come back some other time and give them a shot. I've learned so much by doing this.

skinny
02-24-2016, 09:01 PM
turn off depth finder and go fishing

huntinslabs
02-24-2016, 09:33 PM
^^^^^this! Fish were caught long before electronics were invented.

crappiemax
02-24-2016, 10:36 PM
Like others have said with those temps I would be looking right on the bank.
1' deep in 1-3 fow especially on those north banks especially if there is some rock (even rip-rap), docks or wood. Mrdux is right on target on this one.

maxwell328
02-24-2016, 11:33 PM
Agree with Dux, the Northwest end of the lake always warms up first. One of the most shocking things to me was when Juicy and I were fishing a tournament in November and it was in the 30 degree range and we caught very good fish in 5 FOW fishing 2 FD.

skinny
02-25-2016, 06:13 AM
sorry for the blunt answer I should have been more detailed. With water temps approaching 60 degree the fish are on the bank. depth finder is only looking at a very tiny spot on the bottom in water that shallow.

NIMROD
02-25-2016, 06:38 AM
Sounds like some have already given the advice I would . Sometimes early spring or before on warm days when surface temps rise check extremely shallow .

deltabound
02-25-2016, 11:53 AM
Thanks for the inputs so far. Couple more things I would like to add. I do my looking with a side scan unit when just covering territory. I am bad about not checking shallow when maybe I should reason be I try to focus more on the groups of females that tend to stay off from the spawning spots until they move up to make their egg deposits. Also, water temps hadnt been that warm but for a very short period of time I don't think. I don't think they push up shallow to spawn in just a couple days of warm water do they? The females we have been catching were nowhere near ready to lay eggs. Water temps in upper 50s don't mean much if there aren't eggs I wouldn't think, but then again I may be missing something. I did look shallow on some structure that we fish once spawn starts and didn't see much. Thanks again for the replys.

crappiemax
02-25-2016, 01:08 PM
Well here in Ohio they can move up shallow in a very short time and vice versa.
This past weekend on Saturday I had 2 people tell me they were catching crappie 1' deep in 3 fow. There was ice in the coves 2 days prior to that. Both of the guys had found pockets of 47-50 degree water when most of the lake was at 39-40 degrees. Just because the fish move shallow doesn't mean they are actually up there spawning, they could be up there for food. The very next day we were catching the fish 2-3' off the bottom in 16-18 fow. 2 years ago we were catching fish 2' deep in 20-25 fow in mid Feb.
Some times when we can't find fish were we THINK they should be we just start fishing shallow and find them.

vic n
02-25-2016, 01:10 PM
The spawn may still be weeks away, but shad will move into creeks and coves, and crappies will follow them. Not ready to spawn...but hungry!

SLABHOG
02-25-2016, 02:39 PM
Agree with Dux, the Northwest end of the lake always warms up first. One of the most shocking things to me was when Juicy and I were fishing a tournament in November and it was in the 30 degree range and we caught very good fish in 5 FOW fishing 2 FD.

It definitely happens

SLABHOG
02-25-2016, 02:42 PM
Well here in Ohio they can move up shallow in a very short time and vice versa.
This past weekend on Saturday I had 2 people tell me they were catching crappie 1' deep in 3 fow. There was ice in the coves 2 days prior to that. Both of the guys had found pockets of 47-50 degree water when most of the lake was at 39-40 degrees. Just because the fish move shallow doesn't mean they are actually up there spawning, they could be up there for food. The very next day we were catching the fish 2-3' off the bottom in 16-18 fow. 2 years ago we were catching fish 2' deep in 20-25 fow in mid Feb.
Some times when we can't find fish were we THINK they should be we just start fishing shallow and find them.

Right on

glasseyes
02-25-2016, 02:46 PM
Well here in Ohio they can move up shallow in a very short time and vice versa.
This past weekend on Saturday I had 2 people tell me they were catching crappie 1' deep in 3 fow. There was ice in the coves 2 days prior to that. Both of the guys had found pockets of 47-50 degree water when most of the lake was at 39-40 degrees. Just because the fish move shallow doesn't mean they are actually up there spawning, they could be up there for food. The very next day we were catching the fish 2-3' off the bottom in 16-18 fow. 2 years ago we were catching fish 2' deep in 20-25 fow in mid Feb.
Some times when we can't find fish were we THINK they should be we just start fishing shallow and find them.

Being from Ohio , I relate to this !

Zippy
02-25-2016, 02:47 PM
Where I fish in Maryland the fish are right on the edge of the dropoffs near the shallow coves. They are even moving up on the shelf on sunny warm days. Water is 42-45 degrees. In 57 degree water I would expect the spawn to be starting correct?

barrelslime
02-25-2016, 03:20 PM
Like others have said with those temps I would be looking right on the bank.
1' deep in 1-3 fow especially on those north banks especially if there is some rock (even rip-rap), docks or wood. Mrdux is right on target on this one.

There's your answer.

M R Dux
02-25-2016, 03:48 PM
The males will move in before the females even leave deep water haunts.

A couple of years ago, a buddy and I were longlining on Ky Lake . We knew the black crappie had been moving towards the banks but that day, we only had 1 keeper for 2-3 hours fishing. I told my buddy they had to be close by so we went to a shallow bar that had 9 feet along the edges and dropped off into 15 feet. The very top of the bar had 5 feet of water. On our first pass, we had 4 poles go down at one time. Every one of the fish were cookie-cutter 12 " male black crappie. This spot was no more than 20 yards across and no more than 20 yards off the rocky bank. We would troll about 40 yards one way, turn around and troll back the same amount. We had to defend our spot as there were others who tried to move in and anchor on it when they could see we were there first, knowing they would end our trolling passes. I let them know real quick I wasn't going to tolerate that so they left. We had forgotten to keep the clicker going for each fish we caught so we knew we were getting close to a double limit. When we got to the ramp and counted, we had 39 crappie. Each was a duplicate of the others and every one black males. We had taken 38 keepers in 5 feet of water near the rocky bank in an hour.

The next day my buddy fished the same spot and caught zero. My Dad and I fished it later that week, nothing. They were stacked on that one spot for that short time we were there. Haven't been that lucky in a single spot since.