View Full Version : Crappie fishing ethics

04-09-2019, 01:29 PM
Since I am new to crappie fishing I just wanted to know if there are any unwritten rules people abide by. Obviously I wouldn't keep any fish I'm not going to eat. There are no size limits in Georgia, but I am going to limit myself to probably 11" and up just because of how little meat there is on a fish smaller than that (at least with my limited filleting skills). I think my main concern right now is the spawn. seems like every fish I've cleaned recently had eggs. Is there a way to tell a female with eggs without sticking a knife in her belly? Is there anything wrong with harvesting females this time of year?

Thanks for the info... this is such a great forum.

04-09-2019, 01:54 PM
You can't hurt Crappie with a rod and reel.
Any lake that doesn't get fished pretty hard ends up with small fish taking over as they out breed their food supply.
Lake Fork and Lake of the Pines here in Texas are good examples of what it takes to grow big fish.
All winter long it is against to law to throw back a crappie no matter the size and they will hand you a $200.00 ticket if they see you do it.
Both lakes get tons of pressure.
They are arguably two of the best lake in the state for big fish.

04-09-2019, 01:59 PM
Since I am new to crappie fishing I just wanted to know if there are any unwritten rules people abide by.

If someone steals your spot, make sure you weight the body down very well.

04-09-2019, 02:02 PM
Here is a link to the Crappie.com code of conduct https://www.crappie.com/crappie/archives-stuff-we-don-t-want-to-lose-/148522-crappie-com-code-conduct-summary-previous-thread/

04-09-2019, 02:10 PM
Here is a link to the Crappie.com code of conduct https://www.crappie.com/crappie/archives-stuff-we-don-t-want-to-lose-/148522-crappie-com-code-conduct-summary-previous-thread/Hey G,
Can we get a shorter version of that on a tee-shirt?

Sent from my XT1710-02 using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=87936)

04-09-2019, 05:39 PM
When I was small we learned"The Golden Rule" it worked back then and it works today. It's all about respect.:twocents

04-09-2019, 06:55 PM
Ethics are as follows , do unto others as you would have them do unto you
This code of ethics works everywhere as well not just in crappie ketchn

04-09-2019, 08:52 PM
Female vs male this time of year, females will be bulging at the belly and noticeably sticking out on each side of the fish. Males will be skinnier and darker, getting almost jet black during the spawn. Nobody cares what you keep, and don't let people tell you what to keep (unless its the game warden!). Do some research and some googling for articles about keeping females vs males then make up your own mind. Personally, I don't keep females in the spring when I can see they have eggs. Don't care what anyone else keeps in the least, unless they take it out of my bucket! That's just what I do. I keep 10-13" as that is the general population of fish in my area, always best to keep the general population size IMO, let the big ones and small ones go. Again, just my personal opinion.

As for ethics or unwritten code.. The biggest is don't crowd or spot jump!!! If you see someone working a line of docks, a line of trees, or just a shoreline.. don't jump in front of them, start behind them and overtake if you need to. I promise even the best anglers left a few behind for you to catch. But be sure to say hi and good luck to the other boat if you do pass them. I follow the "he was there first" mentality, plenty of places to fish in the lake. If on shore, try to notice where people are casting and stay far enough away to not influence their fishing, they were there first. Again, saying hi and being nice will help your cause.. if its a nice guy/gal he/she may invite you to come fish next to them if the bite is good. I do when people are nice. If you just walk up and start throwing where I am, I tend to get upset. Say Hi as you walk up and ask for a recommendation of where to fish and I will invite you to fish next to me and offer some of what is working.

I had a guy last year walk up 6' from me and literally cast over my line to the tree I was fishing, he looked over at me and said "I caught some nice crappie here this morning, I'd like to get a few for dinner". I said "me too, but looks like you just claimed this spot" and grabbed my gear to walk away, he didn't even seem phased... don't be that guy.

Aside from that, I can't think of a way you could upset anyone on the water! Crappie fishing is relaxing and there's plenty of them in the water to catch. Crappie fishermen don't seem to be as cutthroat as those green log carp fishermen.

Special K
04-10-2019, 10:18 AM
Perhaps the real question is one of both ethics and personal preference. I consider myself a very ethical sportsman in every way... but I personally choose to not fish during the spawn or in bedding areas because I feel this (although (both) perfectly legal and ethical) an act that (usually) catches the (in large majority) males whose purpose at that time is guarding the beds (nests) and/or the young hatchlings (fry)... and once they are caught leaves (them) unprotected and quite vulnerable to predators during a time when their chances for survival are already naturally compromised. IMO the same (personal preference) applies (at least for me) to pre-spawn when females which are full of eggs are so predictably vulnerable while approaching bedding sites to lay their eggs. I personally prefer to leave them alone and let them do their thing... and choose (instead) to do my fishing at all other times... and avoid what I can't help but feel is (my) taking advantage of the vulnerabilities caused by the instinctive spawning cycle.

I have nothing against anyone who fishes the spawn (as it is clearly legal, ethical and a valuable conservation measure) but, I also feel perfectly at peace with my choice not to fish the spawn. After all, I have never had any problem catching enough fish at all other times of the year to have plenty of fishing fun and/or to stay adequately stocked with fish.

That's my two cents on personal preference vs ethics regarding the spawn.

04-10-2019, 11:27 AM
Crappie fishing ethics: My everyday ethics is called RESPECT. :ThumbsUp

I must say, being an Old Timer, I have met some very respectful fishermen. I now live in Florida, I've been at the ramp and several times, have had other fishermen come up to me and ask, can I help you load or unload? About a month ago, I just took a ride and was checking a couple ramps, a young man was just about to launch when he asked me, Sir would you like to go fishing for a couple hours? I was blown away! Even though I politely declined, I will never forget kindness.


04-10-2019, 12:51 PM
My pet pev is behavior at the "Ramp". Wait your turn!

04-11-2019, 05:41 PM
My pet pev is behavior at the "Ramp". Wait your turn!

AND DO NOT get your boat ready on the ramp itself...…..one of the things that just peeves me off. I will be out of the way getting the boat ready and someone drives right on the ramp and starts getting there boat ready so then I have to wait for them.