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Moose1am
01-26-2005, 04:08 PM
OK was thinking about how to put out crappie condos without pulling a back muscle. Just thinking out loud here. Here lately the big thing with the professional crappie Guides is to use 5 or 6 gallon buckets and bamboo or sticks of some kind and either Quickcrete or Sand and rocks to wieght the bucket down. They may put out 100 of these in different areas of the lake. I am guessing but I would assume that they use 5 to 10 sticks or bamboo canes per bucket. Not sure how heavy that would be but guessing it's around 6 to 10 lbs of concrete for each bucket.

Now what would happen if instead of using a 6 gallon bucket one used small paper Soft drink cups and put just one bamboo cane in each cup filled with some concrete. Would 16oz of concrete weight a bamboo cane down and hold it on the bottom of the lake? Wonder how many of these you could make with one sack of Quickcrete? Just add a screw or nail in the base of the bamboo shoot and that way it will stay in the concrete once the concrete dries. These could be easily dropped over the side to make a forest on the bottom of a lake. You could put ten or more in one spot and then spread them out. Use them on a long point to make sort of a fence row going from deep water to shallow water and then add a few brush piles at key depths.

I have found in the stripper pits that I fish that it doesn't take too much to attract the crappie. I found a spot that has small brush that is very thin. I think it's single tall weeds that stick up from the bottom. These are similar to what I think the bamboo shoots look like minus the green leaves. So a single stickup will attrack some crappie.

I suggest using paper cups as they will disolved away after they are in the lake for a while. And the concrete will not hurt the lake and the bamboo won't hurt the lake either. These are all naturally occuring materials. Cement is nothing more than limestone mixed with some rocks.

Would it be too much work to make each one though? You would have to find a way to stabilze each bamboo cane and the cup filled with wet cement until the cement hardened. But after that it would be easily to bundle them up and carry them in the boat and putting them over the side would be a piece of cake.

It's just a wild idea that I thought of last night.

fatboy
01-26-2005, 04:21 PM
How are they gonna stand up when sunk?

Moose1am
01-26-2005, 04:29 PM
Good Question. I was thinking that the Bamboo would want to float but I could be wrong. If that bamboo does not float or add some boyancy then this idea won't work. Not unless there was an easy and cheap way to add floatation to the top end of the stick or bamboo cane and I can't think of anything right yet


How are they gonna stand up when sunk?

fatboy
01-26-2005, 04:34 PM
I think that is a pretty good idea for people with bad backs or not a lot of space onboard to cut down on the trips, but I don't much see how they could stand up. Good idea though. Come into the chat room sometime Moose and socialize a little. Big J

fatboy
01-26-2005, 04:38 PM
I believe that they would probably be so top heavy that they would fall over real quick. That is why most guys use a wide base like the buckets. I haven't tried the crappie condos yet. Probably won't this year. I like the sinking of brush and driving stakes. I believe I have enough stuff out to satisfy me for a while.

labill
01-26-2005, 05:16 PM
Good Question. I was thinking that the Bamboo would want to float but I could be wrong. If that bamboo does not float or add some boyancy then this idea won't work. Not unless there was an easy and cheap way to add floatation to the top end of the stick or bamboo cane and I can't think of anything right yet

Moose....it may take a little experimenting, but you could tie a 16 OZ or smaller plastic drink bottle on the top of the bamboo or cane, but the experimenting part would be how much floatation needed for each shoot....if it lifts too much, unscrew the cap and let some water in, not enough, tie another bottle on. When you get it worked out, and your shoots are close to the same size, it should go quickly.

Moose1am
01-26-2005, 05:47 PM
Yea that might work. Good idea about letting a bit more water or air into the bottle to get the right amount of boyancy.

Hope that Jerry will see this and give some input also. I know he is very familar with the bamboo and he may have some idea on how boyant the bamboo is.

I was thinking also about using fun noodles or something similar to attach to the top of the cane or brush. Those fun noodles come in 10ft sections and if it only took a 1" slice to flat the bamboo stick then I could cut a lot of 1" dougnuts out of a ten foot long fun noodle.

What I want to do is make something that is easy to make and quick to make and set up. Trying to figure a way to make it less time comsuming and less work is the goal. That is why I was hoping that the bamboo would float by itself. That would make it so much easier and faster. Maybe adding some cork to the top of the cane pole would work but then that adds to the expense and time.

I know that some guys use natural wood or tree limbs and buckets filled with sand and gravel that they get at the lake. That saves on having to buy the Quickcrete concrete mix. Even though Quickcrete is not that expensive it all adds up especially if you set out lots of buckets.

I have not tried to find buckets yet and still may be able to find them at the stores that use them and have to dispose of them. I think that Jerry said something about going to the restraunts and getting their left over pickle plastic buckets or something like that.

What I need to figure out is how do they keep the bamboo in the bucket if you use sand and gravel and not concrete. Do they put a nail though the bamboo or a sheet metal screw or wire or something to keep it from coming out of the buckets? If some wire could be push though the ends of the bamboo easily it could be threaded though all the bottom ends of the bamboo before putting it into the bucket and then one could add the gravel and it would hopefully stay in the buttom of the bucket.

Barnacle Bill
01-26-2005, 07:07 PM
It may not be a problem Moose since bamboo floats. At least some of it does. They make sea going rafts out of it in Taiwan and they use it for outriggers on banca boats in the Phillipines.

crappiefarmer
01-26-2005, 07:17 PM
Hey Moose, If there is any current at all and I mean any, You may not have enough weight there to hold the bamboo in position. Any floatation you have added will lighten the concrete making it less effective. I use 40 pounds of concrete per bucket. They will not go anywhere. You could try milk jugs filled about 3/4 of the way full. I know they will work. Put 4 or 5 bamboo stakes in the jug and let it cure. You can carry a dozen of these on the water at the time. The milk jug has a wider base and could be considered a scaled down version of the buckets. Little lighter on the back. I'm guessing 15 to 20 pounds at the very most. Sink these in a 15 to 20' square out on the water and there you go. I throw out 4 marker bouys in the shape of a square about the length of my boat on each side then put out 1 on each corner then fill in the middle making it 3 rows of 4 jugs. Easy to find on the depth finder because of the size. I mark it on my gps. Because it is so big I don't need to triangulate it's location in conjunction with the gps. I mark a waypoint over each of the 4 marker bouys before I take them up. This makes a huge blob on my gps map. I just drive right into the middle of the waypoints and I find it every time. I use 9 buckets but end up with about the same number of stakes. Hope this helps. CF

Jerry Blake
01-26-2005, 07:38 PM
Hey Moose:

Only a couple problems I see with your idea. The bamboo is buoyant when you put it in and if it’s very tall it may be too buoyant and float off. You also may have trouble getting that small amount of QuickCrete to stay together if the bamboo swells at all when it gets soaked. In a bucket no mater how much it swells up it will all stay together. I don't know how long it takes for the bamboo to waterlog but it probably will at some point and then it will fall over. Also, if mister bass fisherman or someone trolling would happen to hook into a stalk of bamboo it would probably get relocated.

The bamboo in a bucket of QuickCrete is about the easiest condos I've used. I don't do anything to the bamboo to get it to stay in the bucket - just cut it a couple inches below a "knuckle" and it stays in the concrete fine. We've decided 60-pounds of QuickCrete is just the right amount in a 5-gallon bucket. The bamboo doesn't add much weight and they really aren't hard too handle, especially with two people.

I've been working on my instructions for building them so Ed can post it as an article when I get some pictures. Look it over and see if it makes any sense - if not please let me know before I submit it to Ed.

Bamboo Crappie Condo Construction

We’ve discovered that bamboo is an excellent material for building crappie condos. It lasts for years and will hold crappie year around when properly constructed and placed in a good location. They only cost is about $3 each for the QuickCrete if you can get buckets for free from a painter or drywaller.

After building quite a few we’ve come up with a system that works well.

We’re using freshly cut bamboo that is about 12 to 15-feet tall or only the top 12 to 15-feet of taller bamboo but you could use other length to make the condos the height you want. We don’t use any bamboo larger than about 1¼-inch in diameter at the butt end because larger ones take up too much room in the bucket and are too buoyant.

We cut the bamboo with a chain saw a couple inches below a “knuckle” so they will stay in the concrete and carry it to the lake in the boat by placing the butt ends towards the front and packing the tops down in the back and securing them in the boat with a rope.

I can carry enough bamboo for three condos and still get in to motor to our building spot. It is much easier to transport the parts than the completed condos so if possible you want a building area close to where you are going to sink them.

We put about a dozen stalks in a 5-gallon plastic bucket with 60-pounds of Quickcrete. We start with about 3-inches of water in the bottom of the bucket and stir in about 1/3 of the QuickCrete before adding the other 2/3. We make the Quickcrete a little soupy and make sure it’s stirred up all the way to the bottom of the bucket so we can get the bamboo down all the way to the bottom.

If it we have a hard time getting the QuickCrete stirred down to the bottom we just pour the whole thing into another bucket to make sure it is mixed well.

The biggest problem we’ve had is keeping them standing up until the QuickCrete sets, especially if there is any wind. To stabilize them we have four 3-foot pieces of 3/8-inch rebar driven in the ground around the buckets to just below the rim with a rope tied around the bucket AND to each rebar so they can’t spread.

We have these setup near some big trees for additional support and we start with two stout bamboo stalks placed in the bucket at an angle so the butt is at the bottom edge of the bucket and against the rim on the opposite side. We put one on each side of our support tree and secure them to the tree with a bungee cord about 6-feet off the ground, which is about halfway up the stalk.

We then add more of the bigger stalks at an angle like the first ones evenly around the bucket and then put the rest at different angles with a few of the shorter ones standing straight up.

Since we’ve been doing it this way we haven’t had any problem with them tipping over. On land they are quite top heavy but in the water the bamboo is buoyant so it keeps the condos standing straight up. I don’t know how long it will remain buoyant but some bamboo condos some guys put in Lake Greeson almost 2-years ago on a steep bank are still standing straight up.

We let the concrete set over night – longer in cool weather - before sinking the condos. When we are ready to sink them we remove the bungee from the support tree and untie one end of the rope that is on the rebar so we can get the buckets out and leave the rebar in the ground for the next batch.

If you are taking the materials to a building area by boat it is easiest and less messy to handle the QuickCrete by putting it in the buckets first – only takes little bit of moisture and the QuickCrete bags come apart, which makes a big mess in the boat.

Of course you’ll need an extra bucket or two to get started – it’s real hard to get the QuickCrete stirred all the way to the bottom if it is in the bucket when you add the water. For stirring up the QuickCrete we use a small garden rake with a long handle – works real well and takes less than a minute.

We put the condos in the boat so the bucket is in the bottom and they lean out over the sides or back because it’s real hard to keep them standing up while motoring, even going slowly. I can carry three condos at a time in my 21-foot boat – two in front and one in back.

Once over the drop zone we just lift the bucket over the side and drop it. Don’t have to worry about dropping them straight because they go down like a parachute with the bucket at the bottom.

We're placing the condos in 20 to 35-feet of water so we can fish them year around. On points we are dropping them in a row at different depths down the point. On sloping banks we are putting them in sort of a triangle far enough apart so we can make the rounds fishing them without disturbing fish on the other ones.

We've caught fish on our bamboo condos in less than a week and they don't seem to go through the "souring" stage like hardwoods with leaves on them do.

Even after the leaves fall off the branches provide a lot of cover. They are easier to get a jig un-hung from than wood too.

Once set up it only takes about an hour to cut, haul and build three condos and just a few minutes to drop them if you don’t have to motor very far.

labill
01-26-2005, 08:20 PM
Makes good sense to me. The only thing I see wrong is a couple "typo's" close to the bottom. The 3rd chapter up "seams" should be "seems," and the bottom chapter "do" should be "to." Hope you don't mind my butting in, but I'm such a notoriously bad typist, my proofreading skills have developed far faster than my typing skills... :) Good article and great information. Thanks for sharing.

Jerry Blake
01-26-2005, 08:34 PM
Hey Bill:

Thanks for taking the time to proof read it for me - you're not butting in at all - that's what I asked for. For some reason it's a lot easier for me to see typos in stuff I didn't write than in my own. I'll make those corrections before I submit it. I need to get out and build some more and get some pictures to put with it.

Thanks again!

Moose1am
01-27-2005, 03:35 AM
Looks pretty good to me content wise. One question. Are you setting them in the concrete mix at the staging site and leaving them there overnight out by the lake? Do you try to hide them along the bank where someone can't see them.

I am trying to figure a way to hold the bamboo upright while the concrete cures. What about a cloth's line? Place the buckets of bamboo right under and along the cloth's line and let the metal wire of the cloths line help hold them up. The cloth line in my mom's back yard is about 50 ft long and the wire is about 6 ft off the ground. I saw a guy who made a fan out of bamboo once in the crappie.world magazine. He put about 6 long pieces of bamboo in a spread like the NBC peacocks tail and then use another shorter piece of bamboo to cross all 6 long pieces about half way up the long pieces. I guess he used wired to tie them all to the cross piece. This would be more two dimentionaal though as there is not much depth like what you described in your dozen for each bucket.

When I did my pvc pipes I capped them on one end of the pipe and then buried the pipe into the ground about 2 ft deep I drilled some 1/4" holes though the outside of the pipe to let water into the pipe. I filled the holes with water and put the dirt back in the hole after sticking the pipe in the hole. I left them in my garden overnight. Remember I am using the one end that has the flanges on it and cutting it off in 2ft lenghts. After the concrete has setup I can flip it over and clean it up and glue the flanged end onto the remaining 8ft pipe out in the field right before I drop them in the lake.

I think you answered my major question on the small cup sized anchors. Getting them heavy enough to stay in place may be harder than I though and the buckets if free are inpensive and easy to get. The major cost I see is the gasoline to go gather and bring in the bamboo and the concrete costs. If you are putting out 100 buckets then 3 bucks a sack of quickcrete would be about $300 bucks which for a guy like me is pretty costly. For you and other guides that make a living that is a minor cost and can be spread out over time if you do a few condos each week over a years time. Still it's not too bad and I could afford to put out a few buckets and the lakes I fish are rather small 200 acres or smaller and with not much cover. So any buckets in these lakes would be a good attraction and well worth the effort if placed in the right spots.

I like the idea of using bamboo as it's cheap and would last for a few years.

My first idea was to use pvc pipe but that is cost prohibitate. then I thought about using the longer bundles of Surveyors steaks that I see in the Hardware stores. I can get a bundle of them for about 10 bucks a bundle. There are about twenty steaks in each bundle. But the bamboo if I could find some would work better.and be less expensive. Now I just have to search for some bamboo if I go that route.


I think your idea is ready to go to the press. Wish I was a better artist as I could try to draw some pictures for you setup. But I really have terrible hand coordination these days. Which is why I like to type things. I can type but write longhand very well.

duane
01-27-2005, 04:59 AM
Another way to build crappie cover if you have saw mills. get some old hard wood pallets, if you look you can get them free. Go to a mill and get there out side cuts (with the bark still on them, most will be 16' long and nail several to the pallet on each side using long nails. Add weight, rocks, blocks, ect. and sink them.

Jerry Blake
01-27-2005, 07:43 AM
Hey Moose:

On Lake Greeson – a CORP lake - we build them on a point close to where we are going to put them and don't make any effort to conceal them. On Hamilton we build them on the bank if front the guys house that offered me the bamboo. There are also some islands there we can use. I guess if someone starts stealing them we’ll have to do something different.

You really don’t need to put out very many if you’re a weekend angler. Six to 10 would me plenty if they are in the right area in a lake that doesn’t have much other cover.

If you check with your local lumber yard or hardware store regularly you can get broken bags of Quickcrete for half-price or less. Just have your buckets with you so you can handle them without making a mess in your boat or vehicle.

Mack
01-27-2005, 01:04 PM
My home lake is a lot shallower than you guys deal with..mostly 8-10 foot with 15 foot channels. In lieu of that we keep it simple. We just get a normal three hole brick, cut bamboo about 4-6 foot lengths..place the bamboo in each of the three holes...run wire thru the bottom of each of the sticks and sink 'em on the edge of the channels. Of course, you can also put quickrete in the holes also.
This works for us and saves on my back as well.

Just another suggestion

Moose1am
01-27-2005, 04:48 PM
Good ideas jerry Thanks for the tips. Man this board is great for this talk. I have learned so much from you and the others in here. I thank Ed every day for giving us the great web site.




Hey Moose:

On Lake Greeson – a CORP lake - we build them on a point close to where we are going to put them and don't make any effort to conceal them. On Hamilton we build them on the bank if front the guys house that offered me the bamboo. There are also some islands there we can use. I guess if someone starts stealing them we’ll have to do something different.

You really don’t need to put out very many if you’re a weekend angler. Six to 10 would me plenty if they are in the right area in a lake that doesn’t have much other cover.

If you check with your local lumber yard or hardware store regularly you can get broken bags of Quickcrete for half-price or less. Just have your buckets with you so you can handle them without making a mess in your boat or vehicle.

Moose1am
01-27-2005, 04:49 PM
Thanks Duane:

I know a good saw mill that is right on my way to the boat ramp on Patoka Lake. I may stop in there someday and see if I can get some old lumber to use for crappie beds.


Another way to build crappie cover if you have saw mills. get some old hard wood pallets, if you look you can get them free. Go to a mill and get there out side cuts (with the bark still on them, most will be 16' long and nail several to the pallet on each side using long nails. Add weight, rocks, blocks, ect. and sink them.

Ranger375
01-27-2005, 05:25 PM
The off-fall from trimming the log would be a good thing to pick up at a saw mill. In most cases the wood with bark can not be used and is frequently ground up.

duane
01-28-2005, 01:43 AM
The off-fall from trimming the log would be a good thing to pick up at a saw mill. In most cases the wood with bark can not be used and is frequently ground up.

Not here in Missouri. The boards with the bark on them are sold to the charcoal plants, you can buy them for the same as they sell to them. The last I bought and was years ago when we burned wood for heat was $16 a bundle. The bundle you could not haul in a ½ ton pickup it was so heavy and big (16 foot long).

Moose1am
01-28-2005, 01:57 PM
I am the same way Jerry. I can read something that someone else typed and find stuff. Guess I read more into my own typing than I should or just overlook my own typos. I am alway in too big of a hurry. Last night I read your write up and it was very late so I probably missed the typos. But the content was good and I could follow what you were saying. Only part I didn't understand completely what how you hold the bamboo up while the concrete dries. I understood the part about the rebar around the buckets but I didn't follow the tree parts. Maybe you were talking about the bamboo as a tree and I though you were putting the buckets by an other type of tree. Oak or something like that to brace the bucket full of bamboo. That is why I said something about a cloth line that could be used to attach the tops of the bamboo to while the buckets were held in place by the rebar. Does that make sense or am I way out in left field here ? :) It's just an idea.





Hey Bill:

Thanks for taking the time to proof read it for me - you're not butting in at all - that's what I asked for. For some reason it's a lot easier for me to see typos in stuff I didn't write than in my own. I'll make those corrections before I submit it. I need to get out and build some more and get some pictures to put with it.

Thanks again!

crappie god
01-28-2005, 03:30 PM
Sounds like Crappiefarmer and I are on the same tract except I'am of the age that I have more coffee cans than I have milk jugs around.

dockshooter
01-28-2005, 06:11 PM
Hey guys we have a new invention for sale on the Crappieunlimited web site Called the "stake bed driver"
Check it out www.crappieunlimited.com/crappie_unlimited_store.htm


I think this will solve most of the problems with the bamboo or stake standing up in the water.
Check it out and let us know what you think


Dockshooter
www.crappieunlimited.com

Moose1am
01-28-2005, 09:20 PM
Hey Dockshooter:

I made myself one of those last month. I am going to put it to use. I use the 2" pipe for the driver part instead of the 2.5" and may adapt it to the larger pipe size if I find some bigger diameter stakes to drive into the mud. I should be ready to use this in deep water up to 25 ft deep if it works like I hope.

What I need is some inexpensive wood stakes to use with it. If I could find some bamboo that would work great If it would not float away when I first put it in the water.

I need to figure out if bamboo can become water logged and how long it takes for it to soak up water if is does get water logged.


Hey guys we have a new invention for sale on the Crappieunlimited web site Called the "stake bed driver"
Check it out www.crappieunlimited.com/crappie_unlimited_store.htm (http://www.crappieunlimited.com/crappie_unlimited_store.htm)


I think this will solve most of the problems with the bamboo or stake standing up in the water.
Check it out and let us know what you think


Dockshooter
www.crappieunlimited.com (http://www.crappieunlimited.com/)

Shellback
01-29-2005, 06:43 AM
Hey, what about all the lids to these buckets that are sunk? Instead of using the bucket, use the lid. Get yourself a bunch of slashings from a logging operation, or any other good source of hardwood shafts, then run a drywall screw with a washer up threw the lid into the shaft. Repeat that as many times as you need to for the proper density for the condo. Now with the unit standing upright, slide a hollow cored concrete block over some of the shafts and let her sink. You could have a stack of lids, a stack of shafts, and a stack of blocks on your boat without taking up alot of room, and then assembly them right out on the water. With a battery operated screw gun or drill, each one wouldn't take more than a couple minutes.

bentpole
01-29-2005, 07:35 AM
Never have built a condo,But thought of something that may work.
When you put the bamboo or sticks in the bucket's use sand,pour alittle in the bucket then place the bamboo,add alittle more sand around them until it's about 3/4 full ,finish filling the bucket up with concrete,It would be heavier but cheaper.>>>>Bentpole

dockshooter
01-30-2005, 07:53 PM
Moose1am,
We go to the saw mill here, every year they cut "tomato stakes" about 50" long and about 1 1/2" square. I bought a 16' trailer load for $100.00 Probably 10,000 stakes
Been drivin them up all winter.
I don't know how the bamboo will do,
it should stay if you drive it deep enough into the bottom of the lake

dockshooter

redlegs07
01-30-2005, 08:32 PM
The cane in the bucket sounds good but I would put the cane in and then fill the bucket halfway with gravel shoveled up on the bank. Then just mix quickcrete wet enough to surround the cane and hold it together. Let it set for a little while and sink away. If the quikcrete ain't fully set, it will finish underwater(concrete will cure underwater) Just wait for it to get hard enough that you won't pull the cane out of the bucket. You might try drilling 2 holes on each side of the bucket and running a wire through or just hammering some long nails through the side where the con will be, to hold it in the bucket.