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Thread: Shallow water summertime crappie.....

  1. #1
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    Default Shallow water summertime crappie.....

    Putting this on the main board rather than on my state board because I don't want to ask for lake specific advise or for anyone's spots.

    I've been seeing some guys come in with July and August hot weather catches of NICE crappie caught in shallow water.... 4 foot and less. My home lake is a corps of engineers reservoir comprised of a big main lake basin, three high volume river arms and numerous large deep creeks. The lake has a lot of standing timber, a lot of submerged timber and a lot of mud and limestone rock. My typical summertime method is to catch crappie in the standing timber suspended over 25-40 foot of water by dipping the trees with jigs and or minnows...typically the fish are 8-12 foot down. I'm quite successful at this but sometimes the bite isn't very good on this pattern and sometimes if it is good the fish are small. Other times the fish are big and there are plenty of them but I'm looking to grow as a fisherman and would like to figure out how to recognize what to look for with for the shallow water pattern. The lake is FULL of flats and structure and mud banks and rock banks and lay downs etc etc. I've tried and tried fishing shallow along shorelines, using trees that run down the bank and off toward deep water, along standing timber near the shore etc etc but I've had no luck.....

    So here's my question......how do you go about figuring out this technique???

  2. #2
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    We have a few large COE lakes here too. Sometimes the Crappie will follow shad into shallow flats that have submerged vegetation. If you suspect that they are shallow, look for brush on grass flats near channels. It probably wouldn't hurt to make a few spots of your own in these areas. I would drop a few pallet beds or stake buckets in 4-10 fow for those days when the regular summer spots aren't producing.
    ><}}}}*> (C.J.)

  3. #3
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    Ok...let me add....there is NO natural vegetation in this lake...no weed beds, virtually no moss or algae, lily pads or anything green or brown except dead standing timber. Also....the lake floods very often.... Normal pool is 606 foot elevation. Last summer due to the drought it was all the way down to 595. This spring in May it went all the way up to 623 or so, then we got a break from the rain and it dropped to somewhere around 615 then we started getting more rain and it went all the way up to 628. The COE finally got it down to normal pool last week.

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    But....there is brush so I can follow that idea....do you think brush along the shoreline or anywhere on a flat??

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    Is this a very clear water lake? If so you may be spooking them before you can catch them. JMO
    The two best times to fish (when it's raining & when it aint). Proud member of team GitDaFeeshGrease

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    Quote Originally Posted by feeshrman View Post
    Is this a very clear water lake? If so you may be spooking them before you can catch them. JMO
    No...it's generally pretty stained. Best conditions water clarity wise are in the lower lake near the dam where you MIGHT have 12-18 inches of visibility in the best of years. Normally especially in the upper lake you only have a few inches of visibility. MUD, MUD and more MUD.

  7. #7
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    The shallow fish I have caught during hot weather were usually around structure like old logs and such. They were only in such a place because they were feeding on the plentiful shad. I've also noticed that you can fish a dozen different places that seem the same to me, but fish will only be holding in one or two. Once you do find a spot like this it is likely they will often be there again.
    The two best times to fish (when it's raining & when it aint). Proud member of team GitDaFeeshGrease

  8. #8
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    The shallow water Crappie that I've caught during Summer, have almost always come off of laydowns ... but, only while the water over those laydowns is shaded. Once the Sun gets on the surface above those trees, the fish are gone. The timeframe for this is usually between daylight & 10-11AM (depending on location of laydown vs trees creating shade vs angle of Sun).

    ... cp

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    Quote Originally Posted by archer66 View Post
    Ok...let me add....there is NO natural vegetation in this lake...no weed beds, virtually no moss or algae, lily pads or anything green or brown except dead standing timber. Also....the lake floods very often.... Normal pool is 606 foot elevation. Last summer due to the drought it was all the way down to 595. This spring in May it went all the way up to 623 or so, then we got a break from the rain and it dropped to somewhere around 615 then we started getting more rain and it went all the way up to 628. The COE finally got it down to normal pool last week.
    Since there is no vegetation, I would look for flats near channels or deep water. Brush or laydowns in these areas will provide much needed shade as the day heats up. Also, look for shad. The oxygen content gets low in a lot of the shallower coves this time of year, so as always, if you don't see shad don't waste your time.
    ><}}}}*> (C.J.)

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the suggestions....the shad connection is a good one as this lake is FULL Of shad. Also I hadn't thought of the shade issue.....there are large log jams in pockets along the shoreline that would provide shade. Also a lot of the standing timber is large and could also be a good shade source. Laydowns are what I've focused the most on and the lake is full of them. They may yet be a key to this but so far I haven't hit it right for some reason.

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