• Cold Water Crappie in the Marsh

    Many fishers think of cold water crappie as fishing deep in the many lakes and rivers throughout the country. While this is certainly true, the marsh here in southern Louisiana is a whole different estuary. The many bayous and canals are typically shallow. Finding deep water may mean finding five to eight foot pockets that have been dredged by oil companies. Thinking deep for cold water fish may mean fishing two feet or less. A fellow fisherman had told me many years ago, that on the coldest days, he would prefer a bright sunny day and would fish extremely shallow. This thinking goes against everything you read about catching fish in freezing weather. Marsh crappie and many other species adapt to their environment. This means finding fish in places that some may not think about fishing.

    This past cold snap has been no different. Most people fishing were beating the bank fishing two to three foot under a cork. While this can be effective, a lot of fish simply get passed over. Many times the fish may be feeding on the numerous bait fish and not holding to any type of structure. Fishing the middle of the canal can sometimes be the most productive place to catch crappie. The day started with water temps in the upper thirties and as the solar effect took place, warmed up to forty four. When this occurs, you may find feeding fish a foot less under the surface. On this day, it was no exception. Not only did we find fish shallow, but also feeding in the middle of the canal. The cold temps forced shad and other bait fish into the many dead ends where the water temps were a few degrees warmer then the rest of the area. Fish follow the feed into these same areas and when you locate them, it can be easy to catch limits of really nice crappie. Dead-ends aren't the only spots fish can be located on those bitter cold days. Finding shallow flats off of the main canal can be productive also. The thinking is the same. These cold water crappie are looking for slightly warmer waters and on days when its sunny, can be found on these shallow flats. We certainly have a unique fishery where on some of the coldest days crappie can be caught shallow. Color schemes seldom change and what works in the summer will also work in the winter. The fish in the shallow marsh are either feeding on shad, small minnows, or grass-shrimp (which is a micro version of saltwater shrimp). Adapting your lure choice depending on the forage can be very beneficial. So next time you are fishing the cold waters of the marsh, think dead-ends, flats, and never over look the middle of the bayou. On those bright sunny days, think solar heat and try shallow.

    On a side note, we were in Paw Paw Genes favorite location, Orange Grove. Good luck fishing. Hope to see ya on the water.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Cold Water Crappie in the Marsh started by Bobfish11 View original post
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. scrat's Avatar
      scrat -
      Wow! Nice crappie. Thanks for sharing the cold water fishing information and picture.
    1. Crestliner08's Avatar
      Crestliner08 -
      Great write up on cold weather fishing.
    1. "G"'s Avatar
      "G" -
      Good read
    1. Ketchn's Avatar
      Ketchn -
      yep I agree , we have fish that run up extra shallow in these parts as well , lots of times I have a jig 18 inches under a float in the winter up in creeks , nice read and good info .
    1. boom714's Avatar
      boom714 -
      Great Info.
    1. skeetbum's Avatar
      skeetbum -
      Thanks for the skinny on the cold water tactics. Those are some nice fish.
    1. plateboater's Avatar
      plateboater -
      Always good to hear about a tight line
    1. 3 pound fishing's Avatar
      3 pound fishing -
      love me some cold crappie.....taste even better
    1. kycreek's Avatar
      kycreek -
      Good job
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