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ET Fish
06-02-2017, 10:15 AM
To explain what phase of the spawn we are in. It has been almost two weeks since we have hit the lake, as I have been pursuing my second love of fishing. That would be fly fishing for trout. By the way, I'm terrible at it! Thus, a challenge, and I love being challenged! As we live 30 minutes from the entrance from the GSM National Park, a three day camping trip was planned for the holiday weekend. We do this annually to try and time the appearance of the Synchronous Firefly event, and we were on time! A little fishing was involved as well, but our trip was cut short with the arrival of a "Derecho" Saturday night. No, I had never even heard this word, and I hope I never hear it again! Power was finally fully restored to our area on Thursday.
Anyway, back to the crappie. We went yesterday. Water temps were 67-69 during the time we were out. We fished deep water, and got on a lot of fish. Yesterday was a keeping day, as I was sure the spawn was over. I cleaned an even dozen, mostly females, and saw eggs in various stages? I am including pictures, and need some advice/opinions on what's going on!

CrappiePappy
06-02-2017, 12:35 PM
Same thing I've seen up in this area .... various stages of egg production and they're still viable, BUT ... water temps have gone from the high 60's & low 70's to the mid to high 70's (several weeks ago) and then got brought back down to the high 60's from the cold fronts & associated rains ... and are now edging back towards the mid 70's (in the top 10ft of water). That may not be a bad thing, if we were talking about late March to early May ... but we're not. We're talking late April to early June. And by that I'm talking weather, water levels, and the increase of activity by boaters & anglers and how that affects the spawning areas & the depth at which the fish are forced to spawn because of those factors.

That's my theory, anyway. And that's not even taking into account that the photo-period (hours of Sunlight per day) has already reached the point of 14.6hrs of sunlight (which is the average amount of sunlight for the last spawning sites to be created, according to a study done on Table Rock Lake). To me, that says if they don't do the deed pretty soon ... they aren't gonna get it done, in which case they will absorb the eggs and try again next year.

ET Fish
06-02-2017, 12:48 PM
Same thing I've seen up in this area .... various stages of egg production and they're still viable, BUT ... water temps have gone from the high 60's & low 70's to the mid to high 70's (several weeks ago) and then got brought back down to the high 60's from the cold fronts & associated rains ... and are now edging back towards the mid 70's (in the top 10ft of water). That may not be a bad thing, if we were talking about late March to early May ... but we're not. We're talking late April to early June. And by that I'm talking weather, water levels, and the increase of activity by boaters & anglers and how that affects the spawning areas & the depth at which the fish are forced to spawn because of those factors.

That's my theory, anyway. And that's not even taking into account that the photo-period (hours of Sunlight per day) has already reached the point of 14.6hrs of sunlight (which is the average amount of sunlight for the last spawning sites to be created, according to a study done on Table Rock Lake). To me, that says if they don't do the deed pretty soon ... they aren't gonna get it done, in which case they will absorb the eggs and try again next year.
The water temps here have just now reached where we were in early April. As you can see in the pics, there were a couple of males that are still dark. We got in an area that produced a fish on almost every drop, and a lot were darkened up males about 9-9 1/2". I thought at first that it was just the little guys finishing up, but then we got into the bigger ones. Thanks for your insight, as I am totally confused.

CrappiePappy
06-02-2017, 01:13 PM
The water temps here have just now reached where we were in early April. As you can see in the pics, there were a couple of males that are still dark. We got in an area that produced a fish on almost every drop, and a lot were darkened up males about 9-9 1/2". I thought at first that it was just the little guys finishing up, but then we got into the bigger ones. Thanks for your insight, as I am totally confused.

I'm pretty sure the fish are "totally confused" as well. :biggrin

One would have thought that with the mild Winter, things would have progressed earlier than normal. But, with the screwy weather patterns we've experienced this Spring, things have been anything but "normal".

ET Fish
06-02-2017, 02:49 PM
I'm pretty sure the fish are "totally confused" as well. :biggrin

One would have thought that with the mild Winter, things would have progressed earlier than normal. But, with the screwy weather patterns we've experienced this Spring, things have been anything but "normal".
In your opinion, based on my pics or what you've witnessed, are they reabsorbing the eggs yet?

skiptomylu
06-02-2017, 03:17 PM
If they got pushed out deeper before they laid all their eggs they will just absorb them into their system and that is eggs that will not ever produce more crappie!
Skip

CrappiePappy
06-02-2017, 03:35 PM
In your opinion, based on my pics or what you've witnessed, are they reabsorbing the eggs yet?

The first two pics do seem to indicate a darkening of the tip end of the egg sac, which would indicate that the fish is starting to absorb the eggs ... or, at least, the eggs are not going to be dropped and are in the process of disintegration.

The bottom pic shows a brighter yellow color to the eggs, which would indicate that they are not yet even developed enough to consider dropping. But, at this point in the season, considering the factors that control spawning, they probably wouldn't be viable in time to matter. And even if they were, there may not be any males still on the beds to accommodate them. The fact that the males are still "dark" doesn't necessarily indicate that they're still in the spawning mood. They may have just given up, recently, and haven't evened out their hormone level ... and returning their coloration back to normal. Also, the fact that they were caught "together", from the same group & depth as the females, would indicate to me that they're schooling back up ... as they would normally do post-spawn.

Again, I say ... I'm no expert on the matter, and these are just my assumptions.

ET Fish
06-02-2017, 04:48 PM
The first two pics do seem to indicate a darkening of the tip end of the egg sac, which would indicate that the fish is starting to absorb the eggs ... or, at least, the eggs are not going to be dropped and are in the process of disintegration.

The bottom pic shows a brighter yellow color to the eggs, which would indicate that they are not yet even developed enough to consider dropping. But, at this point in the season, considering the factors that control spawning, they probably wouldn't be viable in time to matter. And even if they were, there may not be any males still on the beds to accommodate them. The fact that the males are still "dark" doesn't necessarily indicate that they're still in the spawning mood. They may have just given up, recently, and haven't evened out their hormone level ... and returning their coloration back to normal. Also, the fact that they were caught "together", from the same group & depth as the females, would indicate to me that they're schooling back up ... as they would normally do post-spawn.

Again, I say ... I'm no expert on the matter, and these are just my assumptions.
They did come from different locations, but now I don't remember which came from where. I certainly wasn't fishing shallow, minimum of 17 FOW, and fairly deep. How deep? Not sure about that either. About half came on a free fall drop, and if they didn't take it on the drop, I used your Vertical Casting method on the way back up. By the time I worked em around limbs, etc., I don't know how deep they were! Thanks for all the info!

crappie wrangler
06-03-2017, 12:45 AM
I agree. They are done. The upside is that females don't drop all of their eggs at once but usually over 5 different nest with different males. By the look of things they had dropped at least some of their eggs so the spawn wasn't a total loss. At least that is what l can glean from a couple of pics.

Ketchn
06-04-2017, 06:53 AM
there is a likely hood that some of those fish will still lay eggs and or some already have ....the good news is that there is a likely hood until they decide what it is they want to do for sure they will continue to bite well ......we are seeing that here in Texas for sure ....water depth can vary tremendously as to where they might be , but the bite continues to be rather strong and its quite obvious the pattern is whatever you like to do to ketch them right now in these parts ,,,,,we can find them deep and shallow and all points in between ,with eggs in lots of cases and some look real viable and some not so much ....
we have labeled it the "year of the never ending spawn" ....LOL

crappie wrangler
06-04-2017, 07:31 AM
The crappie were easy in Texoma yesterday also. While the fish had color and were patterned in both spawn and pre-spawn pattern there were no eggs or very few left in the females I caught. There was more crappie fishing pressure on Texoma than I had seen in all the years I have lived here combined resulting in fish hitting the banks and fisherman pushing them off with sheer fishing pressure. There is the possibility that the fish that were beat off of the shallows are trying to finish spawning the eggs they have left or the sudden rise in lake levels and resulting lower water temps have confused the crappie. What ever the reason which I can only guess I caught crappie yesterday in what appeared to be a spawning pattern in 8 FOW and also caught them a few yards away in 32 FOW. Sometimes I can't explain what they are doing I just know I can catch them.

ET Fish
06-04-2017, 12:48 PM
Definitely a strange spring! I was expecting an early spawn, yet on the lake I most often frequent, it does appear to be either never ending or never starting.

skiptomylu
06-05-2017, 09:23 AM
Now let me add one thing here. Down here on Toledo Bend before our Hydrilla got in trouble we had a lot of it and this is a major factor in how long the crappie will be in water 10' deep or less. When the Hydrilla was plentiful I could catch crappie in this kind of water until the first week of June. However the last 3 or 4 years that has not been the case and early May it's about over. I long for our Hydrilla to make a great comeback, well I am praying for it, lol!

The dense vegetation lets them hang in shallow water longer!

Skip

FIN
06-05-2017, 12:10 PM
Skip How do you fish the hydrilla. We have tons of hydrilla. Its ruining good lakes.


Now let me add one thing here. Down here on Toledo Bend before our Hydrilla got in trouble we had a lot of it and this is a major factor in how long the crappie will be in water 10' deep or less. When the Hydrilla was plentiful I could catch crappie in this kind of water until the first week of June. However the last 3 or 4 years that has not been the case and early May it's about over. I long for our Hydrilla to make a great comeback, well I am praying for it, lol!

The dense vegetation lets them hang in shallow water longer!

Skip