View Full Version : What to do?

09-25-2016, 07:27 AM
Question: If you fish a lake regularly, do you ever find it that the crappie "get use" to your presentations and turn them down after repeated tries? We practice catch & release exclusively on some of our waters, but have been noticing a declining number of catches. We mainly drift fish the open waters, but we also cast the shallows and have tried some trolling. All yield about the same. I know they are not up in the trees (!) and we check out various depths every time out.

Now these waters we fish are bowl shaped, with little to no bottom structure changes, or cover. They average between 16' - 24' deep and we've found most of our fish by open water drifting, with 1/8 oz. jigs & plastic dressings. (And no, we are not open to using live bait. Sort of like a fly fisherman's perspective.) :)

Thanks for any suggestions/inputs.

09-25-2016, 10:47 AM
some days I throw my Jigs an plastic in the box , and go back to a slip bobber over a split shot 6" above a long shank Aberdeen hook with a Gulp earthworm just stuck on there wacky style.move depth from 8Ft. UP a foot at a time to 2 Ft. if nothing hits that ,switch Glub leech. If that fails, I'm thank full for a day of fishing an not having to clean fish.

09-25-2016, 11:09 AM
I believe that they can get "turned off" from a particular bait or presentation ... during one period & at one particular spot. But, I don't believe they "remember" any negative encounters (being caught & released) for any length of time. They are instinctive creatures, but also curious creatures ... and they have to eat to survive. Were they capable of remembering or understanding negative encounters ... many would starve to death.

Now, I have seen instances where they do seem to "prefer" a color or presentation or bait size, and reject others ... and times when none of those things matter one iota ... as well as times when they stop biting on whatever color & presentation method is being used, only to start biting again after a subtle change (or even a major change). To some, that could be construed as them "getting used to" a bait and rejecting it ... or it could simply be that not all the fish in that school were interested in the same thing at the same time, and would bite another offering that was different.

09-25-2016, 04:17 PM
I think sometimes it is because we fish the same lake the same way and expect the fish to do the same thing also. After getting the side imaging sonar I have found that the fish are not always in the places that I always fished and the time of year I fish them. They move and scatter and school up and when you think you know what to do and how to catch them then they throw you a curveball. I know that fish must eat but Mother Nature built something into them so that all the fish will not be caught.

09-25-2016, 05:22 PM
I have fished depth in the past and find it a challenge at times. I used a jigging spoon and blade bait with good success. If for nothing else but to change up from the everyday presentation that I use all the time. Not having structure to avoid makes it some easier and there are always surprise fish using this method. I prefer blade baits in white variations but clown colors have also produced for me. Good luck and keep us posted, we all learn together.

09-25-2016, 06:21 PM
Thank you all for your suggestions and insight. I am very familiar with blade baits and know how effective they can be on bass and lake trout. Just haven't thought about pulling them out of the box for crappie - yet. Be assured the next time we encounter a difficult bite here, we will.

This is why I love this site so much! Thank you all. :)

09-26-2016, 05:59 PM
It is possiable on small waters or highly pressured waters . Here I use same bait and presentations for years on my home lake .

09-26-2016, 08:52 PM
If they aren't eating you have to for a reaction bite.

09-26-2016, 09:40 PM
Long lining jigs might be the answer, but this time of year, with the water so hot, it is hard to find the Crappie, Also they will go to the bottom and just sit there, hard to see with sonar. We troll jigs and crank baits. Changing colors helps also.

09-27-2016, 06:31 AM
Not sure what the situation might call for , but I would try to figure out what they eat there . Like said before it's not likely they remember your bait . Size of baits matters sometimes as well as colors . Speed of presentation can make a huge difference as well .......lots of variables for sure and sometimes just a subtle change is all it takes

09-27-2016, 08:28 AM
If you think that they are getting 'educated'.....keep some and change the dynamic.

09-27-2016, 08:54 AM
Start logging your trips. I buy a spiral desk calendar every year for logging trips. Been ding this for almost 8 years.
I log everything from water conditions, weather, time of day, colors and presentations. Specifics as far as way point numbers as well. Even major weather events, rain, temp changes, etc I log thru the week when I am not fishing but working.
You will begin to see patterns for time of the year, conditions, and realize that you need to do this or that.
Food for thought.....

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