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View Full Version : Where to start. Am I doing something wrong?



rippyro
07-18-2019, 10:54 AM
I went out early the other morning to lake Ray Roberts in North Texas. Water temp showed 84.5F at 6am. I was fishing bridge pillars and flooded timber. 5-10mph winds fishing from a kayak was tough to stay in place. I caught 3 fish (not including a small channel cat and bluegill). I was fishing a tandem jig lowering it down next to the standing trees and casting it along bridge pilings. I got a ton of tiny *tap tap* bites on the submerged trees, but was barely able to land any fish (compared to the number of bites I was getting). The fish seemed to hit between 8-12 feet down in 20 ft of water.

Curious to know what y'all thought. Am I too late on the hookset or maybe the fish were just too small? I'll hopefully get out on the water soon and try again. Unfortunately it's tough fishing a lot of water in a kayak so I'm also having trouble figuring out where to look for fish this time of year with the warm water. Different boat ramps have different structure nearby (bridges at some, flooded timber at others, and submerged brush piles at another.) Any insight is greatly appreciated on techniques and locations to start looking.


I was happy about this guy. 13.5" and pretty thick bodied. [emoji16]350117350118

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Cray
07-18-2019, 11:36 AM
When they biting like that try down sizing your jig. Also the addition of some slab sauce or a nibble will make all the difference.

rippyro
07-18-2019, 12:27 PM
When they biting like that try down sizing your jig. Also the addition of some slab sauce or a nibble will make all the difference.I ordered some slab sauce a couple of days ago wondering if they were grabbing it and spitting it back out instantly. I'll try it out when it comes in. I tried injecting some tubes with crappie nibbles (using a syringe works great) but it didn't seem to make a whole lot of difference. I caught two on the crappie nibble tube and the big one on a white curly tail grub. Unfortunately I was using the smallest jig I own. It was a 1/32 jig with a sickle hook. My local Bass pro, academy, and field and stream don't have anything smaller. I'd have to order them online.

Another thought I had was too light of a jig. It was pretty windy and the wind would put a bow the line some due to the double 1/32 jigs. I wonder if I had a heavier jig if it would help the line stay tight to detect bites better?

Thanks for the response!

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Redge
07-18-2019, 12:35 PM
Just watch that bow in the line, if it jumps, set the hook!


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ET Fish
07-18-2019, 02:01 PM
“Tap tap” is usually indicative of a small bluegill to me.

CrappiePappy
07-18-2019, 02:55 PM
If the bites are coming at less than 15ft deep, and the fish are relating to vertical cover, I'd use this technique : Crappie Pappy Article (http://www.crappie.com/articles/crappiepappy.htm)

And from my experiences, Crappie will tend to be on the "shady side" of this cover.

rippyro
07-18-2019, 03:02 PM
“Tap tap” is usually indicative of a small bluegill to me.That was a thought as well. I was just too stubborn to admit it lol I caught the crappie in the same spot as the "tap tap" bites, but maybe they were just hanging around the same tree. [emoji2369]

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rippyro
07-18-2019, 03:20 PM
If the bites are coming at less than 15ft deep, and the fish are relating to vertical cover, I'd use this technique : Crappie Pappy Article (http://www.crappie.com/articles/crappiepappy.htm)

And from my experiences, Crappie will tend to be on the "shady side" of this cover.Very well written. Thank you. I was almost doing the opposite out there trying to figure them out. I would start at 6 feet and very slowly lower jig in the water. If I didn't get any bites I would strip another foot of line off and lower it further. I would continue that process until I thought I was finding the fish. I would start to get a consistent small *tap tap* but no fish when attempting to set the hook. Never tried reeling up though them though. I'll give it a shot next time

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ET Fish
07-18-2019, 04:18 PM
That was a thought as well. I was just too stubborn to admit it lol I caught the crappie in the same spot as the "tap tap" bites, but maybe they were just hanging around the same tree. [emoji2369]

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I use a #2 hook almost exclusively, so it is rare that I catch a small bluegill. Often in the tap-tap bites, I find my jig skirt pulled down. In my experience, that ain’t crappie.

rippyro
08-05-2019, 08:59 PM
I use a #2 hook almost exclusively, so it is rare that I catch a small bluegill. Often in the tap-tap bites, I find my jig skirt pulled down. In my experience, that ain’t crappie.You were 100% right. I've been out quite a bit since then and can now pretty well distinguish the difference in the bites (for the most part) lol bluegill have seemed to be a more erratic fast tap tap while the crappie bites are *thump* haha at least that's the best I can describe it.

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CrappiePappy
08-06-2019, 05:38 AM
Two things that might help :

Use solid body tubes .... they're harder to pull down on the jighead. (if jighead has a retainer barb)

Use weedless jigheads (when casting) .... you'll lose far less of them than regular jigheads. Use your regular jigheads when trolling methods are used.

And you are correct (mostly) that the ratatatat "bite" is usually Bluegill, and the "one & done" tap is usually Crappie. "USUALLY", but not always.

rippyro
08-06-2019, 07:37 AM
Two things that might help :

Use solid body tubes .... they're harder to pull down on the jighead. (if jighead has a retainer barb)

Use weedless jigheads (when casting) .... you'll lose far less of them than regular jigheads. Use your regular jigheads when trolling methods are used.

And you are correct (mostly) that the ratatatat "bite" is usually Bluegill, and the "one & done" tap is usually Crappie. "USUALLY", but not always.Thanks! I also used the "vertical casting" method in some trees and pilings the other day and caught quite a few keepers. Thought I'd share that with you

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CrappiePappy
08-06-2019, 08:21 AM
Thanks! I also used the "vertical casting" method in some trees and pilings the other day and caught quite a few keepers. Thought I'd share that with you

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Thanks .... glad to see it worked out for you !! Lot of history behind me using that method. It can be quite productive, and at times it can be the only productive method.