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Thread: Where to fish crappies in summer on a kayak?

  1. #1
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    Default Where to fish crappies in summer on a kayak?

    I found that fishing from kayak for crappies becomes very hard when water surface temperature reaches to above 80F (especially 85F or above).

    Only two places I can think of are docks and bridge pillars by tying to something to keep position. Fishing on top of brush pile on main lake seems not a choice since I can not tie to something to maintain position from my kayak.

    Pls let me know if you have suggestions for other places to fish.

    Question for fishing docks:
    1. What water depth docks sit on would hold crappie on hot summer?
    2. Is there a pattern change at different time of a day?
    3. How do you fish docks in the summer?

    Question for bridge pillars:
    1. Is crappie still around the pillar?
    2. Should I assume that crappie wonít be hugging to the pillar as concrete pillar would be too hot to stay close?
    3. How do you fish bridge pillars in the summer?

    Thanks!


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  2. #2
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    When the water gets hot, Crappie will utilize shade ... be it from an obstacle above/below the water's surface or from depth if obstacles are not present. The water may be 80-85deg on the surface, but 10-15ft down it could be 10deg cooler.

    A 10lb weight on a rope should be enough to keep a yak anchored.

    Fishing docks: find those that are in at least 15fow - have ropes or wires hanging down the sides (indicating brush/trees are on the ends) - and have lights, rod holders, or equipment visible that would indicate the owner fishes there. A fishing boat or pontoon moored there (rather than a ski boat, jet skis, etc.) is also an indication the owner fishes & may have brush under or near the dock. Pattern changes occur throughout the day, and may be no more than a change of location or depth. Shooting the dock would be the optimum method to be used.

    Fishing Bridge Pillars: fish the shaded sides, and the down current ends. Vertical jigging, "Vertical Casting", or regular casting techniques should work. (Vertical Casting explained : Crappie Pappy Article )

    Vertical Casting works on docks (dock pillars) if they're stationary docks. FYI

    The presence of Shad (or other species of baitfish) in the area is a good sign, but not a guarantee that fish are present. In those high water temps you may also find Crappie suspended out on an open flat, following or intercepting baitfish as they move across the flat. This is the general situation where most people Push jigs or cranks. Depending on your electronics, you may also be able to troll the area, or if there's some cover scattered on the flat you may be able to cast to those. The baitfish may be on or close to the surface, but the Crappie will likely be a foot or two below the bottom of the baitfish school regardless of their depth. You would want your baits to be no deeper than the bottom of the school's depth. (but always at least 1ft off the lake bottom).
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    I couldnít catch a crappie to save my life six years ago when I got my first kayak. Now, I can usually manage at least a few on a bad day and a whole stringer on the better days.

    Last summer, I started having a lot of success trolling for crappie. I originally used jigs, fishing a 1/16 oz black or red jighead, either tipped with a minnow or a 2Ē curlytail grub (silver or some combination of black or blue and chartreuse worked well for me. The Bobby Garland Strollírs have good action for trolling). I would troll these 60-80 ft behind my kayak at about 1 mph for best results.

    If you donít want to mess with live bait, then crappie crankbaits are a good option. I really like the Arkie 220 series crankbaits, which cost about $2.50 each at Walmart. Chrome with black back, sexee shad, and white have been the best producers for me. Troll them about 1.8 mph 60-80 feet back, which should get them down in the 8-10 ft range (they make a 350 series that will dive deeper). The nice thing about trolling is you donít get annoying nibbles and the fish typically remain hooked as long as you donít horse them in and tear the hook out.

    Finally, you may want to give night fishing a shot, either around lighted docks / bridges or buy/make your own light. Hang it over the side, wait 20-30 minutes, and fish minnows on slip corks around the light. Youíll get a lot of catfish this way, too.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CrappiePappy View Post
    When the water gets hot, Crappie will utilize shade ... be it from an obstacle above/below the water's surface or from depth if obstacles are not present. The water may be 80-85deg on the surface, but 10-15ft down it could be 10deg cooler.

    A 10lb weight on a rope should be enough to keep a yak anchored.

    Fishing docks: find those that are in at least 15fow - have ropes or wires hanging down the sides (indicating brush/trees are on the ends) - and have lights, rod holders, or equipment visible that would indicate the owner fishes there. A fishing boat or pontoon moored there (rather than a ski boat, jet skis, etc.) is also an indication the owner fishes & may have brush under or near the dock. Pattern changes occur throughout the day, and may be no more than a change of location or depth. Shooting the dock would be the optimum method to be used.

    Fishing Bridge Pillars: fish the shaded sides, and the down current ends. Vertical jigging, "Vertical Casting", or regular casting techniques should work. (Vertical Casting explained : Crappie Pappy Article )

    Vertical Casting works on docks (dock pillars) if they're stationary docks. FYI

    The presence of Shad (or other species of baitfish) in the area is a good sign, but not a guarantee that fish are present. In those high water temps you may also find Crappie suspended out on an open flat, following or intercepting baitfish as they move across the flat. This is the general situation where most people Push jigs or cranks. Depending on your electronics, you may also be able to troll the area, or if there's some cover scattered on the flat you may be able to cast to those. The baitfish may be on or close to the surface, but the Crappie will likely be a foot or two below the bottom of the baitfish school regardless of their depth. You would want your baits to be no deeper than the bottom of the school's depth. (but always at least 1ft off the lake bottom).
    CP, Thanks for the detailed suggestions,especially the section for shooting docks and targeting crappie beneath the bail fish group!

    I find shad group quite often on my fishfinder but never know how close crappie is related to the bait fish group. I will give it a try with your suggestion.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Pond_Pounder View Post
    I couldnít catch a crappie to save my life six years ago when I got my first kayak. Now, I can usually manage at least a few on a bad day and a whole stringer on the better days.

    Last summer, I started having a lot of success trolling for crappie. I originally used jigs, fishing a 1/16 oz black or red jighead, either tipped with a minnow or a 2Ē curlytail grub (silver or some combination of black or blue and chartreuse worked well for me. The Bobby Garland Strollírs have good action for trolling). I would troll these 60-80 ft behind my kayak at about 1 mph for best results.

    If you donít want to mess with live bait, then crappie crankbaits are a good option. I really like the Arkie 220 series crankbaits, which cost about $2.50 each at Walmart. Chrome with black back, sexee shad, and white have been the best producers for me. Troll them about 1.8 mph 60-80 feet back, which should get them down in the 8-10 ft range (they make a 350 series that will dive deeper). The nice thing about trolling is you donít get annoying nibbles and the fish typically remain hooked as long as you donít horse them in and tear the hook out.

    Finally, you may want to give night fishing a shot, either around lighted docks / bridges or buy/make your own light. Hang it over the side, wait 20-30 minutes, and fish minnows on slip corks around the light. Youíll get a lot of catfish this way, too.


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    PP, thanks for the introduction of trolling. I have never tried trolling, and will give it a try.
    What type and pound test fishing line you will use for trolling with 1/16 jig? Can I just use 1/8 or 1/4 Oz jig if I want to go deeper?

    I tried night fishing first time on 12/31 last year. Wanted to use a special way to celebrate new year but end up skunked, lol. Maybe I will try night fishing bridge at this time of year. I do not want to spend whole night out. What would be your suggestion to fish before mid night (preferred) or after mid night?


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    I would like your input on whether this Marina is fishable for crappie in hot summer and where to fish. Actual water depth currently is about 2 feet shallower than marked on the graph.


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    I by chance found a passel of big crappie last summer at 20’ under a surface covering of floating debris,The debris was wedged logs and floating branches.I dropped a 1 1/2” purple curly tail on a 1/32 jig down through small openings ,the very slow fall must have been the ticket, I pulled several big crappie up from the deep on a very hot day.
    Since that day,I’ve had this motto,When temps are high,go deep or go home!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yaker View Post
    I by chance found a passel of big crappie last summer at 20‚Äô under a surface covering of floating debris,The debris was wedged logs and floating branches.I dropped a 1 1/2‚ÄĚ purple curly tail on a 1/32 jig down through small openings ,the very slow fall must have been the ticket, I pulled several big crappie up from the deep on a very hot day.
    Since that day,I’ve had this motto,When temps are high,go deep or go home!
    I found it interesting is that you use 1/32 jig head to fish 20 feet deep. I would have used 1/16 or 1/8. Maybe slow fall motion especially in hot water is the key!?


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    If you want to give trolling a shot, I would recommend using at least 8-10 lb mono and a medium light or medium action rod. Youíll need something with enough backbone to drag the fish through the water as you shouldnít stop moving forward to reel in a fish (your other line may get snagged on the bottom as a result). And there is a fairly good chance you may hook something other than a crappie (like a catfish or bass) which is what the heavier line is for. I had a good-sized catfish run off with a crank bait after hitting an ultra light pole I had used with only 4 lb mono.

    As far as the jig head weight goes, you could potentially use heavier heads to get down deeper, but it may not be necessary. I would try trolling in creeks, especially in early mornings (before it gets hot) or evenings (before it gets dark) for best results. Those 1/16 heads should be 8-12 ft deep and itís better to troll above the crappie (where they can see) than below them. Keep an eye on your fishfinder to mark their depth.

    For night fishing, I just start around dusk and stay until 10-11, unless the bite is really good. Some people want to stay out all night. I eventually want to go to sleep!


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    Quote Originally Posted by parfume4 View Post
    I found it interesting is that you use 1/32 jig head to fish 20 feet deep. I would have used 1/16 or 1/8. Maybe slow fall motion especially in hot water is the key!?


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    the light jig was the results of not changing out of laziness when I moved from shallower water to deeper water,it ended up working so well,I put it in my arsenal now!

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