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slimecoat
11-17-2008, 08:24 AM
Everyone at the boat ramp tells me stories of catching 50,75 or 145 fish a night. I believe some of these stories are true. It probably happens during the prespawn when crappie are schooling. Whith that in mind; what triggers schooling? When do they form large schools? Where do they hold?

Anyone know what triggers schooling?

Thanks

slimecoat
11-17-2008, 10:17 AM
There has got to be some kind of stimulus that triggers pre spawn schooling. Mabey its the moon phase coupled with water temp; mabey its length of day

TeqSheriff
11-17-2008, 01:39 PM
I'm not sure what triggers schooling, but in general I find it very interesting to learn about the habits of fish. I hope a few others weigh in.

Another thing that I'd like to know about is how do habits of fish change as droughts cause water levels to drop. Here in KY, we're about 7 feet low in the ponds I fish (which aren't very big to begin with). I haven't been doing too well since late-summer, which is about when the levels started to drop. The fish have to be somewhere, and the ponds are small enough that I know all the locations, but they seem to have disappeared.

I'm not sure what triggers people to say they caught 50, 75, 100+ fish, either. The story of one good day lives a lot longer than the story of 100's of days when it was kinda slow.

mighty
11-17-2008, 03:31 PM
I am know biologist but here goes

First off crappie are natural schooling fish they are not loners per se. They are cool water fish so when the temperature rises or falls to that magic degree they become more active, also water temp light penetration etc affects what bait fish will do. The crappie follow these bait fish to feed. When a fisherman is in the right place at the right time it is very possible to catch 50+ fish in several hrs.

Just think about this when crappie run especially in the fall and spring the banks are lined with fisherman if you can have 15 folks at one bridge not including the boaters some will be catching fish back to back others every now and then and some wont get a bite (they miss the lite bite because they weren't watching the line). okay i rambled just wanted to throw that in so you will not make the same mistake.

Anyway to sum it up crappie are schooling fish already, at prime times you can get into 100s of fish, because many different schools have converged in the same location.

Right time, right color rt technique = 50+ days:D

Then there are those 1-10 days:cool:

then the skunk days:eek:

Enjoy all of em
hope this helped just got to thinking and typing and this is what happened.

be blessed

STUMP HUNTER
11-17-2008, 04:09 PM
I'm going to take a shot at this,
Crappie are a schooling fish, if you find one there are more in the same place. The water temperature is the main factor in the location of crappie, cover is the next.
When the water is at it coldest in the winter the crappie will hold in deep water on the bottom, look for them in river and creek channel with a drop off and some kind of cover. On warm days they will come up to feed so you can find them in coves even in 2' of water sometimes.
As the water starts to warm the crappie will move up in the water column. They will use creek channels to make their way to the spawning areas. Look for the crappie at the mouths of creeks in 25' to 35' range as the water gets in the mid 40's and as the water warms up move into the coves deeper in less water. By time the water gets in the 60's the crappie will be in 10' to 15' range so try to keep up with the water temperatures to keep up with the crappie. By time the water hits 70 it is on and you should be catching all the crappie you want.
Night fishing is not the same as day in that you are try-ing to pull the bait to you and the bait pulls in the crappie, so at night you can pull in fish year around.
I hope this will help some and maybe others will add to it.
Ronnie

Cane Pole
11-17-2008, 10:20 PM
Instinct. It is a survival tactic. There is safety in numbers. Besides, they like synchronized swimming.

I am guessing...:p

Andi Sanders
11-18-2008, 08:34 AM
Great advice! Crappie are actually classified as pelagic fishes, meaning that they roam in schools. We live right next to the famous Chicken Coop here on Toledo Bend and they converge there (and other similar places) in huge numbers when the water temp falls to around 55, if the lake level is steady. We recently had a drought situation for several years with incredibly low, clear water. It was some of the best winter crappie fishing in years.

DRPEPPER
11-18-2008, 09:01 AM
Great advice! Crappie are actually classified as pelagic fishes, meaning that they roam in schools. We live right next to the famous Chicken Coop here on Toledo Bend and they converge there (and other similar places) in huge numbers when the water temp falls to around 55, if the lake level is steady. We recently had a drought situation for several years with incredibly low, clear water. It was some of the best winter crappie fishing in years.

Ahh, the Chicken Coop!!:o .What precious memories. I used to live in Houston. Below the dam of lake Houston, and in the Chicken Coop I have witnessed "Roaming Crappie". Meaning I could watch the other fishermen that were lined up shoulder to shoulder or boat to boat and could tell where the fishes were. If I was catching a fish, my neighbor was going to catch one soon. You could watch the poles bend up or down the way and anticipate when you would get your thump.
DP

CrappiePappy
11-18-2008, 09:51 AM
in the "schooling" scenario :

Crappie tend to school by year class/size .. but, occasionally there will be mixed sizes in a school, or even seperate schools of fish occupying the same general area.

Crappie tend to school loosely (scattered over a larger area) when there's less light penetration ... and tighter when the light penetration is greater. This accounts for finding them above or "around" cover, during low light conditions ... and "in", or more towards the lower portion of the cover, during higher light conditions. This is especially true in water that's moderately stained or clearer.

Actually ... prespawn is when they're a bit more scattered, or on the move. Spawn is when they are seperated into males/shallow & females/staging ... and the females travel back and forth, from staging area to nest, and back to staging area.
Post spawn is when the whole group gets back together, and begin schooling. This should pretty much last until the following years prespawn movements, from the deep water of the main water body area into the shallower spawning areas.


On some lakes I fish, the Black Crappie do alot more "traveling" into shallower areas, earlier and later in the year than do the White Crappie. The White Crappie seem to do most of their "traveling" during the early part of the year, but stay in the deeper areas from Summer til the following Spring. At least, as far as their movements from main lake to creeks is concerned. Though there are lakes I fish, where you're just as liable to catch both species together, shallow or deep ... regardless of time of year.

... cp :cool:

The Lip RIPPERS
11-18-2008, 10:25 AM
According to divers here on our lake that work underwater on docks, they report that Crappie hold in schools by size[year class] ; also they stay just out of the light back in the shadows. They also noted they move alot around the docks, but after weather fronts were tight to cover, or did not move at all.