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  • The Crappie Fishing world according to......Part 2

    The Crappie Fishing world according to CrappiePappy - Part 2

    Here is some excellent advise/replies Crappie Pappy posted on the OLD OLD OLD Crappie.com Message Board some time prior to 2004. Could even be from around the year 2000. I found it archived here on my computer and thought I'd re-publish it here.

    Solar Tables " Truth or Fiction" posted by Karl Pesson

    - I guess that my answer would be - i look at them but don't really pay much attention to them. They are one aspect of the overall picture....one piece of the puzzle. If you had a majority of the pieces of the puzzle be in the plus column on a day when you could go fishing then you would probably fill the boat. Not likely to happen very often, I think. Any condition that is favorable to fish being in a feeding mood is an important aspect - but unless you get a bunch of these conditions to come together in your area, on the day you go, during the time frame you're on the lake, at the place you're fishing, and you............well, you get the picture --- you might as well have called the "psychic hotline". I say go whenever you can as long as the conditions are not dangerous to your health and just ENJOY the trip & the experience and let CATCHING FISH be an added bonus. luck2ya..cp

    - I really don't believe in Solar Tables that much. The best time to go fishing is when you can go and the wind is not blowing. Just enjoy being out on the lake and soak up the solitude and let the stress just oozz out of your body.You don't even have to catch a fish at all. It is more fun to catch them though. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ray, if i waited to go fishing when the wind wasn't blowing i might as well GO BOWLING !! it can be dead calm when i leave the house, and when i get to the lake....but, as soon as i get to a spot and start casting my little 1/16oz jig on 4lb test line the wind starts howling...lol...well it seems that way, anyway !! ......luck2ya...cp

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    WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKETS !!! You WILL hit an underwater object, that you cannot see, sometime in your fishing life - be prepared !! Just because you may not have a big honkin motor on the back of a 20ft boat and run the lake at breakneck speed ... you still can be thrown from the boat if you hit an underwater obstacle. AND - attach that kill switch lanyard to your life jacket. Good quality life jackets and/or a kill switch setup make great holiday gifts for those (and from those) of us who care about the safety and wellbeing of our friends and family. EVERYONE - have a HAPPY & SAFE HOLIDAY SEASON and a PROSPEROUS and PRODUCTIVE NEW (fishing) YEAR ..........luck2ya'll ..cp

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    I've had good luck fishing "trees" for crappie most all of my 40+ years of fishing. Cedar trees and oak trees have accounted for the majority of "treed" crappies that I've caught. I once read an article that told about using hardwoods and softwoods for crappie cover. It told about arrainging them in a T shape or a C shape covering at least a 10ft by 15ft area for best results. They should ususally be placed standing up or leaning when in deep, open water areas and lying down when placed along the bank with the top sticking out into or over deep water. You can also make a good crappie tree out of a standing tree trunk that's long since lost its branches. Tie small cedars to it when the waters down or sink them around it. It also will give you a place to tie up to when the wind or waves makes it difficult to hold near a submerged brush pile. .........cp

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    crappie are opportunistic feeders and will take bugs & worms about as quickly as minnows. I've caught'em on meal worms right out of the nest when what I really wanted to do was catch the big bluegill that were cruising around outside of the nesting area (looking for a chance to sneek in and suck up a mouthfull of eggs). Lake Weiss is a pretty good lake for good sized crappie. I've fished it a few times. Stayed at JR's Marina (nice rooms, cheap) but, the fishing can be great for a few days then just shut down. Sometimes they are up close to the bank and around docks & brush and sometimes they are out on the edges of the creek channels. The best time for KY Lake seems to be the last two weeks of April, unless we have another spring like this year. They start catching them pretty good around the Tenn. part in late March and if the water & temps stay stable they turn on pretty rapidly right on up to the dam. If you stay in the immediate area of the dams/canal you can switch back & forth from Ky Lake to Barkley Lake. I like Barkley better, myself, but I'm just more familiar with it than Ky Lake. My e-mail address is posted below if you need to find out some "secret" stuff about where you end up deciding to go next spring.LOL....luck2ya...cp

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    Zercom Depthfinder posted by Fishermen's Fisherman

    - I do not have one - and if I paid between $500-$600 for a "depth finder" it dang well better be able to tell me the fish's "first name"...LOL!! But seriously, the main purpose of the unit is to show you the STRUCTURE and BOTTOM CONTOUR. Fish symbols, arches, or just pixel squares can be (and often are) just false signals or "stuff" suspended in the water column. If the arches aren't complete- the "fish" may be entering or leaving the cone angle, or the sensitivity of the unit may not be turned up high enough. Have you tried using the "bottom Zoom" feature ?? Next time you use it fish the "structure" you find with it - and forget the "arches" - if there's catchable fish around the structure you'll know about it in a relatively few minutes. I've fished areas that my depth finder showed a whole screen full of "fish symbols" and not caught a thing - fished other areas that only a small piece of structure showed up on the bottom and caught fish off of it. But, then again, I've seen "one" fish (symbol) on a piece of cover, caught a fish there, went back over the cover and no fish symbol ..... go figure! These "tools" can & do find fish ..... they just don't CATCH them for you.....luckily you get to do that yourself !! IF you think there's a "defect" in the unit I'd return it while it's still under warranty .... otherwise I'd figure out how wide a path I'm seeing with the cone angle and how deep these "arches" are (that you CAN see) and present my "bait" to that spot .........luck2ya....cp

    KC, I am currently using an Eagle SupraPro ID (transom mount) and an Eagle Silent 101 Flasher (trolling motor mount). They're both several years old but still giving me all the info & detail I need. I have 20 deg. cone angle transducers on both units .... so, technically, I should be "seeing" two 6 ft wide circles of bottom in 15ft of water. I have a 15 1/2ft boat - so I'm covering most of the area below the boat at any given time. Thing is, though, I'm not fishing "below" the boat most of the time - so I pay less attention to "fish symbols" and more attention to depth and structure - and I mentally "correlate" the picture I get from the "finders" with the area I'm fishing ... to get a "picture" of the situation at hand...and thus plan my "approach" accordingly......cp

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    when do southern alabama crappie start to spawn??? posted by Ty

    when the water gets around the 60 degree mark they should be in the pre-spawn staging mode - - - when it goes up over 64 degrees you better have a bait in the water .... big crappie generally spawn first .... the 64deg - 72 deg spread is the "window" you're looking for (not all water in a given body will be the same from one place to another).........cp

    One time I went to Ky Lake in early April. .... daytime highs were in the low 40's and it drizzled rain during the last day of the two days we were there. Caught them in the back of a creek in flooded weeds along the channel at about 2-3ft deep in 6-8ft of water. There were 4 of us in two boats casting jigs - circling two boats tied end to end with two guys each boat and about 6 cane poles per each person (looked like indians circling a wagon train ...lol). Every now & then it seemed a school would come thru and the cane poler's would start snatchin & jerkin - rebaiting with minnows as fast as they could - and we'd start stickin 'em on jigs (Roadrunners actually). It would be chaos in all 4 boats for about 5 minutes then stop - and start up again shortly. I couldn't believe they were back in that flooded field with the air temps being so chilly .... they were feeding though - not yet spawning ..... but they were definately following that channel up to the flats where we were finding them. ...........cp

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    I have fished a total of ONE" tournament" for crappie, in my life. That was the Fall Brawl down at cuz'n Don's (last Oct). I plan on fishing the Spring Fling there, this coming May. I'd say keep in touch with Don & Jackie .... April can be an awesome time, but the weather can be screwy and shut off the bite for days at a time. Unless we have a early Spring I'd say the last couple of weeks in April should be pretty good....but it depends on the weather and water level/conditions as much as anything. Don put me on some good fish last Spring - and the conditions weren't the best then, either....the lake came up quick and clear and I caught fish "ready to spawn" in 12-15 feet of water - drifting minnows over brush piles.
    I don't fish "Money" tournaments because they're usually "trolling" events ... I prefer to fish with one pole at a time - feel the bite - and set the hook....it's more "personal" than dragging a dozen jigs around and letting the fish, basically, catch itself. (that's my "preference" - that's not to say that I don't troll, drift, or use any other method that's working at the time .... I'm stubborn, not crazy...lol !!)..............cp

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    I'm not much on gobbin up my hook with a bunch of stuff ... I'm pretty much a "one hook - one bait" kinda guy. But that's just ME and the waters I fish - believe me, if someone was catching good fish on a "combo" of baits on one hook (and I wasn't catching my fair share on my choice) I'D GET LIKE HIM IN A HEARTBEAT.....LOL!!
    I suspect that if you're hitting the schools of smaller fish 12 feet deep over 20 feet of water that the water temps aren't quite high enough, yet, to bring the big girls out of their Winter holes. Then again, sometimes the bigger ones will spawn first - so using the shallow to deep search pattern may be the best way to determine where they're holding. You may also want to try fishing with a slightly larger bait - maybe even up to a 1/4oz jig head and a 2-3 inch body (single or twin tail). Also, instead of working the "edge" of the channel you might want to work your baits "down IN" the channel (after you've ruled out the possibility of them being shallow, of course).
    This early in the year - things change from day to day - and the fish can "change" their location just as fast .. or just stay where they are until things level out.
    Figuring out where they are is not an easy task when the conditions change so rapidly and so many different times over a week's time frame. Sometimes it's best to figure out where they're NOT, first --- then concentrate your efforts on the remaining area of water where they most likely HAVE to be. Keep tabs on the water temp in the coves/creeks and likely spawning banks - when it starts staying 55 degrees and/or gets warmer, look for them to start searching for bedding spots. As it approaches the 60 degree mark, check out the submerged timber, channel edges close by, ends of laydown trees out in the deeper end, and weedbeds (if any). Start about 1ft below the depth you can see down into the water around those structures your fish will most likely use for spawning ... work your way deeper (in depth of water fished and depth you work your bait) until you contact fish. Work the whole area and any like area/structure you know about at the "contact" depth and structure type you found them on ... they should be using the same depths and structure in like places, as long as the water temp is close to the same and the make-up of the area is the same (same type bottom, depth, creek channel running thru, and same or similar type structure -like stumps, brush piles, stake beds, whatever). You should also take into account - northern creeks/bays will warm faster than others - slack water areas are better for spawning (so look for protected pockets and cuts) - and do yourself (and the lake & fish) a big favor- keep 3 keeper sized males to every keeper female you catch. This will provide you with a good mess of eating size fish and help insure that the population will survive and thrive for years to come.....cp

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    Can anyone tell me how long the fish stay on spawn, do the female lay her eggs then move off . How long do the males stay on the nest or do they. Will another group of crappie come in after to spawn after the ones that are now . Any good books with info on crappies.Would like to learn about the fish i have been enjoying the last few months i been catching.Thanks for all info.

    - Jim, if the conditions are optimum the spawn will last about a week or two ... any "interruptions" and it can take longer. The bigger females tend to lay first and so on down the size range. The females will go to several different beds over the course of spawning and may take several days to a week or more to "empty" their load. Males make the nest, fertilize the eggs, then guard the eggs until they hatch into fry...they then guard the fry for a while (until the fry can "feed" themselves and hide from predators).
    take a look down this page to the post "Question about good reading material" (Apr 6th) and read that .... you may also be interested in the post "Crappie after/during spawn" and my answer to it (about half way down the page - (March 20th)....cp

    is it bad to keep males off of the bed, cause thats all i keep right now due to the fact that the females are still bulging with eggs, thanks for nay help

    - it only takes one male to fertilize the eggs of several females...so if you only keep males until the spawning is over you probably won't cause any harm to the new crop - unless, of course, you catch ALL the males ...LOL!! .....cp

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    has anybody ever noticed how crappie fillets swell up after you put them in bowl coverd with water in the frig. overnight. the nexted day they will have swelled up to 2 to 3 times their original size.i do these a lot,put them in the refrigerator overnight and take them out to freeze the next day.i just noticed how much bigger the peices are.was wondering if anybody else had noticed. thanks

    - this is "hydration" ..... the crappie "meat" soaks up the water. Some people soak them in salted water to "remove" the blood .... but thorough cleaning and washing of the filets, then vacuum sealing holds their "flavor" in the best. Soaking tends to "drown" out some of the flavor ... plus, when you "freeze" the meat it expands (and so does the water it has soaked in) and this destroys the tissues ... sometimes leaving the meat "stringy" - and makes "freezer burn" occur much faster...cp

    Hey CP,
    - do you vacuum seal your fillets? If so what is the best vacuum sealer to get?

    TOM T, I'm using a DENI 1631 ..... it's ancient - but still works, and I still have a couple of rolls of the "plastic bagging" that it uses. I don't proclaim to know which unit is the "BEST" .... but I'd venture to say that some of the newer models/brands that are on the market would probably work just fine. The stronger the "vacuum" and the thicker the plastic wrapping, the more likely it will hold its seal. Air in the plastic covering, over your filets, is the culprit when it comes to freezer burn - it allows frost to set up on the meat. Of course, the better the unit (or more "name brand" the unit is) the more it will cost ..... so shop around and compare .....cp

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    I mostly fish the southern lakes in Michigan and the water usually stays colder longer depending on the weather. I would like to know what type of bait to use during these cold water periods. Should it be live bait,tube jigs or curly tail jigs,and what type of presentation, trolling still fishing or casting.
    - Thanks for any information.

    -I usually let the "conditions" dictate what bait & presentation to use.
    Conditions being - water temp, water color, depth fish are holding, and what they're holding on.
    I may not be the best person to answer your question - I'm a tube jig slinger most of the time....from water temps in the 40's to the 80's. Minnows come in second - and are usually used in Summer (nights) - Spring (very shallow brush) - Fall (deep brush piles and/or slow drifting along deep banks with submerged timber). I use "roadrunner" style jigs and curly tailed grubs mostly for trolling flats or "suspended fish" (in those transition periods when the fish are moving out of the channels and toward the spawning areas).
    Your particular situation - I'd probably fish live bait/still fishing on deep timber along creek channel edges until the water warmed into the 50's. Then I'd probably troll along those channel edges with the curlies or marabou jigs - especially if the fish were holding high in the water column over deeper water (say like 12ft deep over a 25ft deep channel). Once the water warmed up a bit more towards the 60deg mark I'd switch over to the tubes (casting) and beat the banks (around standing timber, stump beds, grass beds, or blowdowns). Presentation & speed of retrieval is the key ... get the bait over their heads and slowly moving along and they just can't seem to be able to resist grabbing at it.
    I just recently saw a show on TV - Babe W. was fishing with a jig/minnow under a casting bubble bobber in grass beds. He wasn't fishing more than a few feet deep - even though he said the water was still a bit cool and the crappie were still in pre-spawn (but moving in shallow with the warming waters). I think he was using the bobber just so he could anchor and cast a good distance away from the boat and not spook the fish in the relatively shallow, clear water. If you have those conditions in your lakes - you may want to give that a try. ..........cp

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    NEED SOME TIPS ON CATCHING CRAPPIE IN AND AROUND GRASSBEDS WITH TIMBER AND CLEAR WATER (CAVE RUN LAKE) APPRECIATE YOUR HELP MIKE LOWE

    Hey Mike, I assume you're fishing in the "river" end of Cave Run if you're fishing grass. Never fished up that far myself ... always fished the standing timber in the backs of coves around the Twin Knobs area. The clear water usually dictates a deeper presentation ... usually a couple feet below the depth your bait is still visable to you. I look for areas that are shady until mid-day, that have some standing timber in 8-15 feet of water. When using minnows I usually fish them at 6-10ft deep and ease around the stickups real slow with the trolling motor. This is usually my 'early season' search method. Later in the spawn period I switch to jigs and cast around any wood close to the bank in the 4ft to 6ft range (unless the water is real clear at that depth - then I go deeper). I see no reason why the same approach would not work on grassbed crappie ... especially around the timber. You'll probably find Black Crappie using the grass more than White Crappie - they like the weeds and clearer, cooler water than the White Crappie do. Cave Run is in one of its down years as far as overall size of fish ... but in a few years we should start seeing some really nice sized fish coming out of there in "numbers" ........luck2ya....cp

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    To,CrappiePappy .I've been fishing in pea soup colored water and was wondering what color jig that works the best.

    I don't fish water quite that dingy but if you can get a jig in front of one he should hit it...regardless of color. If the waters that murky you might try a tube jig slightly bigger than normal...I normally use a 1.5" tube body on a 1/16oz head but if I have to fish deeper, slower or in real dirty water I go to a 2" tube body. My fav color is a dark blue body with silver metal flake & chartruese "legs"...it kinda covers the spectrum for clear to murky waters. LUCK2YA...CP

    I finally went fishing today, but only caught a few crappies. The water was 55-60 degrees, but the channels and the lake was like coffee and cream. What colors and baits should I use in these conditions, in sunny skies AND cloudy skies??? I also fished in very shallow water to no avail, should I go deeper? Would Roadrunners work in this condition? I would greatly appreciate any help! Thanks!!

    Nate, if I were you I'd be proud of those few crappie ... sounds like your lake is in the same condition (color wise) as mine - and I'm not even going to attempt to fish them until the water comes down and clears up some. The best I've ever done in "dirty" water (not quite coffee & cream colored though) is when Barkley Lake in Western Ky was flooded (about this time of year). The lake water was murky to muddy and up into the tree line along the bank - probably 4-6ft above pool - and at least 2-4 feet deep on the tree line. We caught crappie with minnows under a bobber (about 1-1.5ft deep) fishing around those flooded trees. The lake water was falling slowly because the Mississippi was flooded (and the Ohio) and they had to hold it back so as not to worsen the damage down river. The crappie had gone into the flooded trees on the rising water - and were holding on them to keep their "balance" in the dirty water ... they seemed to have their noses right up against the tree. We had to put the minnow right next to the tree to get a hit ... a foot away and no bite.
    Whenever the lake gets muddied up from heavy rain runoff - I usually give the water time to settle or be on a slow rise or fall ... then I go up into the far backs of creeks or up the river portion of the lake and look for clearing water (this time of year it's also warmer water). Nothing puts fish off their feed more than cold, muddy water ... so give the lake time to settle and the fish time to recooperate, and soon they'll be right where they're supposed to be this time of year ...........cp

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    i have a question maybe someone out there can help me on. In my lake i sometimes will catch a crappie thats always nice and white, and is never really circular usually more longer in appearance, then i'll catch one that is always real round and usually a little more darker. is this the difference in the white and black crappie, or is this male and female. hopefully this makes sense so i can get a response, thanks all ~jimmy
    - Jimmy, the longer shaped crappie is the White Crappie - it should have "bar" markings on its sides. The male White Crappie will display black on those markings/tail/fins during the Spring spawn. The "rounder" shaped crappie is probably a Black Crappie - it should have "specks", "blotches", or random "patches" as its side markings. It should be thicker/heavier than a White Crappie of the same length. If it has a black mark from its lower lip up between its eyes to the back fin - that looks like someone took a black magic marker to it - then that's a "Blacknose" (hybrid). .............cp

    crappiepappy thanks for clearing that up for me, i think i like the white ones better, just something about them, anyways is there any advantages or disadvantages to having both black and whites in the lake, and is that common? thanks Jimmy
    -Well Jimmy, It's fairly common here in Ky's lakes and I don't know of any particular disadvantages (other than overcrowding as we talked about before) but I think you'd better ask a Fish & Wildlife Conservation Officer or Biologist that question - especially if it's YOUR pond/lake. They'd know more about the conditions in your state/area that may affect them. Just keep catching them out at a reasonable rate and I think you'll see the size improve over the years (yeah, sorry - but it will take a couple of YEARS for them to get BIG). If the pond is large and relatively deep and has enough shallow weeds or timber it should produce some good spawns to replenish any that you remove. Go to www.google.com and in the search box put in these three words - BLACK WHITE CRAPPIE - this will give you many sites to read about these two fish. You may find some answers to questions you didn't even know you had ..LOL !! You keep on posting your questions here, though - many people read the posts for info even if they don't post any questions/answers themselves. And Pappy will check in regularly to try & help out if he can .........luck2ya....cp

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    What is the best thing to use to bait a crappie hole.

    ++++++++ try this ! get a gallon glass jar (smooth sides is best) and punch holes in the top. put a couple dozen minnows in it & fill it up with water from the lake you're on. tie a length of mono to a piece of something and push the mono thru a hole in the lid. tie the mono to a branch on a tree and hang it down around 8-10 feet...come back to the tree later on in the day and put a minnow down about 6-8ft - see what happens. YEAH I KNOW.....that's not what you were talkin about - so, OK, cedar trees & stake beds make good crappie holes but the best is a tree down from the bank (trunk) out into 20ft of water (top branches)......luck2ya...cp

    O.K. I guess I shouldexplain a little better. The lake I am fishing is approx. 1000 acres with a few floating piers scattered around the lake, mine has alot of brush under it allready. Now I just need to draw them in. I've heard "rabbit food,dog food,hay,and certain grains" but which ones. I do like your thinking about the jar.
    - Thanks
    ........they all do one thing - draw minnows. they just go about it in different ways-the "foods" flake off and provide food particles>>the grains, hay rot and the fungus provides food for minnows, shad, etc. - if I had a couple of trees hanging under my dock and no crappie were coming around i'd begin to wonder why, too. is the water deep enough? too clear? or is somewhere else on the lake a bigger drawing factor than your place ?? -- try the minnow trick and see....it can't hurt!! your biggest problem will be finding a gallon glass jar.....luck2ya..cp

    i've heard also that punching holes in a can of "fish" catfood and hanging that down in the branches works too...it's just to draw minnows to the area to feed on the particles floating in the water - thus drawing crappie to the area to feed on the minnows. The minnow trick is one i learned out of an outdoors magazine back when i was a young pup. never tried it but i'd almost bet it would work - especially in a clear water lake. the only problem nowadays is finding the gallon jar ........luck2ya...cp

    Thanks CP for the info. I never heard of arranging the trees in shapes before. Sounds like a great idea. I have some friends that will now be putting them out in UT's for sure lol! I will have available for use, every kind of spruce, pine and fur tree they sell. I might do a little experimenting and see what I can learn. I might add for anyone doing this for the first time that I have always had the most success trying to improve habitat on banks they naturally used than try to attract them to places they did not normally use. The only exception to this is boat docks. I have always been able to improve fishing around any docks with trees and brush provided you have ample water depth. CP, Have you ever used hay bales?

    I haven't personally used hay bales ... but I've fished a dock with them sunk around some of the outside posts in about 12ft of water. In the Spring the crappie were there .... I haven't tried them in the Fall, but I'd bet that if they're still down there, there's crappie on them. Any kind of structure that gathers moss and provides shade and a hiding place is gonna have crappie on it sometime or other....as long as it's in deep enough water and the temp is to their liking. Oh yeah, another thing on those brush piles in "shapes" ..... the article also mentioned that the best setup was to have the bottom of the T (and the C - or U, in your case) in the shallower end of the water and run out into deeper water or to the edge of a drop (or creek channel, or depression). Have you ever tried the "stake bed" approach ?? I've heard a lot about them, but never fished one .... the principal is sound, though. ...........cp

    CP, The best hay for this is alphalfa. They recently outlawed using round bales here for that purpose saying the crappie weren't getting a square meal! hmmmm... I guess it is what the baitfish like. Here's another goodie I saw on The Crappie University TV show, Gospel truth here.... A guide on Lake Talquin in FL put orange food coloring in his foam minnow bucket one and a half hours before fishing. He swears by it! He says they love orange colored minnows better than anything. I have not told this to my fellow UT buddies yet nor have I tried it myself. It will surely start more stuff than I care to deal with. lol! I will look for a link to that show and post it. I fish stake beds at Ky Lake. The TWRA recently put out a boocoo of them. They are great springtime spots around spawning time. I have recently made a small stakebed out of some old oak slats I found to put out at a close by winter (fish out of the car window) spot of mine. KingCrappie

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    Jig and bobber? crappiepappy? posted by rick

    - Could you describe to a beginner exactly how to work a jig and bobber? This is a new concept to me. What is the depth of the bobber? Is it fixed or a slip bobber? What kind of jig etc? Do you let it sit if there is wind? etc.

    -Though I don't use this method, I think I can at least get you started with it - others who do use it may want to chime in and give you some tips, too.
    A jig/bobber can be used in a "drop/lift" vertical manner to fish tight cover. It can be cast out and slowly retrieved back (slow & steady or stop & go).
    Depth is dependant upon- how deep the crappie are (first rule .. always fish a jig ABOVE the fish). It is also dependant upon whether or not you can cast the jig/bobber if it's a bobber that doesn't slip (usually 4-6 feet of line between bobber and jig is maximum for a non-slip bobber). The use of a slip bobber is dependant upon the make-up of the bobber and whether or not the weight of the jig is sufficient to pull the line thru it. Wet line doesn't like to slide thru bobbers very well - especially if there's only a tiny amount of weight on the line (like a 1/32oz jig).
    The type of jig is up to you .... marabou jigs are fine and so are the tubes.
    Letting the bobber "bounce" in the waves is one way to impart action ... but beware of a large bow in the line between you and the bobber - once the bobber starts to go under it's HOOK SET time and a lot of loose line means time spent reeling up first, and that time could cost you a fish.
    All that being said- I still prefer to cast a 1/16oz weedless jighead with a tube body....rod tip at 10 o-clock position and slowly reel steadily back in - watching the line for any movement that I didn't cause. I use this technique for water depths between 2ft and 15 ft deep. If I want a slower fall or want the jig to stay in a certain area longer I'll drop down to a 1/32oz jig - or else I'll get right over top of that area and drop my jig straight down into the cover and reel it straight back up (again the retrieve is very slow). This is where a marabou jig really shines. And you can get away with heavier line ... even the "coils" of the heavier line are a plus. As you retrieve the jig (straight up) the natural movement of your rod (you can't hold one perfectly still) will impart a little action into the marabou hair and the "coils" of the line will cause the jig to swim "around in circles" as it heads upward toward your rod tip - the combination of the two makes the marabou jig look like a small minnow heading "towards the surface" or "out of the cover"... a easy target for a crappie hiding in the branches.
    any more questions ... just post 'em ......cp

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    Black\White question posted by LadyAngler

    Yes LadyAngler, if there are both species of crappie in your waters, you can, and will, catch them out of the same areas (at times) and may even catch them BOTH out of the same structure at the same time. A little lake I fish, here in central KY, has both ... I catch a mixed bag most every time I go. When I go to E. Tn., and fish at Watts Bar Lake, the same thing is liable to happen there - plus the added bonus of catching a "Blacknose" crappie (a hybrid) right in the same spot I'm catching the others. They all hang around the same forms of structure ... the White crappie prefers murky water and the Black crappie prefers clearer water, but if they're both present in a body of water they will adapt & thrive in most cases. I've found no taste difference in any of the filets from any of the three. What state are you fishing in ?? I ask because, if the spawn is starting there, it can be hard to distinguish the male White crappie from a normal (male or female) Black crappie....they put their "tuxedo's" on to impress the females (black blotches cover their bodies and fins). Body shape is one way to tell the difference as is counting fins .... but as long as they're legal size it really doesn't matter which one you catch - they're all "DELICIOUS" ..............luck2ya.........cp

    =========================

    Tim, we have had this discussion about the Blacknose Crappie several times before (on this board). We have determined that the Blacknose Crappie is a Black Crappie "hybrid" - but, there are several differing stories as to exactly HOW it was hybridized. It has also been reported that it's a naturally occuring hybrid (in the Arkansas White River) but is relatively rare. I've checked with the IGFA about this fish - and they tell me it will be recognized as a separate species -IF a picture can be produced showing the "stripe" up the "nose" - and if it can be scientifically determined to be a Black/White cross breed (and therefore have a specific scientific "name"). I've checked with (e-mailed) the Arkansas F&W people to see if I can get their info on its origins and genetic makeup. It's most commonly called a Arkansas Blacknose so I figured I'd start there to see what I could find out about it from the "original" source .... so far I have not received any reply. I've also read that biologists "genetically coded" this stripe into these fish for indentification purposes - their orginal intent being to use them to stock ponds and small lake waters that would support a crappie population, but not a population of Black or White Crappie (because THEY will overpopulate a small body of water and eventually become stunted in their growth). The "hybrid" aspect of the Blacknose was supposed to be that "they" (the blacknose) would either be sterile or wouldn't spawn at such high rates as the Black or White species. According to your reply this must be the story you've heard, too, right ?? Do you have them in the waters you fish ? If so, what waters are they in (that you know of, or fish - other than Watts Bar & Dale Hollow). I ask because I'm trying to get some idea of their range. And, if you don't mind telling, how big do they usually run in those waters ? They're a magnificent fighter on UL tackle - and I'm also trying to spread the word about them in order to increase their popularity (in the hopes of getting them stocked in some other lakes) and for the enjoyment of any and all who want to catch a true "fighter" crappie !! Thanks for the added input - and if you find out anything new about them please post it here ............luck2ya.........cp

    =============================

    How important is the use of scent in Crappie fishing.
    - Thanks in advance......Crappieknocker

    - I don't use "add-on" scents when crappie fishing - but I do throw a "scented" tube bait, on occasion. (Power tubes)
    I think that crappie are more "sight" feeders .... but at times they can get picky - and a little "flavor" may be the ticket. My favorite tube (squirmin squirt) is "salt impregnated" ......does that count as "scented" ? ......Yep, probably does! I don't use "spray-ons" just because they're messy and can ruin a boats finish, not to mention dissolve the glue that holds your carpet on (learned those the hard way..lol).
    Any edge is important when the bite is slow - so I don't discount the "importance" of scented baits for crappie ... I just don't put it at the top of the list .........cp

    ===========================

    Could you describe to a beginner exactly how to work a jig and bobber? This is a new concept to me. What is the depth of the bobber? Is it fixed or a slip bobber? What kind of jig etc? Do you let it sit if there is wind? etc.

    -Though I don't use this method, I think I can at least get you started with it - others who do use it may want to chime in and give you some tips, too.
    A jig/bobber can be used in a "drop/lift" vertical manner to fish tight cover. It can be cast out and slowly retrieved back (slow & steady or stop & go).
    Depth is dependant upon- how deep the crappie are (first rule .. always fish a jig ABOVE the fish). It is also dependant upon whether or not you can cast the jig/bobber if it's a bobber that doesn't slip (usually 4-6 feet of line between bobber and jig is maximum for a non-slip bobber). The use of a slip bobber is dependant upon the make-up of the bobber and whether or not the weight of the jig is sufficient to pull the line thru it. Wet line doesn't like to slide thru bobbers very well - especially if there's only a tiny amount of weight on the line (like a 1/32oz jig).
    The type of jig is up to you .... marabou jigs are fine and so are the tubes.
    Letting the bobber "bounce" in the waves is one way to impart action ... but beware of a large bow in the line between you and the bobber - once the bobber starts to go under it's HOOK SET time and a lot of loose line means time spent reeling up first, and that time could cost you a fish.
    All that being said- I still prefer to cast a 1/16oz weedless jighead with a tube body....rod tip at 10 o-clock position and slowly reel steadily back in - watching the line for any movement that I didn't cause. I use this technique for water depths between 2ft and 15 ft deep. If I want a slower fall or want the jig to stay in a certain area longer I'll drop down to a 1/32oz jig - or else I'll get right over top of that area and drop my jig straight down into the cover and reel it straight back up (again the retrieve is very slow). This is where a marabou jig really shines. And you can get away with heavier line ... even the "coils" of the heavier line are a plus. As you retrieve the jig (straight up) the natural movement of your rod (you can't hold one perfectly still) will impart a little action into the marabou hair and the "coils" of the line will cause the jig to swim "around in circles" as it heads upward toward your rod tip - the combination of the two makes the marabou jig look like a small minnow heading "towards the surface" or "out of the cover"... a easy target for a crappie hiding in the branches.
    any more questions ... just post 'em ......cp

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    I know that bass get very soft in the summertime and I've heard someone tell me that they get wormy. My dad stated that he heard that crappie get that way to. #1 Do crappie get soft and wormy?, #2 Obviously they taste great in the winter, Do they taste the same throughout Spring, Summer, and Fall?

    - Thanks,

    - The Michigan Crappie hunter!

    -- It is my humble opinion that any fish in warm water is going to be "softer" feeling than one coming out of "cold" water .... that's just basic science/biology - warm water is less dense than cold water ... fish are mostly water - thus they feel firmer when cold. The "worms" or parasites that infect fish are more prevalent in warm water - they're probably still "eggs" in the mud during the cold water times, if they're even around then. Bass tend to spend more time at or near the bottom during warm water times and are thus more likely to pick up these "hitchhikers" then. Crappie feed on much the same food source as bass - worms, insect larvae, crustaceans, as well as the "bait fish" population - so, they too, could come in contact with these critters. I have to agree with the others in their recommendations - cut out the offensive area, cook them right and you won't notice a difference in the taste. When I keep them to bring home to clean - I keep them alive in my live well. I only notice a difference in the "texture" of the meat in those that don't survive the trip. They seem a bit "firmer" (and easier to clean, by the way) than those that arrive alive - but once cooked you can't tell them apart. I always check the gills of the fish before I clean it - bright red to pink = I clean it .... those with colorless gills get tossed (though that rarely happens). I filet most of my crappie since most of them get eaten by friends or family members (most of whom have a raging fear of bones getting caught in the throat). I have found that scaling them first and then filetting them - leaving the side skin on - does make them taste better (to me, anyway). The skin (or actually the skin oils) gives the meat a bit of a sweet/nutty flavor - even when coated or breaded. You've probably got more to fear from lead, mercury, or PCB's in your fish, than from parasites (unless you make sushi from them) .... so, if those problems don't exist in your waters (fish) then consider yourself lucky. If the infestation is real heavy and every fish has a bunch of "critters" in it (or on it) ... I suggest you report that to your Fish & Game Dept - and heed any "consumption advisories" that they may proclaim. .........cp

    ==========================

    Crappiepappy, you are a valuable asset to this website. Many people make hits just to see what you have to say, and direct their questions to you. I say you quit your day job and start your own crappie magazine, crappie fishing show, and even start your own line of crappie gear. You go above and beyond your call when replying to questions. I for one have followed your advice with plenty of success, and I am sure there are quite a few others who use your advice with success. You should really look into making money off of your knowledge, and if you need an agent, I will volunteer my services.

    - thanks crappiepappy

    - By the way, which person in the fall brawl picture is you? Would be nice to put a face to the name.

    I really appreciate all the kudos. But I really think my current job is quite enough of an accomplishment for me. I prefer to "give away" my advice, opinions, tips & tactics - so that others can enjoy crappie fishing as much as I do. I was taught crappie fishing by my Grandparents (RIP). They were always helpful to others - giving away their "secret" spots and sharing little "tips" to others they met on the water, that may not be doing as well as they were. I've adopted that same attitude - in honor of them.
    I'm no expert when it comes to fishing. I learn a lot of things reading the posts here, as do you all. Sharing info, opinions, insight, and tips is what this site is all about. I'm glad my input has helped and I hope to be able to continue for many years to come.
    Success, for me, is giving up some tidbit of information that I've learned - and having someone else have equal or greater success with it. Passing this info along to the "newer" members of the great sport of crappie fishing is my way of honoring my "mentors".
    When you look at the Fall Brawl pics - that's me in the gray t-shirt & jeans - the tall, gray-bearded one in the second place pic. That's my fishing partner Paul (in the red sweatshirt) on the other end of the stringer.
    luck2ya all, cp

    I started fishing, as a youngster, with my Grandparents. They were avid crappie chasers and pretty successful in their day. In my 20's & 30's I was a bass fisherman 90% of the time ..... this has slowly reverted back to 90% crappie fishing and 10% bass & everything else - now that I'm in my 50's .... I was fortunate enough to develop a love of fishing at an early age thanks to my Grandparents (may they RIP) and passing on the info to any interested party is my way of paying them back for introducing me to such a wonderful sport/hobby. This internet thing and all the discussion boards gives me an avenue to reach many more people than I could ever hope to casually meet on the water. I appreciate all the kudos - and you're welcome. Happy Holidays to you & yours and much success in your fishing future......luck2ya....cp

    Crappie.com thanks Crappie Pappy for all his wonderful fishing insight.
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Billbob's Avatar
      Billbob -
      good info
    1. Rsw's Avatar
      Rsw -
      Great read, thanks for posting part 2!
    1. MrPaulAR's Avatar
      MrPaulAR -
      Thanks for digging these up from the archives!
    1. RetiredRR's Avatar
      RetiredRR -
      Good informative reading. Yeah, the cost of the electronics today and they still won't tell you the first name of any of the crappies. LOL
    1. boatdocksam's Avatar
      boatdocksam -
      great read
    1. Idunno's Avatar
      Idunno -
      I should be a pro by the time I read all that good information. Thanks, CP!
    1. "G"'s Avatar
      "G" -
      Thanks for the info CP
    1. NYHellbender's Avatar
      NYHellbender -
      Good Read
    1. RogerA's Avatar
      RogerA -
      Lots of good info there, Thanks for sharing.
    1. Bayoudog's Avatar
      Bayoudog -
      thanks
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